Homework Harmony

Freshwoman+Samantha+Schubert+is+an+advocate+of+listening+to+music+while+doing+homework+because+it+blocks+out+distracting+noises+and+keeps+her+awake+when+she+works+late+into+the+night.+Songs+that+accompany+her+homework+hours+include+%22Carry+On%22+by+Fun.+and+%22Pompeii%22+by+Bastille.

Freshwoman Samantha Schubert is an advocate of listening to music while doing homework because it blocks out distracting noises and keeps her awake when she works late into the night. Songs that accompany her homework hours include “Carry On” by Fun. and “Pompeii” by Bastille.

Freshwoman Samantha Schubert is an advocate of listening to music while doing homework because it blocks out distracting noises and keeps her awake when she works late into the night. Songs that accompany her homework hours include "Carry On" by Fun. and "Pompeii" by Bastille.
Freshwoman Samantha Schubert is an advocate of listening to music while doing homework because it blocks out distracting noises and keeps her awake when she works late into the night. Songs that accompany her homework hours include “Carry On” by Fun. and “Pompeii” by Bastille.

If there’s one thing that all Mercy girls have in common, it’s the enormous amount of homework that they are assigned each night. Though everyone does homework, each student has her own way of lessening the monotony of a math worksheet or grinding out an English essay. One homework strategy used often by Mercy students is listening to music while doing homework. Samantha Schubert, a freshwoman, recommends this tactic.

“Put on something that you don’t have to think about that much, like classical music,” Schubert said. “Make it very, very quiet, so you can still hear things going on around you, but you can hear the music in the back of your mind.”

While doing her homework, Schubert listens to alternative, pop, and classic rock songs such as “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie, “Carry On” by Fun., and “Pompeii” by Bastille.

“It’s the only thing that keeps me awake when I am doing math at midnight,” said Schubert.

A song that especially helps keep Schubert awake late at night while she toils away at her homework is “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath.

“In the beginning, there’s really heavy guitar,” said Schubert. “It’s really loud, and really strong, so when you listen to it, you’re definitely not going to be falling asleep.”

Freshwoman Charlotte Keais also listens to music while doing homework. Her regular music tastes are much different from the music she listens to while working on homework.

“It should be stuff you usually don’t listen to so you’ll be focusing more on homework and not on the music,” Keais said. “But it has to be something you like.”

Hannah Paschal, a sophomore, listens to popular music such as songs by Bruno Mars while doing homework.

“I have to listen to something that’s really active, something that’s really upbeat,” said Paschal.

However enthusiastic some students might be about their musical study habits, others find that listening to music while doing homework is an impediment to their focus. Junior Madeline Bresson has tried listening to music, but has found that it does not work for her.

“I get distracted really easily, and I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing,” Bresson said. “I’ve tried everything. My mom has even tried classical music in the background, and I still get distracted. It doesn’t work.”

Julia Kirby, a sophomore, is also distracted by listening to music while working on homework.

“I’ll start singing to it, and I just don’t focus on what I’m doing,” said Kirby. “I listen to classical music sometimes, but I still end up humming it.”

Recent studies support Bresson and Kirby’s arguments. A study by the University of Wales Institute on how background music affects students’ ability to complete a serial recall test indicates that having music playing while doing homework, whether the music is liked or disliked, lowers students’ academic performance. Students in the study who were placed in a quiet environment had higher scores than those who listened to music.

Despite this evidence, Schubert is still convinced that listening to music while doing homework is helpful to a student’s study regimen.

“Don’t people say that listening to classical music when you’re a baby makes you smarter?” Schubert said. “So isn’t this kind of the same thing?”