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Music Gets Them Moving

Washington Township High School in Sewell integrated an innovative method for mobilizing students in-between classes.

Posted March 16, 2009 by Mallory Gelert

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Washington Township High School
Washington Township High School students listen to music in-between classes.
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It’s not easy to get to class on time at sprawling Washington Township High School in Sewell.

But since October, the school has improved the process by broadcasting music during the final 30 seconds of each five-minute passing time. The music alerts students that it’s time to get moving.

“There are no clocks in the hallways, and kids aren’t allowed to use cell phones,” says instrumental music teacher Jim Beyer. “Kids don’t even wear watches anymore,” he adds.

The 30-second music clips are edited by students from the school’s Modern Music Master honor society, under Beyer’s direction. Any of the school’s nearly 3,000 students can request a favorite song to be included in the project. Faculty members get to submit their favorites for Teacher Tune Tuesdays. Themed music is played on holidays.

Within the program’s first month, the school experienced a “substantial drop” in lateness, Beyer says. Only 105 infractions were recorded, compared to 142 in the same month the prior year.

“They seem to be good with it,” Beyer says of WTHS students. “You can just see that as soon as the music starts playing, they pick up the pace.”

The program is especially rewarding for the honor society students. “It allows our kids to use their creativity,” Beyer says.

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