Why do you listen? Teens and music

“I listen to entirely too much music,” said freshman Jacqueline Helgans, who says her favorite genre of music is indie rock. “I listen to so much music, I’m always just singing or bursting into song.”

Teenagers listen to an average of about 2.5 hours of music every day, according to a study by The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. So the question is: Why do teens listen to music?

One of the reasons is because music gives teenagers a way to let out their creative side.

“Music inspires me very much,” Helgans said. “Music is a great motivator for both exercise and intelligence; it activates the creative part of my brain when I’m working on an essay or something, and it clues into the certain part of my brain that makes me more interesting.”

Studies show that teens who listen to music regularly since birth are more likely to be able to play an instrument, learn another language or be better at art, said the study by The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

“Music inspires me a lot with my own art,” said senior Madison King, whose favorite genre of music is Japanese pop.

“A lot of the music I listen to is very visual,” King said. “So I like to draw things that go along with that.”

Sophomore Aiyana Morton says music is a big influence on her writing style.

“Music is really great at inspiring me,” Morton said. “It may not seem like everything’s up there in my mind, but music helps me bring my ideas out so it’s a big influence on me.”

Music creates an outlet for teenagers to express emotions through listening or playing. Sometimes listening to certain types of music can either make or break a person’s day.

“Music definitely influences my mood,” Helgans said. “Listening to a certain song in the morning can totally change my day and just make it so much better.”

For teenagers, music can provide a way of identifying certain emotions. When teens use music as a mood modifier, it can make a big difference in them.

“Music can alter my mood,” junior Blair Schemmer said. “Music inspires me to be confident in myself, it inspires me to keep fighting and not give up.”

For sophomore Tyler Whitaker, music is an easy way to get rid of negative emotions.

“I listen to a lot of smooth jazz,” Whitaker said. “It’s very soothing and helps me concentrate and calm down when I do things.”

Studies have shown that listening to music can help people concentrate by blocking out excess noise around them, helping them to focus better. A lot of teens use this to their advantage by listening to music while they study.

“I listen to a lot of classical music while I study,” Morton said. “It helps me concentrate on what I’m doing right in front of me instead of being distracted by everything else that’s going on around me.”

In studies classical music and other types of music have been shown to stimulate the part of the brain that has to do with memory and studying, according to a study by the Stanford University School of Medicine.

“I do think music helps my concentration,” sophomore Garrett Kidney said. “When I study, it’s like giving my brain a workout.”

It seems that the reasons why we listen to music is just another way teens differ in opinion.

–By Meredith Norman