The Evolution of Music: Is it Affecting Your Teens?


What's your favorite band? Your favorite song? Your favorite genre?

The fact of the matter is that music is a hugepart of everyone's lives. It was in the past, it is now, and it will continue to be in the future. No matter what your tastes are in music, you cannot deny that what you're listening to begins to define who you are. Imagine the 60's, and the evolution of rock-n-roll. What happened? An entire generation began to grow out their hair, leave their homes, and fight for what they believed in, just for music. No matter what generation you're in, these things are never going to change. Because it has such a huge influence, it becomes more and more important to answer the question, "how does music affect teens?"

The myriad of music festivals, streaming sites, and YouTube video makes the importance and integration of music into our society very clear. This means that it's becoming more and more important to understand exactly what messages music is sending to the people that are listening to it.

As music idols become more popular and begin to have more of an effect on your teen, it becomes more important to understand the specific effects that music: 

-Music has been proven to affect mood

Music has a huge effect on an individual's mood, in either positive or negative ways. In general, people listen to music to explore various social behaviorism, to improve their psychosocial health, or improve their relationship satisfaction. Understanding this relationship gives adults more power in negotiations about music. Integrating happier music can actually make a person happier, making it more important to ensure your teenager or young adult is listening to the right types of music.

-On average, a teen is exposed to over 80 explicit substance references every week in rap music

It's no secret that rap is pretty vulgar. In general, over 24 percent of rap songs talk about vicarious alcohol use and drug use, and another 20-25 percent reference other explicit drugs and violence. Realistically, the whole genre focuses on anger, violence, drug use or partying. Furthermore, the tired excuse that it has no effect falls flat when you consider the amounts of violence that have occurred because of various rap artists approach to their competitors and their "devil-may-care" lifestyle that isn't beneficial for a developing adult.

While people say that the music they listen to has no effect on their brain patterns or decision- making processes, studies show otherwise.

-The average teen listens to at least 2.5 hours of music, often to escape reality

Music is a huge part of everyone's life- especially teenagers with especially impressionable minds. These teenagers suck themselves into a new, dramatic lifestyle that takes their minds off of their own realities, leading to unhealthy changes in behavior. Adults must understand this importance and encourage their young adults to listen to a wide variety of music, focusing on happier, more upbeat songs.

Instead of wondering whether or not your teen is listening to bad music, take the time to explain to your young adult that songs are fictitious and the activities are illegal and lewd. Expecting these types of blasé lifestyles is unrealistic. At the same time, it's important to be understanding. Understand that the types of music that your child listens to will occur in various phases, and that nothing is permanent. An adult must be calm and assertive, allowing their child to understand the consequences and realities behind songs, instead of condemning their behaviors and getting angry.