I have always been one to listen to background noise when I was growing up studying, although I know it is not for everyone. For some, the background noise is a distraction. For me the distraction was the dead silence...chirp chirp.
I need something. If what I am working on is super important then I will listen to music without words. I gave the students the same choice a few weeks ago, and I have found it to be extremely beneficial. I use the iTunes Radio, I do not let them use the featured stations, but added our own. The students requested some stations, and I gave them a listen (if I didn't know them) and added them. They listen for a month at a time, and at the beginning of the month I will delete the radio stations and take new requests. I will leave the ones that they love (like the Frozen Radio Station)...the top station in my room!
We are coming up to the beginning of the month and I have a long list of "must leave on the list" radio stations! They don't know it yet, but I will be adding an irish station in honor of St. Patrick's Day! We just shared our idea with the second graders, and we hope they get as much enjoyment out of it as we do during our work time.
For those friends who can't work with the music, then they just put on their headphones, and listen to the sweet sweet silence. It has made everyone happy.