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Soundtrack of our school day

Anthony Landahl and Alexis Gurschke

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The music played in the Riverside Brookfield High School hallways is more than meets the eye…or ear. It is not just music played to entertain students in the hallway: It is a strategy for the administration to control classroom attendance.

“Music was chosen to assist students in getting to class on time during passing periods. When the music stops, students know they have one minute to get to class,” said Dave Mannon, the assistant principal to student affairs. “It also assists security and the deans who enforce the tardy expectations.”

Using iTunes, a playlist of 100 songs are shuffled and played through an iPad. These songs commonly consist of top 10 hits from pop charts and are listened to by Mannon before they are played. The playlist is not limited to pop however.

“Previously we had students pick the music but had some issues with language so we stopped. Plus students were inconsistent in bringing in new music for us to play,” Mannon said. “We just pick whatever is appropriate for school.”

Though many students complain when the songs are repeated or when static blares from the intercom, they are welcomed to come in and play their own songs as long as they are clean lyrics.

“[Students] just need to bring a flash drive or CD to me so I can review it and add it to the playlist,” Mannon said.

Music serves more than just an attendance purpose for teachers and security guards. It can relieve the pain of everyday school stress.

“I think that music is important to the school because kids nowadays relate their life experiences through music,” said Colette Buscemi, assistant to Mannon, “it helps going through passing periods to hear certain music and it puts them through a whole different setting. It changes their attitude a little bit.”

In high school where things are stressful, music can serve as an optimistic outlet for students to escape to. Even if the song is disliked or played repeatedly, students always seem to focus on the music and briefly forget about the stresses of school.

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