Music to the Modern

by Nick Braden

Music has multiple uses and effects on humanity. Often times it is used to provide a mood to the setting that it accompanies, and also to provide a certain benefit to the people that are in the environment. When it comes to the adolescent’s developing brain, music can display very potent effects on the cognitive functions and behavior of the developing mind. It seems like parents seem to be blissfully unaware of just what, and more particularly, why kids listen to what they listen in today’s society.

                Music plays a very important role in socialization for young adults, without them even knowing it. More often than not, the kind of music one will listen to will be based on the traits of their personality. Kids who listen to music on the radio, for example, tend to be more social and outgoing, while kids who listen to heavier music tend to be more reserved and independent.

                The genre of music also has effects on the way teens will feel and look about themselves, and also depends on age, gender and ethnicity, however, the variable with the widest difference gap is gender. Studies have shown that females in this age group will use music to reflect upon their emotional state, particularly when they’re in an emotionally dreary state. Males, on the other hand, will use it to give themselves a “boost” to their mood or the way they look at themselves.

                Teens also use music to enhance various aspects of daily life. Studying? Ambient, relaxing music helps the brain release norepinephrine, a chemical that releases feelings of pleasure and motivation. Exercising? Energetic, upbeat music releases dopamine, which increases alertness and energy. Studies have also shown that music can actually improve motor and reasoning skills, which are essential to the development of the adolescent mind. One study showed that students who listened and played more music performed better on nonverbal and verbal reasoning skills, which involve analyzing and understanding visual information.  

                The impact that today’s music has on the modern youth is often overlooked and ignored. Young people are sponges to the world, absorbing the information and events that take place around them. The importance of us studying the effects of the human brain is a crucial part to understanding how we function as a society, and to better prepare ourselves for the future that lies ahead. By observing the common effects of media on the adolescent mind, we can help lead our current generation to become a valuable asset for the goal of achieving a progressive, successful, and innovative society for the future.