My children attended a high school that encouraged its students to listen to music if it helped them focus on their work. Neither ear buds, nor phones, nor iPods were banned.
I like this philosophy of beginning with trust. It shows both faith in a student’s ability to make appropriate choices, and then values the student’s choice.
Students who were distracted by music received help or support depending on their needs. The teachers’ overarching goal was to help students learn what worked best and helped them concentrate.
For me, it depends on what the task is, so I adjust my environment accordingly. Favorite musical soundtracks, jazz, or early music are some of what I use. Today, I offer Frédérik Chopin’s (1810-1849) Prelude No. 15 in D-flat Major, also known as the “Raindrop.” How does this piece work for you?