Drop The Beat: Spotify should be unrestricted on school internet

Drop The Beat: Spotify should be unrestricted on school internet

Ray Mo

Iam an avid Spotify user. Each morning, I wake up to the sound of lo-fi hip hop. In the car, I jam out to my favorite Spotify beats. Even when I am studying, I listen to instrumental music. But for the seven hours of my day that I am in school, I can do none of these things. Spotify is banned on school internet, meaning that for about seven hours of my day, I am not able to listen to music unless I listen to it through another music service.

Spotify is a valuable resource students should be able to take advantage of. It is a free music service, meaning students can tap into a vast wealth of music without paying anything. However, due to the Spotify ban, many students are forced to turn to alternate music streaming services such as SoundCloud, which may not offer the wide range of music that Spotify does. Others choose to use paid services such as Apple Music or Spotify Premium, which allows users to access downloaded songs offline. This comes at an obvious disadvantage to students: students have to pay a monthly subscription fee for music they could otherwise obtain at no cost.

So why is Spotify being singled out? The question baffles me. While students cannot access Spotify on school wifi, they can easily access the other aforementioned music services, effectively rendering the Spotify ban as more of a nuisance to students than an actual ban on music. So unless there is something uniquely wrong about Spotify, I believe that students should be allowed to take advantage of Spotify for its educational benefits.

First of all, Spotify itself is a digital music service and nothing more. This means that when a student is listening to music, he can still be focused on school-related tasks. For example, in a block like SRT based around independent work, I find myself listening to music much of the time. To me, music helps me focus and stay on task because it blocks out external stimuli and makes studying a bit more interesting.

The benefits of listening to music are not unsubstantiated either. According to the University of San Diego, listening to classical music can ease test anxiety by lowering blood pressure in listeners. Research from the University of Birmingham suggests listening to background music improves productivity in repetitive tasks. In any case, music can have a variety of benefits to students.

Listening to music has its own time and place. I am not saying listening to music is the panacea to improving focus, nor do I advocate listening to music during lectures or group activities. However, I do believe that, in the right context, being allowed to use Spotify would benefit students greatly. So until the ban is lifted, let’s stick to listening to our downloaded music.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Ray Mo at [email protected]