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Music empowers adolescents

By Lyanna Cruzat

Staff Writer

Music surrounds us in our daily lives. We hear it on the radio on our way to school or work, on our phones, in restaurants; we hear music everywhere. Music holds the power to influence mood and behavior in people. Music impacts our lives in ways we don’t even realize. We all know that music is just there; we don’t realize how much music has been a part of our daily lives and how music helps shape who we are as a person.

“Music is an outlet for me to display all my inner emotions; especially now in high school, playing music is a way to just relax and take a breather; it’s something I can confide in,” said Ethaniel Reyes, a sophomore in the Music Club at Summit Shasta.

Elena Mannes, the author of “The Power of Music,” tracked the human relationship with music over the course of a life span. She says that scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function. That’s why she sees so much potential in music’s power to change the brain and affect the way it works.

Brian Patel, a k-8 counselor at The Bayshore School said,  “Music was one of my most important teachers and counselors growing up. Music was a teacher and a therapist to me. For instance, I didn’t learn about what social injustice is or low-income inner-city issues for my education, I learned about these issues through the hip-hop and rap music I listen to from the music artist[s] in my community. There was no counselor at my elementary and middle school, and there was nobody accessible in high school, so that wasn’t something I had growing up, and music filled that void for me – even though I wasn’t talking to somebody, the artist I listen[ed] to spoke to me and talk[ed to] me about life and the issues I was going through, such as growing pains of adolescence poverty and other issues such as classism and racism.”

Many adolescents go to music as a way to escape reality. This is usually called music therapy, where music is used to relax the mind, energize the body and even help people better manage pain.

“The lyrics in music have deep meaning, helping me get through stuff with depression, through hard times, and my inner battles,” said Matthew Goncalves, a senior at Summit Shasta.

Teens go to an artist to help them by listening to the artist that they love. Both Mr. Patel and Goncalves agree with their favorite artist, Tupac: “Tupac influence[d] me through the lyrics of his music, emotions, and the messages he preached about; I grew up in a low-income poverty community when I was young; I had nothing. Growing up in life is hard, but through the lyrics of his music I was able to get through my childhood and his music still gets me through my day-to-day life. His music was relevant when they came out in the 90s with the issues going on, and it’s still relevant to this day with many issues of modern times.”

The purpose of music is a very broad question, whether it is from the artist’s perspective or from a fan of music. Music is simply therapy and an outlet for people to connect with their emotions and feelings; no matter how you’re feeling there is always a song that people will be able to relate to. Through music, everyone is able to have an escape from reality, a way to express their feelings through a healthy way by using music.

See below for a video about how music impacts youth:

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