Most teens spend a significant amount of time listening to music in their day-to-day lives. In fact, most teens have a few favorite singers or bands, and they often have a similar taste in music as their friends. Social acceptance is always important with teens, and peers can influence the type of music teens listen to regularly.
Music and Identity
Music is often an outlet for teens and a way for them to express and explore emotions they are uncomfortable talking about. Teens may choose music by an artist they identify with or one who seems to embody their generation’s trials and tribulations. In some cases, teens use music as a safe way to rebel against their parents and develop their own separate identity. While this can sometimes lead to generational conflicts, it can also be a healthy part of growing up.
Sometimes, music contains lyrics that glorify or promote violence. This type of music is often the subject of parental criticism, and some teens may be banned from listening to it. However, in some cases, listening to violent music can be an outlet that allows teens to release their anger or frustration without getting into trouble. The key to whether the music is good or bad often depends on how the teen lets this type of music affect them. Teens who become more agitated or try to carry out violent acts after listening to this type of music should avoid it.
The type of music you choose to listen to doesn’t force you to do or think certain things, but it can reflect your state of mind. Some forms of music, such as heavy metal, punk and gangster rap, tend to be associated more with antisocial behavior. Some musical genres that are associated with less involvement in crime include:
- Folk music
Music and Depression
Sometimes, music can be a way to escape overwhelming problems in your life, but it may not be the best solution if you are feeling depressed. Choosing music instead of books or TV may make you more depressed. A study by University of Pittsburg researchers found that teens who listen to music more often have higher levels of depression. If you know someone who is spending five to six hours every day immersed in depressing music, that person may be at risk of depression. Talk to parents, teachers or a doctor about your concerns.
Teens Making Music
In some cases, a teen’s involvement with music goes further than just listening to it. Being in a band at school can be a great way to spend time interacting with music instead of just consuming it. Parents often encourage teens to engage in positive activities, and joining the school band can be a good choice for musically inclined teens. Learning how to play a musical instrument gives you a skill that will provide a lifetime of enjoyment. Some teens also form a small band of their own, which may perform any style of music they choose.
Music and Your Ears
Teens often have a tendency to listen to music at high volumes, which can damage their hearing. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a headset playing at maximum volume can cause permanent hearing damage after about 30 minutes.
Finding New Music
For teens, finding new music often involves hearing new songs on the radio. However, many teens also discover new songs, genres and artists by asking friends for music recommendations or through the Internet. Teens may also hear a song in a movie or TV show and seek out other songs by the same singer or band.