Hallway Hits: CHS strikes a new chord with passing period music

Students rush to class as the passing period music plays on May 4. Photo by Gaby Gutierrez.


Students rush to class as the passing period music plays on May 4. Photo by Gaby Gutierrez.

Gaby Gutierrez, News Editor

In an effort to enhance the school’s positive culture and brighten students’ days, administrators have been playing music during the final minute of each passing period in place of the usual warning bell. Music choices have ranged from “Finesse” by Bruno Mars to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The quick snippets of music interspersed throughout the day have been credited with helping students manage the transition between classes and improving school morale.

“It’s good for time management because it lets you know when your last 30 seconds are so you can rush to your class if you’re across the school,” junior Raita Kamal said.

School administrators introduced the passing period music the week of March 1 as a way to improve the safety of the school.

“Mr. O’Reilly, who’s in charge of all things building safety and security, was working on checking all of our speakers and PAs [public address system] throughout the building, and there were some areas that needed to be fixed,” Principal Amy Goodloe said. “What’s an easy way to check? Add a little music.”

CHS is not the only FCPS school to have introduced passing period music. Many students who previously attended Rocky Run Middle School might remember the passing period music being played in those hallways, too. However, after Rocky Run’s renovation in 2019, the new intercom system—which was more complicated than the previous system—did not allow for the continuation of passing period music. At CHS, the intercom system does allow for the introduction of music, although with some technological limitations.

The sound system used by administrators to control the passing period music. Photo by Gaby Gutierrez

“We got a little teeny tiny mp4 player that runs off a source in the back of the bell system and it plugs into the auxiliary,” Assistant Principal Tim O’Reilly said. “I have it on a continuous loop, so it just runs through the music, so you get what you get.”

According to the University of Chicago, listening to music has many positive benefits. Music is processed by the amygdala, the part of the brain which regulates emotions so listening to music can decrease stress, relieve anxiety and improve a person’s mood.

While many students feel the addition of passing period music is a positive change, opinions differ on the current music selection itself.

“The classical music makes me rush, like, I’m trying to arrive at my steady pace,” junior Samanvi Vemula said.

Certain music selections have been more popular than others. However, some students feel the school should steer away from certain types of music.

“I don’t think you should go country or classical unless it’s good country or classical, that’s all,” Kamal said.

In an effort to better accommodate students’ music taste, The Knightly News (TKN) took song suggestions from students through a Google form linked in the description of their YouTube videos; the only requirements were that the topics of the songs be without controversy and and the songs may not have any curse words. The form is no longer open; however, The Knightly News hopes to open up the form in the fall of next year.

“We started the [TKN] announcement and got pretty good numbers,” TKN executive producer, senior Eli Elhers said. “I think there were like 80 to 85 songs that got requested, and I think 75 of them were clean and are going in.”

Overall, since its introduction this year, the public reception to the passing period music has been positive.

“It brings a lot of positivity,” Goodloe said. “You know, if it’s something that people like and gives a bit of brightness or variety to the day, then I think it enhances the culture in a positive way.”