DISTANCE LEARNING: Students enjoy musical freedom in virtual learning

For many students, listening to music in class can be an effective way to focus, and the freedom of being able to listen without disruption during distance learning has been a positive for many. 

“Distance learning helps me with listening to music because the teacher won’t know if I’m listening to music,” freshman Quimey Ramon said. 

Senior Tyler Haas said learning virtually has let him to listen to music during class, as he no longer has to be stealthy about it.

“Distance learning helped tremendously with listening… (to) music in class,” Haas said. “Before, I had to be low key about it, but now, I just turn the camera off and I can do whatever I want.” 

Before distance learning, teachers would often have strict rules about students’ activities during class time. French teacher Grace Garvin typically would not allow her students to listen to music during class.

“Usually, I said no, even during SSR. I tended to say to them, ‘No, you need to be able to hear me at a moment’s notice. What if I have some emergency announcement to make?’” Garvin said. “I want them to be able to hear me.”

Despite primarily not allowing students to listen to music, Garvin said she could understand why a student may benefit from listening, but less so during distance learning. 

“It might help them get into the zone,” Garvin said. “I get, in a classroom, why you would need to do that because there are noisy kids around you, but if you’re home or in your bedroom, I wouldn’t say the music is as necessary.”

In spite of her general rules against music in class, Garvin said she will sometimes play French music, which she hopes inspires students. 

While music may have upsides in terms of focus, some students do understand the potential negatives that come with listening in class. 

“It (listening to music) does get distracting because the music may be too loud, and I won’t hear my teacher calling my name in the meet,” Ramon said.

Although for Haas, he said he has never seen any lag in his grades and ensures that he chooses music that will not hinder his learning. 

“I usually don’t listen to music that is too distracting when I’m in class,” Haas said. “I tend to stay away from songs with many lyrics as focus can become a competition between the teacher and the song.”