Does listening to music when studying aid learning?

Many of the students in my lessons invariably want to listen to music on personal earphones while completing independent learning activities such as writing assignments or reading texts. Music appears to play an important part in the day-to-day life of most of my learners, many of whom evidently find it difficult to concentrate in silence.

However, my own college imposes a policy of no music in lessons and it falls to my colleagues and myself to enforce that rule (Bucks College Group 2017). While this may appear trivial, it does impact on my teaching in two important ways. Firstly, I spend a considerable amount of time and effort ‘policing’ this ban on music which has a knock-on effect on my lessons. Secondly, it can also have a detrimental effect on my relationship with my learners, who often view my attempts to enforce this rule as unnecessary, if not vindictive.