Monday, April 21, 2008

Listen While You Work

Student learning while listening to music
"You can put on your headphones, play a CD, and listen to music as you work." Students almost fell out of their seats when I told them they could start doing this on Monday. They had never heard of anything like this. First it was singing in the class. Now, we are experimenting with this in language arts. Due to the fact that each students has his/her own computer, each has a CD ROM at their desk.

There are a few rules:

1. You put a CD in the computer at the start of class, and leave it for the entire class.
2. You cannot play it loud, or bother peers.
3. Once you hit play, you must work.
Student learning while listening to music

There are several benefits when students play background music while they study, read, or write:
1. increase attention levels
2. improve retention and memory
3. extend focused learning time
4. expand thinking skills

In the brain there is a band of white fibers connecting the right and left halves of the cerebrum called the corpus callosum. Very recently researchers have discovered that the corpus callosum increases in size when humans are exposed to music. This increases communication between the two halves of the brain which increases learning efficiency.

Yiftach Levy of the Department of Educational Technology at San Diego State University studied the use of background music in the classroom. This is part of his finding.

Davidson and Powell (1986) took up this exact subject in their study of American fifth-grade science students. They reported the observations of on-task-performance (OTP) of children in the classroom over 42 class sessions, with data recorded every three minutes (10 times) per session. Treatment, in the form of easy-listening music, was delivered in between two control observations (i.e., 15 sessions without background music, 15 with, and 12 without, in that order). They determined a significant increase in OTP for the males in the classroom, and for the class as a whole.

You can read the entire report HERE.

Students have the opportunity to listen to music as they work. How will they respond?

26 comments:

Emily S. said...

MR.McGuire, I think that its so cool that you are letting us listen to the kind of music that we want to listen to, during class. When I listen to music it helps me read and focus on all my school work, because I can block out all the noise.

brittany m said...

Mr.McGuire, I agree with Emily. It helps me focus when I am doing work. It also helps me block out the noises that are around me. It is helping me a lot, I feel I am doing better in class.

caleb f said...

When I did the oat test on study island I got the best score I've ever got the music helps me focusses.



But someone will abuse it just like the gum someone will ruin it fore all of us
I don't want to stop using this.



NOBODY RUIN THIS!!!!!!

Dillon y said...

Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya what Caleb said. If I never had music I probably couldn't get through the day and now I can listen at school!!

katie w said...

I agree with Caleb and Dillon because I was listening to music when I took the OAT test and I only missed one! That was the best score I have ever gotten on that test! I love listening to music in class it is the best.

Josh P. said...

I think it is cool that we get to listen to music and all, but I'm afraid to bring in a C.D. because it will probably distract me. So I didn't bring in one.

trevor s. said...

I think bringing a CD into school and listening to it for the day is awesome. Listening to music helps me focus on my school work or any work. I got a high percentage in the accelerated category on my OAT test. I know that is not as I high as some people in this class but I tried. However I did better listening to music than I had ever done. My mom was not so sure about letting me bring in a CD to school, until she saw the blog. Thanks Mr. McGuire for letting us do such a cool thing.

Connor H. said...

I like the CD thing a lot because it keeps people quiet, while I am trying to work!!
And because it is fun.

Dimitri H. said...

I love I mean like the music thing ever since that happened my grades improved little!!!




DON'T RUIN THIS!!!!!!!!!

Trevor G said...

I like the headphone's because it keeps the person beside me quiet, while I 'm trying to work. It helps me stay on task. It blocks everything out.

Anonymous said...

I think that listing to a CD has really helped. I did better than I ever have on the bench mark test than I ever had listening to a CD.



Justin H.

laney said...

I have to say Mr McGuire you have a good choice on letting us doing this cd player thing. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! This helps me concentrate.

THANKS

Molly V. said...

Listening to music usually does help me when I am doing work, or something else. I think it is really neat listening to my favorite songs at school. Also, Mr. McGuire, I think you should check this song out on You-Tube. It is called "I Don't Want To Go To School" written by the Naked Brothers Band. I think you'd like it, or think it was funny! I agree with everything he sings in the song! (laughing) =D

Bree G. said...

hi Mr. McGuire, wow i really like that I can listen to music when I'm working in class! I think thats cool. But i can never listen to music because I DON'T EVER HAVE ANY HEADPHONES!!!! grrr lol :-D

kyle f said...

I really like the idea of you letting students listen to music while the work on their assignments. I think that this is one of the best things that you have done this year.

micah said...

It looks like Shayenne had a good time listening to her Jessie McArtney CD.

micah said...

It's cool that you let us listen to music while working. It relaxes me and helps me focus on what I'm doing other than what is going on around me.

amanda k said...

MR.McGuire,I think that it's cool that you let us bring CD to school but i don't think that it helps me because i can't think about what i am doing but it is still cool.

Mr. McGuire said...

Amanda,

If this doesn't help, don't do it. Listening to music is an individual decision. You should only play music if it helps you concentrate.

haley e. said...

I agree with Katie, Caleb, and Dillon!Because listening to music keeps me more focused on what we are doing in class and when we do those reading packet things it helps me concentrate a whole lot better!And hopefully no one will ruin this=D (well at least they better not!)

Mr. McGuire said...

So far, this experiment seems to be working. I have noticed that most students are more focused on their work. It also lessens the distractions, which will improve student concentration.

Keep up the good work!

Miss T said...

For me, the kind of music matters. I have to listen to something without lyrics, or I won't get work done -- I'm concentrating on the lyrics and singing along under my breath!

I'm encouraged by Caleb's comment, because it shows a quantifiable result. I may consider it in my classroom too!

Mr. McGuire said...

Miss T,

Thanks for joining us in this discussion. I think you make a good point. There needs to be a measurable evaluation of the quality of the work completed. As Caleb mentioned, the Study Island Benchmark scores were very good, and students listened to music as they took this test.

Tommy S said...

I agree with Caleb's post that it helps some of us on are work,but some people do abuse the music thing.

Anonymous said...

heyy i dont go to this school but i wish i did
it would be cool to listen to music during class

Lineline said...

i wish my school did that!!!!!