The Influence of Music on Teenagers

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The contrast and comparison of 1950s music and the current music on teens. From time immemorial, music has been seen as a personal, all-purpose and broad effort of the opinions and emotional state of an individual or a populace. Music is in itself a form of communication which serves past mere words enabling ideas to be shared, stimulating progress and preservation of personal, ethnic and national uniqueness (Shuker 8). Listening to music can advance mood, enhance efficiency, and can inspire intelligent progress at all stages of life thus affecting the society either positively or negatively. With its availability, music has the ability to affect the approaches of the teens, how they see life, their peers and can shape their opinion of the world and themselves (Bunt and Stige 102).

Both the early and current music have great influence on the life of a teenager in that it is not only for entertainment but it gave them identity separate from their parents. In the 1950s for example, the teens started to hear rock music about different things that closely related to them, songs about their domain, about high school darlings, rough celebrations and speedy automobiles which were sung by their very own, the other teens (Stone and Stone 1). Having been deprived of acknowledgment and endorsement, they embraced the music and they established their own image and style giving them the identity which was not there before. The modern music has similarly been embraced by the teens; they closely relate with the music especially pop and rock music which gives them a sense of belonging and affiliation thus identity (Shuker 8).

Both the early rock music and today’s pop songs are similar for they expose the teens to doubtful or unequivocal lyrics and messages of these genres, alongside music video covering damaging themes predominantly disturbing. In the 1950s for example, there arises the rock and roll music which was characterized by vulgar and sexist language exposing the teens of the time to an unfamiliar world and this did not go to well with their parents (Stone and Stone 1). Today’s RnB, heavy metal, rap, and reggae has also idolized sex, drugs, homicide, suicide and talking back to parents which have continuously affected the family value which formerly was strictly followed. This has resulted in inter-family conflicts between parents and their teens where parents condemned the morals and way of life of the teens. This was worse in the 1950s where this genre of music was under attack by banning of records and restrictive and prohibitive rules were set with rock singers like Elvis Presley being condemned (Alison 1).

In all generation music, artists have great influence on the teens when it comes to dressing and fashion both in the past years and now. Teens tend to imitate their preferred music artistic style by wearing the same clothes either on stage or their daily living. In the 1950s, Elvis Presley was known for his rockabilly style, tuckers and the ducktail fair fashion plus a sexed-up union of the country seen in his song, Hound Dog (Stone and Stone 1). Madonna is an artist who has influenced the teens on their fashion by showing them that anyone can become whom he or she wants. Her continuous modification of appearance and personality stimulated trialing and formation of one’s peculiar style and elegance. Irrespective of time, a musician has and will always influence how the teens will dress, where a mere shirt or an ordinary dress will have more importance just because it was worn by preferred musicians and teens will purchase such at whatever cost (Barrett and Bond, 40).

Further, musicians no matter which generation they come from, they are idols to the teens where they strongly identify with their preferred music artist. With music so easily available, teens spend most of their time listening to their desired music and musicians carefully getting the messages portrayed in the music (Alison 1). In most cases, teens picked that genre of music that mirrors their temperament and state of their existence associating with the sentiments of the musicians through the music and lyrics they sing. Songs like Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lewis songs in the 1950s brought mixed feelings to a society that was formerly dominated by traditional pop with simple and readily acceptable music for all the audience unlike their music that in a great way negatively affected the norms (Ann 1). Modern music is doing the same to the teens where an artist’s influences are clearly noted from the way the teens perceive and responds to the current affairs. They will go to whatever length to justify their behavior because their idol, a certain musician has advocated for a particular idea, the idea has to be true and correct (Barrett and Bond, 40).

Contrary to the 1950s, modern music is easily available in a variety of forms from the mobile app to downloadable forms, the today’s teen is very exposed to various genre of music in every situation and at whatever moment. The improved technology has made music even more influential in children are exposed to various genre of music early in their developmental stages and has shaped their states of being (Barrett and Bond 40). In the 1950s, teens were not as exposed to the so-called negative music as there are today especially with the many artists and several kinds of music. In the past, most music which was traditional with a selected theme, catchy lyrics and acceptable to all ideas were played unlike in today where people with different motives care more of what they will gain from the music rather than the message they will bring across (Ann 1).

Music can impacts our conduct in ways which exist beyond our sensible alertness; it is a better way of uniting people where individuals who contrast a lot find a mutual ground (Shuman, et al. 54).  A song is the general linguistic of the human being and communicates even when words fail to speaks and reaches to all no matter the age or season helping the audience to relate with the past, present and anticipate the future. Teens are people who are not aware of who they are, their abilities or their aspirations, therefore, music has the power to impact their emotions, attitudes and their perceptions of the world, peers and themselves (Shuman, et al. 54).

Work Cited

Barrett, Margaret S., and Nigel Bond. "Connecting through music: The contribution of a music programme to fostering positive youth development." Research Studies in Music Education 37.1 (2015): 37-54.

Bunt, Leslie, and Brynjulf Stige. Music Therapy. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2014, p. 102.

Kaplan, E. Ann. Rocking around the clock: Music television, postmodernism, and consumer culture. Routledge, 2016.

Landsberg, Alison. "Prosthetic memory: the ethics and politics of memory in an age of mass culture." Memory and popular film. Manchester University Press, 2018.

Shuman, Jonah, et al. "Group music therapy impacts mood states of adolescents in a psychiatric hospital setting." The Arts in Psychotherapy 49 (2016): 50-56.

Stone, Rolling, and Rolling Stone. "20 Biggest Songs Of The Summer: The 1950S – Rolling Stone". Rollingstone.Com, 2014, Accessed 3 Nov 2018.



October 05, 2023

Entertainment Music

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