Effect of Music on the Adolescent

According to (Donald F. Roberts et al, 2003), At the simplest, most global level, people of all ages listen to music because it provides pleasure; for adolescence this pleasure can be powerful and tends to be associated with the most intense experiences of life. I chose this subject because it was one which I could relate to and provide a more in-depth personal input on. Music, in my opinion, plays a role in every decision a person makes, and every goal a person has; a person’s life can unfold according to what kind of music they listen to. In this essay I will talk about the positive effects of music, the negative effects of music, and the personal effect music has had on me.
Bruce Springsteen said “Music…. Is there, to provide you with

Something to face the world with.” Music can have a very positive effect on the 15 year old that is searching for an identity amongst a group of peers. Music listened to is linked directly to how well an adolescent does in school and in education as a whole. Music can enhances performance on abstract/spatial reasoning tests (Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky, 1.993). A study showed that classical music against loud, rock music produced better results on the same test taken by teens that were in the same grade point average. On a personal note, I have found this to be true. Lately, for my psychology tests I started listening to different symphonies in my room as I studied and found it helpful and more relaxing than my former style of studying which was to blast my favorite rapper on my stereo. Music also contributes the well-being of an adolescent. On the ride to school either in a car or a bus, the type of music listened to, can reflect the kind of day it is going to be. Music reduces stress (Stratton, 1992) and anxiety levels (Mornhinweg, 1992). The challenging life of a teen with education and extracurricular activities, music can be used as a form of stress relief and help calm a tedious schedule. Throughout high school we had the different social and peer groups that were always together. The music they listened to was correlated with how they dressed and acted; the “Goths” listened to heavy metal and punk and dressed in black, while the football team was more of a hip-hop culture, both listening and dressing. I myself was very open with all music and never classified myself as one group and insulted another. Music can help a teenager socialize with a group he/she feels more comfortable with and not isolate him/herself.
On the other hand, all of these aspects of a teenager’s life can be influenced negatively if proper supervision and care isn’t taken. (Larson R, Kubey 1983) Research done before the introduction of music videos demonstrated that although both television and music captured adolescents\' attention, it was music that powerfully engaged their emotions. The withdrawal personality music can cause on a fragile mind like a teens is devastating. A friend that I went to middle school with was a very outgoing and thoughtful, came back after our summer vacation in 8th grade, very quiet and secluded; He would also have his cd player everywhere he went. After confronting him about his difference in personality, I found out that he had lost a parent and found music as his only safe haven. From then on we grew more and more apart. A negative psychological effect of music can be one if an adolescent listens to music with suicidal lyrics, or encouragement of violent behavior, he/she can turn right around and act out what was said in the music with the knowledge that “it’s ok” without thinking of some ramifications. With regard to school, heavy metal fans report more conflict with teachers and other school authorities and perform less well academically than those whose tastes run more to the mainstream (Christenson & van Nouhuys, 1995; Hakanen & Wells, 1993).
Personally, I was never a person of one music selection. Growing up I had listen to different pop groups and even country. My perception toward music was widely varied, if the song captures my attention, then it