Here at LAUSD/USC Cinematic Arts and Engineering (CAE) like many other schools, students are often stressed while testing. Many students find listening to music soothing and often do it while studying. So why not allow them the same privilege while testing? Many teachers might have the fear of cheating or that students will get off task. A few teachers do allow music under certain circumstances to students that benefit from it.
Several students believe that incorporating music in the classroom would better their performance in class. Freshman Michael Bucciarelli and sophomore Malachi Cruz believe that we should have music in our classroom while testing as it would help them focus. They find it to be quite inspirational when listening to music as it helps motivate them to finish their work. Bucciarelli believes that music would also prevent cheating “because it’s blocking out all the other distractions from the outside, from when someone tries to talk to you, you won’t hear them because its blocking them out”. Some say it would be nice and it would help them stay awake in their slower classes. It would also help them reduce the pressure and overall nervousness of tests.
While others like Teo Tarver, a senior here at USC CAE, believe that music will not help them do better while testing and you will always experience some form of stress while testing. When Tarver was asked what kind of music he thinks a teacher should allow, he replied, “I believe that teachers should allow their student to listen to classical music.” Tarver believes that there would be no difference in the students scores as “there is no music in the world that can stop you from concentrating on what’s difficult.” He also believes that teachers do not allow music in the classroom because they understand that students will often choose inappropriate or explicit music and get off task.
Teacher Kara Smith referenced some research that she had previously done on the idea of music in the classroom. Most was to help show the contrast of songs with lyrics and songs without lyrics and how students perform while listening to either one. She also believes that it depends on the overall students, some students find music to be quite helpful while others a major distraction. Students Evelin Esparza and Kimberly Gutierrez said music will distract them. Esparza says music will not help her as she will sing along to her music and Gutierrez agrees but says it relaxes her but at the same time takes her away from her concentration.
Though many enjoy listening to music, through the various responses it is clear that music listened to individually is found to benefit those who need it while it may become a distraction to others. Teachers are often trying to find ways to benefit their students and from these interviews it is apparent why they do not allow music so it can create a fair environment for those who find a distraction to it. If a student believes that they would perform better with music, they should address this with their teacher.
Written and Photographed by Mariyah Plair & Ariella Aquino