Benefits of Using BGM in Education

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Why would a K12 or higher education institution use background music? After all, background music is for hospitality such as hotels, restaurants, and retail stores right? Wrong!

We know that studies have shown that background music increases the amount of time a shopper will spend in a store. Other studies report increased cognitive function and decreased anxiety levels in adults 65 and older. And there are numerous studies that attribute background music in the classroom to improved behaviors such as motivation to learn, the ability to stay on task, and other positive behaviors. Background music can provide an inviting, calm, and comfortable atmosphere that students enjoy and let's be honest - getting students to want to be in school is half the battle.

But what other benefits to background music can an educational institution experience?

What if I told you tardiness could be reduced by using background music in the hallways?

It's true! When the bell rings, students are released from class to go to their lockers, take a bathroom break, and get a drink. They typically have 3-4 minutes before they have to be seated and ready in their next class. During these 3-4 mins, using a BGM system can reduce the number of students reported as tardy to their next class.

How you say? The same software that controls the bell schedule also controls the speakers used for paging. The software can be setup to play music (stored locally) in between bells. While the music is playing, the system counts down until there are 60 seconds left before the next class should start. The music slowly increases in tempo as the count down gets to 30 seconds. It gets even faster at 10 seconds until the bell finally rings and the music fades out.

The gradual increase in tempo creates a sense of urgency and subconsciously helps the students know their time is running out. Think about it... You see people dancing slow to slow music but when a faster paced song comes on, their moves get a little faster too. The natural reaction to fast paced music is to move a little faster.

How fun would it be to choose the music used for this purpose. Maybe use holiday music during appropriate dates. Maybe various genres of songs about being late or running behind. The Bangles classic "Manic Monday" on Mondays. And you would have to rock Alice Coopers' "School's Out" after the last bell on the last day of the school year.

What other ways could background music be beneficial other than just providing music?