Last year the students in my class asked if they could listen to music while we worked. This in itself doesn’t sound too drastic a request and as they were a very reasonable bunch I was tempted on several occasions. The students followed this request with assurances that listening to music while they studied helped them to relax and therefore perform better. However, this has always been a bit of a debatable claim in my mind, especially as my own experience in listening to music while I studied only resulted in me becoming totally distracted and ultimately drifting off into “song land”. Well, at the risk of upsetting my former students (and the ones to come), I recently came across an article from David Cutler, a teacher in Florida who clearly had the same misgivings as myself. He cites research from Dr Nick Perham from Cardiff University in Wales who conducted experiments to finally solve this ongoing dilemma. I won’t go into the details here, but the upshot of the research was that listening to music while studying has a clear negative effect on performance. I don’t wish to be a killjoy, or be the instigator of a new area of parent/child confrontation, but it’s true. If you want to check out the very interesting and well written details click the link to David’s page above. A small “Sorry” in advance to my new class.