We have music from outside the dojo very frequently as there is a tango class right down the hall form us on Sunday nights. I remember also when we had an aerobics class down the hall one night doing aikido to Michael Jackson's Beat it. But myself I would prefer to keep the music out there and not inside the dojo. The idea just has very little appeal to me.
In all honesty, I see people listening to music everywhere I go. It's on their laptops, ipods, hi-fi systems, it's in elevators, in their cars, in the stores where they shop, they hear music of one kind or another while on their exercise equipment, while jogging, doing chores, when they goto church etc. I come into a dojo where Ray Charles is being played but soon, and well before another student shows up, the music is turned off. It is a white environment and it is silent--like a math lab. To my mind, the absence of music in dojos is remarkable that's all. I guess I might have asked, Why is this space, the dojo, so different from most other spaces--acoustically that is?
You know I have thought about the fact that people seem to want to have music or some other electronic device occupying part of their mind constantly no matter what they are doing or where they are. There was a news piece on just the other night about how people seem to be continually distracted by their technological gadgets and less aware of what's around them. I wonder if part of the issue is that people have forgotten how to enjoy silence or the sounds of the natural world, or of this is because they cannot quiet their racing minds without something to distract it. Perhaps it is because when one is in an environment free of outside distractions such as music they come face to face with something that they don't want to really face up to... themselves.