Letter: '80s music can reduce 'fast times' at Ridgefield High

To the Editor:

For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed listening to ‘80s music. Whether it is rock or pop, I feel that the ‘80s were the golden decade for music, and it seems that this may not just be my subjective opinion.

This past winter I read a letter in The Ridgefield Press that cited a recent study conducted by the Turkish-based cosmetic surgery centre Vera Clinic. It found that listening to ‘80s pop music is an effective way to relieve stress.

As a high school student living through a pandemic, I am familiar with stress. Even under normal circumstances school can be a stressful experience, and the hallways are often filled with students experiencing anxiety for various reasons such as exams. It is for those reasons that I believe Ridgefield High School, and other schools, should consider playing ‘80s music in the hallways.

The Vera Clinic study compared different music genres to see which were the best at relieving stress; ‘80s music was found to be most effective at lowering blood pressure and creating a drop in heart rate. As students walk through the halls, our minds are buzzing with anxious or stressful thoughts. Whether it is an upcoming test or a confusing homework assignment, it is often all we can think about. Not only is this stress bad for our mental and physical health, it can also weaken our performance in school.

While the administration has already taken significant steps to find ways to reduce students’ stress, they may be missing out on an unconventional opportunity: playing ‘80s music in the halls and cafeterias to distract students from the anxieties of a typical school day. It doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘80s music — though, in my opinion, that’s the best option — another study conducted by Harvard Health Publishing found that all types of music reduce stress to some degree.

I implore the Ridgefield High School administration to consider playing an ‘80s soundtrack over the loudspeaker, at least to see whether it works. It could play softly in the background as something to listen to as you walk through the halls. Additionally, if the music is only played in between periods, there is no worry of disrupting students during classes.

If it doesn’t work, we can go back to status quo. But if it does work (as the Vera Clinic study suggests it will), students — as well as faculty — would benefit from schooldays

with lowered levels of stress. While I don’t expect this idea will eliminate stress and anxiety altogether, every little bit helps. So let’s reduce high school stress with a blast from the past.

Caden Fincham, Ridgefield