How does music influence young people? Does music have a negative or positive impact on youths?
While you may intuitively lean to the former due to the indecent scenes often portrayed in music videos, its influence is beyond what the eyes can see at first glance.
But why is the question in any way relevant?
This is it. Many things in existence today affect us in multiple ways. They have good and bad sides like a double-edged sword. For example, social media, technology, name it. While some people consider social media use harmful to teens, triggering peer pressure and anxiety, it also creates an avenue for young people to connect with the world and broaden their horizons. Many youths are leveraging social media platforms to make wealth decently and live their dream lives.
We can say the same for music.
MUSIC IS AN OBJECT OF INSPIRATION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
One key takeaway from the lives of many top artists today is that talent, hard work, and consistency pay. If there’s one mantra any young person should ever apply on their path to success, that should be it.
Consider the life of Eminem, one of the greatest rappers of all time. As someone battling a traumatizing childhood, Marshall Bruce Mathers would have been perceived as having no prospects in life. However, the English Language and Hip-Hop were the two things he was fond of, and he started writing his own lyrics AT THE AGE OF 14. He used to carry a dictionary around to ensure he could learn and add new words to his vocabulary, something you won’t fail to notice if you listen to his music.
However, Eminem’s first album was a flop. He was depressed and even attempted suicide but didn’t relent. He went ahead to work on and released his second album, which was incredibly loved by many to the point it hit the ears of Dr. Dre. That was the turning point in Eminem’s career. And even when people thought he was on the wrong career path due to his skin color, his talent, hard work, and consistency said otherwise.
What can we take home from this inspiring life story? A boy who came from nothing took advantage of the one thing he had passion and talent for, got himself up even after failure, and tried again until he achieved success, wealth, and fame. Today, millions of young “stans” are inspired by the life of Eminem.
The likes of Kanye West, Drake, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Celine Dion, and Jay-Z make a fraction of the endless list of musicians that came from nothing to the top.
These people were born poor, leveraged their passion, and put an end to their pitiful pasts. Some artists often talk about their hardships and how they strived to make it, inspiring young listeners through their lyrics.
Youths with a passion for music have capitalized on that, followed in the footsteps of role models, and became successful as well. Music is also a conviction that regardless of race, color, or background, anyone can become whatever they desire if they put in the work.
MUSIC IS MEDECINAL
The calming effect of music transcends the physical. The sweet melodic sound is like a healing balm, curing bad moods and uplifting broken souls. Dr. Jonathan Burdette highlighted the strong connection between music and emotions when he said, “music is primal. It affects all of us, but in very personal, unique ways.”
And notably, young people are more receptive to the power of music due to their rapidly changing emotions.
Upbeat music can help young people break through sadness and regain a positive outlook on life. Similarly, sad songs (sadcore) allow individuals to express their sadness and heartbreaks and just “let it flow.” Of course, there’s strength in acknowledging your emotions and giving yourself time to grieve. It doesn’t make one weak.
Listening to sad songs about heartbreak can remind young people that someone else relates to their feelings and that they’re not alone, no matter how gloomy their situation may seem.
On the other hand, high-tempo songs like Hip-hop and Afropop can get you out of negative emotions as you vibe to the distinctive, dance-inducing beat. It makes you come alive.
MUSIC IS A SAFE MEANS OF EXPRESSION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Music provides an avenue for young people to explore their emotions and express themselves safely without words. Adolescents often use music to address developmental issues such as love, sex, emotions, and friendship. These are core concepts surrounding any youth’s development, and it’s amazing how all of that is often woven into songs.
Indeed, teens have restrictions in the world which causes them frustration. Many use music to purge those pent-up feelings without risking upsetting their parents or violating any law. After a bad day, a teenager may lock themselves in their room and blast some angry rap song as a way to vent without hurting anyone.
By listening to, lip singing, or sharing musical clips, young people can express their current emotional state. In short, music allows the youths to voice their deepest emotions and desires without having to create anything themselves.
MUSIC FACILITATES A SENSE OF BELONGING
Today, there are many fan pages on social media platforms. Some are for Kendrick, some for J-Cole, some for Wizkid, etc. When an artist sits in the spotlight, that artist automatically becomes appealing in many ways.
And by publicly expressing your appreciation for that artist, you create a sense of belonging in that large community of fans.
WHEN MUSIC BECOMES A PROBLEM
Music largely influences youths positively by inspiring them and creating a safe outlet to express their feelings and overcome negative emotions. However, it can become a problem when a teen starts manifesting behavioral changes that can be directly traced to the music they listen to. For instance, some teens may emulate the unhealthy habits of their favorite artists, getting themselves into trouble.
It’s wise for every young person out there to realize that there are good and bad sides to almost everything. The key is discerning what’s helpful to you in the long run and ignoring the undesirable attributes. Music is a tool, and you can use it to your benefit.
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