Do not do your homework while listening to music.
The above statement is one the student has heard time and time again, from parents, teachers, and, heavens forbid, even his or her own nerdy friends. Of course, the reprimand does not just apply to music, but any other distraction as well, such as television or the telephone or even a friend nearby.
I must admit, I am most certainly guilty of violating the order myself. As I sit at this laptop clicking away on the keyboard, Brahmsí clarinet trio is floating out of the speakers. It canít hurt, anyway, I reason; this is creative stuff, notÖstudying and memorization. And it has no lyrics, right? No distraction there.
Is that really a legitimate excuse? Iím sure we all have one in one form or the other. But letís put them to the test. Does it really hurt?
Try picking up a novel and reading it for five minutes with a distraction squealing about in the background. Then, put down the book and lean back. Think a bit. What did you just read?
For me, the answer will almost always be the same: Something along the lines of this or thatÖI think. I dunno.
Like most people, while I claim to be able to multitask, the fact is that Iím not all too efficient about it. Can I scribble down a poem for English while my friends talk beside me? Well, yes. But does the poem sound good? No. And what were my friends just talking about? I really donít have much of a clue.
For me, distractions are just that: distractions. I am horrible at continuing my train of thought, my flow of mood, my ribbon of relevant information. Itís not necessarily that I forget what Iím writing so much as it is that I cannot get past the barrier provided by that distraction. Like for most others, concentrating on an assignment of any sort is difficult when thereís so much noise about. I work fifty times as slow, and am .01% as productive.
This observation has become especially rooted since homework has piled up on me this year. I need to find time to do it all, but there are only so many free hours in a day! I attempt to do my homework during another class, during lunch, in periods where Iím not assigned much for the dayÖbut I get absolutely nothing done. Itís frustrating; I need to cram, but Iím not able to. Am I the only one who suffers from this ailment? I think not. For my own selfish sake, I hope not. I donít want to be alone in my boat.
Thus, attempts to rectify the situation have sprouted. UhÖIíll do all my studying at home when itís quieter, I suppose. And hey! It worked! I got my homework done in three hours instead of five! I really do work better without noise.
And you canít deny the fact that most people believe that, really. Think about it. We take tests in quiet rooms (for the most part). We rehearse performances with chitchat kept to a minimum. We take notes in hushed lecture halls. Perhaps we do perform better in the silence.
With that said, I kindly command you to do your next homework assignment without music. Iíve turned mine off.
Too bad my sister has begun to practice her clarinet.
If you spot any mistakes, accept my sincere apologies. I blame it on the lack of silence.