Deep Listen Flex Time Session Educates Students on Music


Media by Kailin Zhang

Students raise their hands to vote for the music they will listen to during the next session.

As students walked through the history wing during Flex Time Oct. 4, those familiar with The Beatles recognized snippets of “Here Comes the Sun,” “You Never Give Me Your Money” and various other tracks off the album Abbey Road. 

The tunes were coming from the room of Scott Szevery, history teacher. With the lights shut off and the lyrics displayed on the screen, students gathered to enjoy the songs. They were taking part in the first Deep Listen session held by Szevery.

Kaitlyn Chan, senior, was one of the students participating. Chan said, as a freshman, she always looked forward to Szevery’s class because he would play music as students walked into class. 

“I don’t think I’ll forget that,” Chan said. “I also heard some pretty good music through that class.” 

Chan said the session was a great opportunity to gather with other students to enjoy music and a calm moment during school. She plans on coming back to future Deep Listen sessions and appreciated learning more about music.

“There’s never a part of the school day where it is just silent, so it is relaxing to hear the music,” Chan said. “Essentially, I’ve never heard The Beatles before, and they have some really good songs. I think everyone should know a little more about music.”

Szevery said the goal of the meetings is to come together and appreciate some of the great works from the last 50 years of music history. His inspiration came from the recognition that many students share a love for music. 

As a history teacher, I’m also interested in the different eras of music and the history behind it all.”

— Scott Szevery

“I’ve been a music fan ever since I was a little kid and I have a huge music collection,” Szevery said. “As a history teacher, I’m also interested in the different eras of music and the history behind it all. Something that’s been meaningful in my life is being exposed to new music, so I hope I can open some new doors for students.” 

Szevery said meetings are currently scheduled for the first session of Flex Time on Fridays, but the date may change if there are conflicts or students would rather come in on a different day. He said information will be posted through the school announcements so students can know when to come.

“My goal each meeting is to talk for a couple minutes about a classic album from the 60s all the way to the present and just discuss why people love it and why it is famous,” Szevery said. “Then just play it with lyrics up on the screen so that students can see it as a work of art and maybe be able to relax at the same time.”  

Principal Dr. Steve Hankins said part of the motivation for establishing Flex Time in the first place is to get students more involved and provide an opportunity for people to explore their passions. 

“It’s really twofold. One, we want this time’s main goal to be academics and help take the academic load off some of the students who get lots of homework or need time to meet with teachers,” Dr. Hankins said. “After academics, we want students to get involved. Even if it’s not traditional clubs, if it’s something fun every once in awhile, I’m all for it.”

Dr. Hankins said the administration is getting feedback in order to continue to improve Flex Time. The administration sent out a survey to students and staff last week to collect information on what’s working, what’s not working, what things people would like to see and how Flex Time is going in general. 

“In the future, I’d like to see students really taking advantage of Flex Time academically,” Dr. Hankins said. “I’d also love to see outside speakers come in and other activities that help provide opportunities to open students’ eyes to the possibilities that are out there.”