A couple of days ago, I was teaching a class over brunch at a café near my place. The TV was on, showing a variety show where Brazilian country music stars Chitãozinho & Xororó were performing apparently in celebration of the duet’s 40th career anniversary. And it was kind of loud, too, to the point where you could hear some customers complaining under their breath.
My student/friend (or should I say friend/student – well, you get the point!) joked that she might have trouble concentrating. I told her that maybe we should try to just tune out the music.
To tune out means to ignore or stop paying attention to what is happening around you. It is an informal verb.
We proceeded to have a class, trying as hard as we could to tune out the music blaring out from the TV set.
You can say that you tune something/someone out, tune out something/someone or that you just tune out. Here are more examples:
Most kids will just tune out when their parents start to preach.
Many paulistanos tune out the city by tuning in to iPods and cellphones.
I knew he was tuning out because when I asked his opinion he had no idea what I was talking about.
Once Mark gets going about cars, I just completely tune him out.
A bored student will simply tune out.