How music affects teenagers

8 August 2016

Music has been affecting people since the beginning of time. Studies show, however, that music is more influential than any other entertainment media. For a range of reasons, such as mood changes, drug/alcohol use, and violence/behavior, science shows that music has the most influences on teens more than adults. In this paper, I will look into each of these reasons. Perhaps the most significant affect music has on teens is mood changes. Music affects moods in so many different ways.

For example, if you are sad, some people can hear a song, that is happy and it makes them want to dance and their mood changes drastically, within the blink of an eye. Other times, music can have the opposite effect. Someone can be happy, hear a song, then they can be devastated because the song brought to surface tragic or hysteric memories. Good music has direct access to the emotions. It is a great tool for tweaking our moods. Research has shown that, through music, mood can be altered and manipulated and powerful emotions can take place.

New York Times journalist Tara Parker Pope states, “Unlike visual media, music is a powerful social force that also taps into an individual’s personal identity, memories and mood. ” Music is a huge part of teen’s daily lives these days, it is not something easily averted. They are definitely going to partake in it. Oxford journalist Oliver Sacks writes that “We turn to music; we need it, because of its ability to move us, to induce feelings and mood, state of mind. ” As said by Oliver Sacks, music affects everything from moods to mind.

Artists are becoming less concerned with the influence they have on young adults, considering the amount of drug/alcohol references they put into their songs. Obviously, songs that implicate drug/alcohol use sell the best. Tara Parker-Pope states that: Researchers from Pittsburgh School of Medicine, studied the 279 most popular songs from 2005, based on reports from Billboard Magazine, which tracks popular music. Whether a song contained a reference to drugs or alcohol varied by genre.

Only 9 percent of pop songs had lyrics relating to drugs or alcohol. The number jumped to 14 percent for rock songs, 20 percent for R&B and hip-hop songs, 36 percent for country songs and 77 percent for rap songs. Unmistakably, rap has the upper hand and considering most well-known artists are of the rap game, teens tend to listen to them more. “One of the most dramatic effects of music’s is the induction of trance states, which have been described by ethnomusicologists in nearly every culture” said Oxford journalist Oliver Sacks.

Teens seem like they will do anything to show their affection for the artist, such as doing drugs or drinking alcohol. They believe it is going to make them popular if they do the things these songs and artists are talking about. Artists in the music industry need to take advantage of how popular they and their songs are, and start putting out positive messages. Instead, they take advantage of what sells the best or what song gets the most hits and likes. Do they not understand what their lyrics are doing to the adolescent?

Their songs make the use of drugs and alcohols seem cool, fun and hip. When, in reality, it is killing our population. Ideally, we think that music does not promote violence and behavioral problems for teenagers. Every day, there is a kid out there that is affected by music. “The influence of music on society can be clearly seen from modern history. Music helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. When he could not figure out the right wording for a certain part, he would play his violin to help him.

The music helped him get the words from his brain onto the paper,” (1) aid Lawrence O’Donnell, journalist for Brain and Mind online newspaper. Not all music has negative effects, as you can see. “Through auditory means individuals are influenced by sounds or multitudes of sounds which make up music which then may affect the body, the mind, communication, mood, and social aspects of life” states Amber Johnson journalist for California State University, Northridge (1). Music can hypnotize the mind and make teen’s think they are someone or something totally different than what they are.

It latches on to their brain and transforms them into this person they never dreamt of being; doing things they never knew they were capable of. All types of music deliver practically the same message, just in different forms. The only reason teens misbehave is that they feel as if they have to. Doing as the song or artist says gives teens a since of hope, that maybe one day they can be like the artist. Teenagers are adolescents, it is hard enough for parents to control their children, adding songs into the mix that talk about violence makes teenagers want to misbehave, and do crazy things.

“In the seventies, for example, one of Bob Marley’s most famous and listened to songs, ‘I shot the sheriff’, was very popular and did not provoke such violence. On the other hand, the lyrics of Ice T’s ‘Cop killer’ in the summer of 1992 evoked a loud outcry and most heated debate,” said Amal Saleeby writer for NDU, Louaize. Decades of research have demonstrated that exposure to violence in music can cause increases in aggression and behavioral issues.

“Studies have long shown that media messages have pronounced impact on childhood risk behaviors,” says New York Times journalist, Tara Parker-Pope. In conclusion, mood changes, drug/alcohol use, and the increase in violence/behavioral issues, in teen’s lives, are clearly affected by music. “Our auditory systems, our nervous systems, are tuned for music” says Oxford Journalist Oliver Sacks. Regardless of your religion, background or ethnicity, music is everywhere and everyone is under the influence of it.

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