Sitting at a desk, tired and stressed from staring at a screen all day, senior Helena Moore decides to change the tempo. She proceeds to put on music to feel energized to keep working through her school work. When she finds some downtime, plugging in her earbuds, Moore listens to some relaxing, slow pace music to destress. Music has become part of everyday life in most students’ lives and Bonita Vista High (BVH) students are no exception.
“I feel more energized when I listen to my favorite songs that have faster tempos. These songs give me more energy to sit down and do things like homework, and the fast pace of the songs causes me to work a little faster as well,” Moore said.
Music has played a major role in Moore’s life during quarantine with overcoming the boredom of staying in her bedroom daily, and overall feeling “worn out” from it. The music she listened to before quarantine soon became redundant, causing Moore to seek out different music. More specifically, she sought out the music that helped remind Moore of her childhood.
“I looked up playlists with nostalgic songs [songs from the 2000s-2010s] to bring back some fond memories and to have more content to listen to. Looking back on and listening to what I used to listen to makes me happier and gives me nostalgia,” Moore said
Similarly, sophomore Mikial Hodges’ taste in music has changed during quarantine. Before the pandemic, he used to listen to hype music, which mainly came from rap and its subgenres. However, now Hodges started to listen to more contemporary rhythm and blues music as well as indie music. These different genres Hodges explored now make him sprinkle in more “chill” songs in his playlists, helping him relax and reflect on feelings. Hodges would “pop on a song” to reflect on those feelings that occur, ease his stress or to help him whenever he would be “getting the feels.”
“I went from listening to music that gets you energetic [to] now listening to artists and songs that make you reflect on yourself and past situations. Frank Ocean and Giveon have proven themselves to be a big part of that for me,” Hodges said.
Meanwhile, in the classroom, International Baccalaureate History Honors and Women’s Culture and the United States History teacher Candice DeVore has taken up suggestions from her students to play music just before class. She has found that it brightens up her student’s day to hear their favorite song just before the lesson starts.
“I’m hopeful that [students] are gonna have a really good day like; ‘Oh, my song was playing this morning and I love that song.’ I feel this ties another connection between me and the students,” DeVore said.
Moore’s experience echoes DeVore’s experiences with her students’ opinions, as she also puts on music to motivate herself to do classwork.
“Being able to focus on just the music forces me to relax and to think about something else so I can stop worrying. I also use it to fill the silent space when I do my homework and it makes things a little more bearable,” Moore said.
As DeVore incorporates playing music at the start of her classes, she has discovered music she has never heard before. With this new music, she has found similar interests in her and her students’ tastes in music genres.
“I can relate to the kids in a lot of those different genres. I also like the songs, and some of them are songs from groups I’ve never heard of like the Arctic Monkeys,” DeVore said.
DeVore comments how music has played a major role in all aspects of distance learning for students: coping with stress, finding the motivation to keep going and finding ways to express themselves.
“Music helps you find the words to express your feelings that you might not have words for. I think for people who sometimes lack the language or the understanding of how they’re feeling or why they’re feeling, music really elevates that. I believe music can help put you in a mood, wherever that mood might be for you,” DeVore said.