- Sponsorship -

When the music slows, the students scurry

Music between classes helps cue students to arrive on time

Senior Zoe Castor said the new “tardy music” that began at her high school in November took some getting used to.

“At first, I thought it was kind of weird hearing music before class, and I wasn’t really used to it, but later it seemed to be working,” said Zoe, a member of competitive cheer and softball for the Red Hawks. “When the music starts slowing down you can see people hurry up,” she added. “It’s a reminder to get to class.”

The 60-second clip, “You Are My Planet” (Piano Instrumental) by Quiet Arrows, plays before each class. It begins loudly at a fast pace and then gets quieter and slows down, prompting  students to walk more quickly to get to their next room.

Senior Zoe Castor and junior Nathan Van Kampen said the new ‘tardy music’ implemented last November at Cedar Springs High School seems to be working

33% Reduction in Tardies

Assistant Principal Jeremy Verwys read about this idea in an education journal.

“We have been trying to find ways, as every high school is, to curb student tardiness,” Verwys said. “This, more than anything we have tried to date, has really made an impact and both students and staff have noticed fewer tardies.”

He said the data so far shows a 33% reduction in tardies the past two months using the music, compared to the first three months of school without it. “As soon as the music starts … you can see students’ walking pace pick up. While certainly not a total solution, it has been a simple step in the right direction.”

Junior Nathan Van Kampen said although he has a pretty good internal clock, the music is a good reminder to speed it up a little bit.

“I think it’s working out pretty well,” said Nathan, who’s searching for an Ivy League school and then on to law school after that. “Around Thanksgiving, they changed it to the “Peanuts” theme and we were all amused by that.”

From left, Brady Mason and Miles Cartwright hurry to class as a 60-second piano melody plays in the hallways of Cedar Springs High School

Just How Much Time Between Class Anyway?

“Five minutes between class — a perfect amount of time,” Nathan said. “You have enough time to get a drink of water or talk with some friends right before class.”

Dean of Students Mike Duffy sees the positive effects of the one-minute musical warning prior to the tardy bell. “I personally have noticed that students are on time more often as I stand in the hallways between classes.”

Duffy said at first the students joked about the choice of music, but he thinks they really like it now. “Even though my suggestions of the ‘Chicken Dance’ or ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ were not used, I, too, am beginning to appreciate the music.”

“You Are My Planet” (Piano Instrumental) by Quiet Arrows is the current “tardy music” at the high school

- Sponsorship -
Cris Greer
Cris Greer
For more than three decades, Cris Greer has been a wordsmith, working in the fields of journalism, advertising and marketing. Much of the past decade, he helped grow the MLive Statewide High School Sports desk as a supervisor, editor and reporter, which included eight newspapers in Michigan and mlive.com. Cris also was a freelancer for The Grand Rapids Press, The Advance and On the Town magazine for many years. A good portion of his early career was spent building and managing the copywriting team in the advertising department at Meijer, Inc., where he oversaw copywriting for print ads, mailers, brochures, signage, several dozen in-house magazines per year and much more.


Who would you take with you to the moon?

From purifying water at home to reading about a barrier-breaking mathematician, students are learning about space from a variety of perspectives and disciplines...

Food service manager honored for work in pandemic year

A GRPS employee is honored by the School Nutrition Association of Michigan as Manager of the Year...

New building on track for fall opening

The new Central Elementary was made possible when voters approved a 30-year, $19.2 million bond in 2018...

Longtime volunteer does whatever’s needed for school: ‘I love being here’

A 24-year parent and grandparent volunteer tends to student and family needs at Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Cohorted specials usher in ‘a new kind of community’

Cedar Trails Elementary School’s “specials” teachers — art, music, physical education and literacy and technology — have joined forces to create an outdoor recreation program...

Schools in nine districts announce closures as COVID cases spike

New temporary school building closures were announced by nine school districts in Kent ISD this week, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...

CARES funding helps schools meet COVID-related costs

Across Kent County, schools are benefitting from an infusion of funds thanks to $2 million from the Kent County Board of Commissioners via the Kent County CARES Act School Grant Program...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU