Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What, I Can Really Listen to Music in Class?

You can see the shock on this student's face.
Students were amazed when I told them they could start listening to music as they read or worked. They had never heard of anything like this. First it was singing in the class. Now, I was telling them they could bring their IPod to class.  This just had to be too good to be true.

Each students has his/her own computer, so each has a CD ROM at their desk.  Or, if they choose, they can bring in an MP3 player.  When I surveyed each class, the majority of students listen to music each night as they read and/or do their homework.  Why not allow it in school?  When I have done this before, it seemed to help a lot of students avoid distraction.

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.
4. You cannot use class time to switch from track to track.

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. 

Image from http://dresslikenick.com/.


Ashlee J.22 said...

we were never allowed to listen to music in class boo! You sixth graders this year got lucky! Good luck to all you students when it comes to Mr.McGuire! Fyi Mr.McGuire I actally had straight A's for like 5weeks until my launguage arts class got harder now i got a B+.

Mr. McGuire said...

I am glad you are doing a great job at McDowell! Maybe I am the lucky one with this year's sixth graders. :)

Megan B. said...

Hi Mr.McGuire it's me Megan. I just thought that since Mrs.Caudill is letting us have a new blog that I would tell you that I'm having a blast at McDowell! The one thing I miss about Laurelville is all my favorite teachers.

I wish we could listen to our IPods to school! Usually listening to music when I work helps calm my nerves and helps me think better.

Cassandra D. said...

Thats no fair because all we got to do was sing!!! Do they still get to sing I hope so cause it was fun!!!! By the way Jack D. said "Mr.McGuire isn't a very good Social Studies teacher because he has never TEACHED it before"!!!! So you should yell at him although I already did!!! I hope yopu have a great year!!!!

Mr. McGuire said...

Cassie, you should know by now that life is not fair.

I know Jack would never say anything like that! :) For sure he would say taught and not teached .

Check out this post:


Cassie D. said...

That is Funny!!! You should go to Ms.Woods Classroom and give Katelynn the book Among the Hidden. I am on the Fifth one (Among the Brave) and am planing on Reading the other two this weekend!!! :)I also started to read Twilight, Which is Amazing!! I've already gotten into trouble for saying "I done did that" By Mrs.Lourage, But she is still a great teacher just like the rest of them and you. How has your class been???? I hope their a great class and tell them I said enjoy it while you can because next year you will start to miss all your teachers no matter how many smarties they through at Ms.Griffy and how much they say "Cassie is a Brat, Cassie is a Brat". :)

Kyra Sass said...

Wow that is so cool that you let the students listen to music well they work or read you are the best teacher ever!!