Music is not a distraction, it’s a tool

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The option of listening to music in school is nonexistent at Townsend Harris, with teachers and staff giving out demerits immediately whenever they see a student with a pair of earphones in their ears. However, students should have the opportunity to listen to tracks while exercising or even studying, to further increase their productivity and overall mood. Various scientific studies have proven that music helps people when studying and exercising. Because of these advantages, school regulations should lighten up about the usage of headphones in certain places and at certain times throughout the school day.

According to an article published by the New York Times, listening to music while exercising gives people motivation to put more effort into the activity. Research also suggests that music distracts people from the fatigue they could be experiencing during any kind of moderate exercise. At THHS, physical education grades stem from workouts ranging from track running to weightlifting, most of which are independent, so listening to music would not pose a problem. Mile times could improve due to the fact that more students are able to implement music they enjoy into the workout. Work rate could also increase as a result of this new motivation, leading to increased productivity.

Studies also show that music benefits students when studying or doing academic work, because concentration is better maintained and distractions are eliminated. Some students have free bands throughout the day in which they have the opportunity to study for an upcoming test or complete some work. During this time interval, they should be able to listen to music because they would not be disrupting lessons and won’t need to pay attention to a lesson.

Some teachers may argue that music would impair a student’s attention, leading to safety problems that could result from not following instructions. To fix this potential issue, teachers could enforce requirements such as having only one headphone in place at a time, or maintaining the volume of music at an appropriate level so that the student can still hear any instructions given by teachers or administrators.

It is unfair to give out demerits to students just for having their headphones out while entering the building. Students should not be given demerits for listening to music in moments of independent activity, whether it be physical exercise or academic work. Allowing students to listen to music in such moments would not only be a benefit for the students, but also for the entire school, because students will be able to relieve their stress and concentrate better throughout the school day.