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Here's a completely unscientific observation that seems to suggest that
music is a good facilitator.  Being a folk-rock junky, I usually turn my
tape player on when I come into our learning center so I can listen to my
tunes before we officially open for business.  Sometimes I get so wrapped
up in what I'm doing that I forget to turn the machine off, so Simon and
Garfunkel, Arlo Guthrie, Credence, CSNY, John Denver, Pete Seeger, etc. are
bopping in the background when students come in.  When I do turn the music
off, students actually come up to my desk and ask me to turn it back on.
This intrigued me, so I started asking them why and got answers like, "It
makes it easier to study," or "Sometimes it gets noisy when the tutors are
helping or people are talking, and the music makes it easier to
concentrate," or "I can't do my work when it's quiet."

I should also say that our learning center is set up so that there are
designated "quiet areas" where students who want crypt-like quiet can go to
work and study.

Ed.
"Humor is Dramamine for the soul."