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Journal Writing Project: Music stereotypes

Fri, Oct 26th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Journal Student Writing Project

By Erin Woods

Teenagers often identify themselves with the type of music they listen to. I know I do. I am seventeen years old and it’s easier to hang out with someone who likes my music for more reasons than one. Remember those car rides with your parents when you had to listen to their music and all you wanted to do was shove socks in your ears to drown out the sound of their favorite artist? Not what most people would classify as a good time. It’s much easier to hang out with someone who has the same taste in music as I do, I can crank the stereo to your favorite song without someone complaining that they want to change the station.

Not only does the music I listen to often influence my social circle, but it also affects my fashion sense. For example, when you see somebody walking down the street with their pants around their knees and a hat to the side, you don’t automatically think to yourself, “I bet he absolutely loves to listen to Reba McEntire.” Have you ever seen a person with dark make-up, ripped jeans, an old shirt and some worn out Converse and say to them, “Have you heard the new Lil’ Wayne album?” Music is the perfect example of a stereotypical subject.

Rock and roll music has evolved from Elvis shaking his hips to the audacious Alice Cooper running around stage with snakes and singing in a straight jacket. Two completely different ideas, right? But they’re both successful rock and roll artists. Since Elvis Presley, rock music has been “labeled,” if you will, a violent and or inappropriate, not to mention anti-establishment form of lashing out by many people, but to the listener it is nothing but entertainment and a form of free expression. Today, it’s not likely that parents have a problem with their child listening to The Beatles, but at the height of their success, they were a controversial topic within families with children.

There have been acts of violence that have been blamed on rock music, such as an adolescent boy killing his mother after listening to a heavy metal song. Is it the genre of music that is provoking this? The answer is no, it is not. A study conducted by Donald F. Roberts, Peter G. Christenson, and Douglas A. Gentile titled The Effects of Violent Music on Children and Adolescents claimed that Heavy Metal music is not the root of these behaviors. Although they found that Rock and Roll music isn’t the root of anger within its fans, it does intensify a person’s emotions. For example, if you’re feeling sad or excessively angry and you listen to certain music, it’ll probably bring out intense emotions. If you’re not already depressed or angry, chances are you can listen to a Slipknot song without wanting to throw a punch.

On the other hand, music can save lives, including heavy metal. It’s not all violence and drugs. As a matter of fact, it is the lyrics that draw a lot of individuals to the genre. Heavy metal music is angry! It’s a free form of expression and not only does it give a lot of youth some form of identification, it’s a way to let loose. Have you ever gone to a Rock concert? It’s tough, it’s loud, and it’s in your face. But there has never been a more safe and entertaining way to release aggression than screaming to your favorite band up on thatstage.

In conclusion, rock music is like any other form of music and is virtually harmless. It doesn’t seem to be harmless because of the fact that people who enjoy this music don’t tend to be playing it at low volumes in the office. Keep an open mind and realize that rock music has helped more teenagers than it has corrupted.

Erin Woods is a senior at Mabel-Canton High School. She is one of the eight area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 14th year.


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11:21:45, Oct 28th 2012

Stacywoods says:
I agree 100% and although my daughter and I enjoy the same taste in music and concerts, music can heal, out can amplify an already emotion that exists in each and every one of us. It is a celebration that can amplify any mood good or bad, but its a release to be able to know others have been there before you, survived, and moved on. It can get out your frustration and celebrate or reminisce a great memory. It can make the years flow when they need to flow. Whatever kind of music you listen too, it is a gift and it is an art to appreciate the true human emotion with a talent many of us could only dream of having mixed with a dirty of poetry. Without music, I'm not sure I could find the empathy of what I'm feeling half the time, and with it I don't feel alone! Music has saved more lives than taken it, and that is an interpersonal concept only those can understand under certain circumstances with a multitude of underlying issues. Good job Erin!

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