How Does Music Affect Teenagers?

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Music has a profound effect on teenagers: it can improve their moods and self esteem or give them inspiration from role models. The kinds of music vary widely and, consequently, so does the effect that sounds and songs have on teenage minds.

Teenagers may find classical music calming and relaxing; the soft, repetitive sounds of percussion instruments and harmonies of wood instruments like cellos, violas and violins have a hypnotic effect and may facilitate sleep and invoke a feeling of peace or serenity. Popular music can impact mental states of teenagers as well and provide short- and long-lasting effects that can be either positive or negative.

As long as music and songs have existed, they have played important roles in helping children, teenagers and adolescents learn and explore the world around them. Those youngsters are particularly susceptible to the messages and feelings conveyed by role models, which explains why many idolize, and even worship, certain bands and musicians.

The effect of music on teenagers is often categorized by genre: while classical music and jazz compositions are generally associated with invoking positive feelings in teenagers, other types of music, particularly rock and hip-hop, are often criticized for contributing to high rates of violence and crime and low self esteem.