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October 30, 2012


Music Affects Teens

by Hana Hong

The cultures present in today’s society are greatly based upon what you hear on TV, what you listen to on YouTube and the kind of music on your iPod. Everything you do has an effect on your personality.

Music is a very powerful medium and is greatly influential at the social level. It facilitates communication which exceeds beyond words and permits certain meanings to be shared.

The legendary fusion of words and melody that create a song is a lot more than a simple melody that satisfies our boredom. Music holds a powerful effect on an individual because it can stimulate and provoke multiple responses – physiological, movement, mood, emotional, cognitive and behavioral.

Many parents charge music for the way kids act. They blame it for many of life’s imperfections-the gang violence, murders and suicides. They believe the music kids listen to changes their perspective about life. A recent experiment even implies that music has an unnerving effect parallel to drugs and psychotics.

This study was conducted by Valorie Salimpoor of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Basically, it suggests that some types of music evoke the same kind of feeling as do drugs and good food. People become reliant and dependent on these songs. Music seems to squirm into a circuitry in the brain that has evolved to drive human motivation. In other words, any time we do something our brains want us to do again, dopamine is released into these circuits.

Salimpoor reports that “a single tone won’t be pleasurable in isolation. However, a series of single tones arranged in time can become some of the most pleasurable experiences that humans have ever reported. That’s amazing because it suggests that somehow our cerebral cortex is following these tones over time and there must be a component of build-up, anticipation, expectation.” This results in the goose bumps, or euphoric chills you may feel when listening to a particular piece of music.

However, negative lyrics will also erupt a series of dopamine releases on the human mind, but in a controversial way. Many artists in the music industry today revolve around vulgar, melancholy, and morbid lyrics. This steadily creeps into the kids’ mind, no matter how much they insist it has no impact on them.

Think about it this way. If you put a lovely rose inside a putrid garbage can, the rose will start to lose its original unique scent and retain the characteristics of its surroundings-polluted and dirty.

The same is with the music you listen to. If you are constantly filling up your head with crude and dirty lyrics, you will soon start to find your mind conforming to what you hear, and your own words and actions will become hard evidence to what it happening inside your brain.

On the contrary, some kinds of music can also have a positive affect on our lives. It can serve as a catalyst for new ideas. When people listen to the new things out there, they discover different things happening in the world and they learn to become more open-minded because they’re exposed to diverse people.

As a powerful stimulant, music can also alter ones mood instantly and create new positive memories. It allows one to escape the dreadful situation they are stuck in at the moment and escape to their “happy place”-a world where one can temporarily unravel their troubles and enjoy life.

Songs can also speed up a person’s routine or slow down a schedule. A recent study showed that a person given fast upbeat music performed a chore significantly faster than did a person given a slow dawdling tune.

Additionally, music is known to be an effective stress reliever. Soothing melodies are proven to instantly calm one’s nerves and affect human impulses. This is why lullabies are often used to coax a baby into slumber.

We all know the infamous saying, “Music lets us travel to another world.” When those headphones of yours are plugged in and another song begins to stream through your eardrums and flood your mind, what world are you carried off into? Is it a dark sinister place or is it a blissful reviving one?

Many people may listen to music just because they are bored or they like the beat; but have you ever listened to it for the lyrics and the expression the artist is trying to send out? You might be surprised at what certain types of media are trying to say. The tone, the lyrics, and even the beat of the song has the power to provoke hormonal and physiological factors, including heart rate and increases in respiration and sweating on the fragile circuitry of your body.

So take a break to think about the music you listen to. Does it make you feel relaxed, angered, soothed, or energized?  The songs you listen to on a daily basis might unknowingly and indirectly be holding a secure grip on your personality and your actions. Think about that the next time you scroll down your song list. What music defines you?

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1 Comment
  1. Nov 19 2014

    it is a good web site thank u hana

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