Rap, 70’s classic rock, jazz, country—different genres of music have become favorites among various groups of students, and the music plays an integral role in their lives.
“[Music] helps me relax,” senior Eric James said. “It’s just something that helps me think better, and most of the songs I listen to I can connect with.”
Many students listen to music while doing their homework, talking with friends and trying to fall asleep. Many also use music as a motivator before sporting events to get ready to play.
“I try to listen to music before basketball games to get me into a competitive mindset,” junior Udaya Tenneti said. “Rap usually does the trick.”
Sophomore Sherwin Tavana agrees that music is beneficial before athletic games.
“It gets me going,” Sherwin said. “Before any type of game you’re just like ‘Oh dude, I’m so nervous,’ and then you play a little rock and you’re just like ‘Man, I’m gonna win this game.’”
Along with being incorporated into pre-game rituals, music plays a role in society and the types of images individuals portray. People often associate themselves with groups of friends who listen to similar music.
“Once you gain an image, you just want to stick to it,” Sherwin said.
Music can often define one’s sense of identity, and many individuals tend to judge others based on their genre preferences. Although some students maintain a certain style and listen to the music associated with it, others are open to many different varieties.
“Listening to different kinds of music and staying open-minded allows you to get different types of music and staying open-minded allows you to get different types of emotions from music,” junior Kelsey MacDonald said.
Kelsey listens to upbeat rap and dance music when hanging out with friends and quieter alternative music when she tries to concentrate on homework.
Psychologically, lighter music tends to help one focus or relax, whereas upbeat genres like rap and rock serve their own purposes.
“Music tends to have a more intense effect on teenagers because of the influence of pubertal hormones,” said Professor Daniel Levitin of Psychology Department at McGill University.
Levitin is the author of the bestseller “This is Your Brain on Music.”
“It can cause feelings of happiness and also fear, actually changing brain chemistry,” Levitin said.
Freshman Teresa Fabbricino agrees that music can have on a large effect on one’s mood.
“It depends on what kind of music you listen to,” Teresa said. “If you listen to slow music, it’s calming and helps you fall asleep.”
For some students, music plays a casual role in their lives, but for others, it is much more. Senior Miles Beckstead plays in the band “Heavy Weather” and would like to pursue a career in music.
“Music has always been a part of my life, and it would be great to get paid to do something that I love,” Miles said.
Music is an expression of style, character and personality. It is not simply an art form or activity, but can be a major piece of who we are as well.