Covering the Bronco Nation.
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Kristen Bosecker, 12, looks at Twitter on her phone during class.

Ellen Brutsché

Kristen Bosecker, 12, looks at Twitter on her phone during class.

Music to the Next Level : Soundcloud Rap

April 26, 2019

As he taps to the sound streaming from his headphones, he contemplates making a sound of his own. Sophomore Victor Rodriguez scrolls through Soundcloud during class and has a lightbulb moment – one that now shapes the way he views music.

From the thump of a raw beat, to the studio and to millions of ears, music, specifically, rap traveled throughout time. Hip Hop/ R&B reached new heights topping music charts, and even drove people to pair specific dance moves with classic songs like the whip and nae nae, the woah, the reverse and more. Rodriguez hopes to reach people through his music and he’s doing that through Soundcloud rapping.

“I saw other artists doing it, and it seemed cool to me because, over the years, I wanted to do something special that other people could not do,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez hopes to inspire kids through his music and dreams to take his art to the next level. According to a survey done by Inc., 20 percent of students want jobs as musicians. American teens aspire to grow out of the mundane white collar jobs and explore new jobs in entertainment. Teens like Rodriguez represent that growing statistic.

“I have a really big passion for rapping and I hope to inspire many people through my art,” Rodriguez said.

I have a really big passion for rapping and I hope to inspire many people through my art.”

— Rodriguez

Rodriguez started writing poems in sixth grade, but he took it more seriously when he reached eighth grade and realized he had a passion for rapping. Soundcloud become a free-range platform which upcoming singers and rappers use to showcase their talent.

Other students simply let their emotions and reactions to the music do the talking and listen rather than create.

Scattered across his desk lay printed notes, pages of homework and several writing utensils. He takes two deep breaths and stares at his current problem, but he cannot focus. Sophomore Aaron Wu picks up his phone, untangles his earbuds and chooses the first song that comes to mind. He can finally concentrate.

“It makes homework fun and enjoyable when your favorite song is playing,” Wu said. “In class sometimes, I listen to music to block out distractions from my peers. I may use instrumentals or classical music to try and lessen the distractions.”

Both Wu and Rodriguez use music to their advantage and acknowledge its importance. While one takes music to the next level and creates his own sound, the other simply enjoys listening to his favorite melodies.

“Overall, I hope to teach people that they can do whatever they want to do and be whatever they want to be,” Rodriguez said.

Music In Education: Learning By the Beat

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Music In Education: Learning By the Beat

Amara Shanks, 10, spends time on social media.

Amara Shanks, 10, spends time on social media.

Delayne Fierro

Amara Shanks, 10, spends time on social media.

Delayne Fierro

Delayne Fierro

Amara Shanks, 10, spends time on social media.

The teacher scans the room and sees students asleep, distracted or unattentive. Biology teacher Arelvia Davis shows dissatisfaction and thinks of ways to switch up the class dynamic. She feels the need to make it fun, so she comes up with the idea of creating sing-a-long music that pairs with whatever the students learn in class. She takes a specific song, then creates her own rendition to apply to topics such as genetics, ecology and enzymes.

“Students were bored and not listening, so it was a way to get their attention and force them to learn,” Ms. Davis said.

In a survey, 50 percent of students claim that Ms. Davis’s songs benefit them and help them recall information during a test or quiz. According to scientific research journal, 96 percent of students agree that music helps them to concentrate on studies. Freshman Elisabeth Orie adds that Ms. Davis’ way of incorporating music to learning helps learn and remember information.

“The songs put a rhythm to things we need to know and so they’re easier to remember,” Orie said.

In a survey conducted, 35 percent of students agree that listening to music while studying helps them to tune distractions out and focus. According to a study done by Florida National University, music produces several positive effects on a human’s body and brain. The other benefits state that music is proven to ease student stress, reduce test anxiety and improve performance and brain functions. Ms. Davis promotes these benefits when she remakes songs for her students.

Davis does not necessarily always look to rap for inspiration for new songs to remake, but she does like to switch it up every now and then and plans to incorporate more songs that her students listen to nowadays.

“I like to use rap songs because I like the beat, and I want to get more into it,” Davis said.

Music in Education: Constricted Creativity

In Mr. Davis' room, juniors  Megan Novak and Justin Pham study for the state competition.

Ryland Mallett

In Mr. Davis' room, juniors Megan Novak and Justin Pham study for the state competition.

In a room surrounded by blank white walls, Junior Janell Ledesma feels squished. She feels compressed in a room with little to no visual stimulation. She reaches to her phone, opens Spotify and presses play. At that moment, she experiences a rush of relief that helps make school a little more bearable.

Music stimulates the brain and creates positive effects on those who enjoy it. Although the use of music has great attributes, it is attributed to laziness. When students use their phones, most teachers come to the conclusion that they are distracted. Whereas in reality, students like Ladesma use their phones to feel focused.

“I can focus better when I’m listening to music,” Ledesma said. “rather than listening to people having distracting conversations.”

A survey showed a group of students said 83 percent of the students stated when they listen to music, their attention and focus heighten. Whereas 16.7 percent of the students who don’t listen to music might be completely fine with the lack of creative stimulation in Legacy.

“Some classes don’t even have windows in them,” Ledesma said. “It’s very tiring and draining to do your best in a boring environment. Music just helps give me {that} extra boost.”

To receive an extra boost comes with a cost. On page 45 in the student handbook, the use of phones within an instructional period is prohibited. Listening to music during class results in a $15  fee.

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