by Brian Wilbur ‘24
Sherwood implemented a new phone rule this school year that permits teachers to not allow students to have phones or headphones in sight at any time during class. Although the intention of the policy is to stop students from being glued to their phones during class, banning headphones and AirPods can be hurtful to some students.
Studies have shown the countless benefits of listening to music while working in school. Florida National University studies have “shown that music produces several positive effects on a human’s body and brain. Music activates both the left and right brain at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can maximize learning and improve memory.” In verywell.com’s top 10 stress management techniques it says, “if a student is overwhelmed by schoolwork, they can sit and relax for a few minutes while listening to their favorite music. It will help reduce stress and they can continue working on their assignments again.”
Because music has benefits for students, there are times during class when it makes sense for them to be able to use them and especially when completing independent work. Teachers want students to use their resources in order to put forth their best effort into the work the students do. The problem is the teachers want their students to focus, but then limit students by taking away an extremely helpful resource.
Teachers think that music creates distraction and students will quickly become unfocused on what they should be doing. This could be true for some students, but close to all students are comfortable with people listening to music while performing tasks. This means that most students won’t find it distracting at all because to them it’s normal. Students often have opportunities to work independently and most teachers are stopping all students from being able to listen to music. In almost every class teachers will tell students to put their earbuds away even if the students are doing independent work. Considering there are countless studies showing how beneficial music can have for students, Sherwood should reconsider taking away such a simple but beneficial resource for students.