How to Quiet Students with Classical Music — an eye-witness account

Learning how to quiet students with classical music can revolutionize your school! It can revolutionize you as well, whether you are a principal, teacher, staff member, or assistant.

Don’t believe it? The principal of Wilson Middle School did not believe it either. His students ranged in age from 11 to 16, and the full-time campus police officer regularly confiscated drugs, handguns, and other weapons. His reports showed that contraband items came in with every age group. In fact, a gun entered the school in an 11-year-old’s pocket.

The “how to quiet students with classical music” question did not arise because students brought in drugs and weapons, of course. A great percentage of students arrived each morning with chips on their shoulders, ready to fight with or without the slightest provocation. Both physical and verbal hallway fights collided with ordinary pupil conversations, causing raised voices on the part of all. Add slamming locker doors, dropped books and backpacks, etc. and what do you get? Wilson Middle School got enough noise to threaten meltdown of every mental volume meter.

Agitated students rushed the din through classroom doorways to stressed teachers. Stressed teachers shouted, “No talking” followed by “I need quiet!” When continuing noise drained their last ounce of patience, they hurled threatening words at students. The noise continued unabated. Exhausted teachers sent the worst offenders to the troubled principal, who reasoned, penalized, but failed to achieve lasting quiet. Office, cafeteria, and janitorial staff moved to the front lines of the war, but soon retreated. Academic achievement became increasingly difficult, and students who wanted it voiced frustration. Their parents echoed the call for quiet.

Then a new teacher entered the school. Aghast at the noise level, she asked the principal for a few minutes after school to discuss a possible solution.

“I know how to quiet students with classical music,” she offered. “Studies have proven it effective in teaching mathematics, as well as in quieting students. Your financial investment would be minimal since you already have sound equipment and speakers throughout the building. The only outlay would be for recordings of good orchestras playing the right music.”

The principal jumped at the idea, and immediately purchased recordings of Mozart’s music. The music was playing the next day when students entered the building, pushing and shouting as before. Suddenly, a student stopped, looked at a nearby hall speaker, and said, “What’s that?” In minutes, the noise level dropped as one student after another lowered their voices to hear the music. Some began to scoff at the unfamiliar melodies, but fellow-students silenced them. Locker doors closed quietly and students entered classrooms asking why that music was playing. Teachers merely smiled and asked, “Do you like it?” With few exceptions, the students did.

The hallway music began in early April. A week later, the principal extended it to the classrooms, where it played while students settled into their seats and prepared for work. The music played between classes and during every break period. At the end of day, classical music escorted students from the building. The classical music quieted students dramatically! Teachers enjoyed extended time for teaching, since students became quiet and attentive. Students enjoyed climbing achievement marks in their studies, since the music prepared them to study. Everyone saw a reduction in bullying, too, as the classical music calmed spirits.

Wilson Middle School’s principal continued to play classical music every day to the end of that semester. The next school term, he made sure classical music played from Day One onward throughout the year. Like people of ancient times, who quieted agitated minds with quiet music, he learned how to quiet students with classical music.

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