School Day Song Suggestions

Opinions about listening to music while studying and some playlist suggestions.


media by Elly Brooks

MJ Mejia ’25 works on math homework while listening to her favorite song, “Neighbors” by J. Cole, during her off period Nov. 17. Mejia has always kept up with her tradition of listening to music while she works on homework throughout the years. “It helps me concentrate and it keeps me calm and it makes me happy,” Mejia said.

by Elly Brooks, Social Media Manager

You can feel your heartbeat start to pick up and your attention span getting smaller and smaller as you attempt to do the assignment your teacher assigned. You can hear the chewing of the person next to you, the hard breathing of the boy across from you, and the fingers of your friends tapping and typing on the keyboard next to you. 

Suddenly, you put your headphones on and hear the beats and melodies run through your body, calming your nerves and allowing you to push through and finish the assignment. 

Throughout the years, technological advancements have impacted and influenced the school environment. 21st-century technology like phones, computers, and the Internet allow school work to be done more efficiently and bring many new resources to the table. 

Within those resources, many students and even teachers use music as a resource to help students and classrooms to be more focused and inviting. 

There are debates within the education system if music should be allowed within the school environment: if it is just distracting or if it actually helps students and their work. The musical melodies and rhythms allow students’ brains to wake up and become more creative and leads to more positive attitudes within the classroom. 

According to Nancy Barlie, a national board certified teacher, “In fact, in “music-listening work cultures,” which students are certainly part of, there’s actually a psychological withdrawal when the musical stimulus is taken away.” 

English Teacher Peter DeFilippo:

Q: Why do you always play music during class?

A:  I like to play music during class, specifically when students have work time, whether it’s time to work on writing assignments, or reading. One of the reasons I like to play music is for me. Personally, I don’t like when it’s just dead quiet in my classroom. It feels kind of lifeless and depressing when that happens. So, I like to have some music just to have something on in the background. But, I also found that it helps my students to be more focused and more productive. If I can play something mellow, like indie rock, students typically respond pretty well and that helps them. 

Q: Do you like to see a difference when you play music versus when you don’t?

A: I definitely see a difference when I play music. If I don’t play music, it’s more likely that students will start talking and start kind of getting fidgety, moving around, not being able to focus very well. I found a couple of years ago that when I started playing music during individual work time that helped my students to stay more focused on the task at hand. So, I’ve definitely seen a positive impact with playing music during work time in my classroom.

Q: Do you think music should be allowed for students to listen to all throughout the classroom or only during work time?

A: I don’t think they should be able to listen to it at all times, like when teachers are giving directions or explaining assignments, giving helpful reminders. Students should definitely not have music on then, they should be paying attention. That also plays into not just paying attention to those important reminders but also showing respect to your teachers. Once students do have time where they’re working on something individually and they’re supposed to be working on something quiet, I don’t see any harm in letting them listen to music if it’s going to help them stay more focused.

Q: Do you see any harm when you play music?

A: The only harm I see is that because I am too lazy to get Spotify Premium the music gets interrupted by ads, so sometimes that throws off my students, but besides that, typically, I think students respond very well to the music that I play in the classroom.

Q: What’s your favorite song?

A: Two of my favorite songs are “Everlong” by Foo Fighters, and “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers.


MJ Mejia ‘25:

Q: How do you feel music helps you?

A: It helps me concentrate and it keeps me calm and makes me happy.

Q: How often do you listen to music?

A: All the time. About 13 hours a day.

Q: Do you listen to music during all activities? Do you feel it calms you or lifts up your positive attitude?

A: Yes, I listen to music during the day in school and also when I go home. It definitely makes me happy when I’m not, and I feel like I can be more productive with my day. 

Q: Do you think it helps with mental health?

A: I do. I think that when you don’t feel good or you need an escape, you can just put on music and not have to think about whatever is not making you feel good. 

Q: Do you think music should be allowed in school at all times?

A: Yes. I don’t think it distracts me from my teachers or my schoolwork. 

Q: What’s your favorite song?

A: “Neighbors” by J. Cole.