Allowing personal musical devices in school is a subject a great debate. The prevalence of MP3 players can cause disruptions within school life. On the positive side, listening to music can encourage a more productive working environment. Music has been linked to increased levels of concentration, improved memory and a greater capacity for self-expression. But portable music devices can also create a less productive learning environment, increasing incidents of theft, opening the door to offensive material and distracting peers from their studies.

Distraction to Learning

Although music can aid the learning process by making individuals more relaxed and enabling higher levels of concentration and memory, it can equally provide a distraction from learning. Music on personal devices can often turn into public listening. This can provide a distraction to students who work better under silent conditions. As a result, allowing personal music devices may aid the development of certain individuals but not others.

Excitement Levels

Allowing personal music devices in schools creates higher excitement levels for students. This is due to the natural movement response to rhythm. The phenomenon can result in a distraction from learning activities both for the individual listening to the music and observers. Although in some educational situations, such as class involvement and active tasks, high energy levels can be a positive thing, they can also have a detrimental effect on concentration.

Offensive Material

Allowing students to use personal music devices within the school environment may expose other students to offensive material. Music with swearing and violent lyrics -- and also video content that can be placed onto devices such as iPods -- are considered unsuitable within most school environments. The sharing of these devices can also facilitate the transfer of unsuitable material. This can be a sensitive issue for parents and guardians, as schools should not be an environment where students are exposed to inappropriate content.

Stolen Belongings

Allowing music within schools means that there will be a large number of personal music devices brought in by students. The presence of these expensive devices will lead to higher levels of theft. This will only add a distraction to the learning environment and cause headaches for administrators who must deal with theft complaints.