Why Do Teens Specifically Love Music?

Sarmistha Ray || Post On > Feb 15 2023 ||

Teenagers love music. This is not surprising, most people love music. But teenagers, specifically, attach meaning to and take aspects of their identity from music. NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) has come forward with results from a study identifying how and why music holds so much meaning for today’s teens. The Research The research study was performed by Patricia Shehan Campbell, Ph.D., of the University of Washington as part of the Foundation’s "Sounds of Learning" research initiative. The study was called “Adolescents’ Expressed Meanings of Music in and out of School,” and was based on the responses of 1,155 teens who submitted student essays to Teen People magazine as part of an internet contest. In their essays, the students shared their thoughts regarding learning and playing music and revealed that they value music as a central aspect of their identities. Furthermore, there were substantial themes in the essays indicating a plethora of beliefs held among teenagers relating to music. These included: ● Playing music creates a sense of belonging for teens ● Making music gives teens the freedom to just be themselves. It gives them the freedom to be different; to be something they may have thought they could never be; to be at ease and relaxed in school and elsewhere in their lives ● Music helps teens release or control emotions and helps them cope with difficult situations such as peer pressure, substance abuse, pressures of study and family, the dynamics of friendships and social life, and the pain of loss or abuse ● Teens believe developing musical skills and performance is important since it paves the way to musical opportunities as skills develop ● Teens wish for more variety and options for making music in school, including the expansion to instruments and technology used in popular music ● Teens are genuinely committed to their instruments and their school ensembles because they love to be involved in these musical and social groups ● Teens believe that music is an integral part of American life and that music reflects American culture and society ● Teens feel that playing music teaches self-discipline such as “there are payoffs if you practice and stick with something” ● Teens are of the opinion that playing music diminishes boundaries between people of different ethnic backgrounds, age groups, and social interests ● Teens associate playing music with music literacy, listening skills, motor ability, eye-hand coordination, and heightened intellectual capabilities. As can be determined from reading this extensive list, music; the making of it, playing of it, and listening to it, is incredibly important in the lives of teenagers.

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