Music and mentality: how can music affect young people?

We go through life hearing how music was so much better in yesteryear and how mainstream music is garbage. Rather than discuss whether I believe they are correct, I’d instead like to focus on how music can have a deep impact on our views of the world and many parts of ourselves.

We tend to get so caught up in ‘which music is best’ arguments that we never ask about how music influences or gives us insight on us as a person.

“For performers and students that study music this influence is greatly pronounced, with it becoming not just a tool for relaxation or for passing the time but a lifestyle choice.”

It’s safe to assume that many of you reading this have listened to music with the intention of boosting your work ethic or mood, or to reflect the mood you are currently in. That when you have been studying for that all crucial exam you have put aside certain music to listen too, when going through a breakup you’ve listened to Bruno Mars on repeat and that on the way to work you have a playlist on Spotify set aside.

Music is a part of our daily life and love it or hate it, it plays a major influence in our life.

Psychologists even use music therapy to aide in communication or aid positive mental change in clients. Johns Hopkins School of Education’s even has suggestions for which music is best for learning, with playlist and song suggestions. The University of Miami School of Medicine even cited increased melatonin levels during four weeks of music therapy as the main contributor to patients being more relaxed.

For performers and students that study music this influence is greatly pronounced, with it becoming not just a tool for relaxation or for passing the time but a lifestyle choice.

I know personally I can hardly play one song on the guitar and that’s with hours of study.

All performance needs daily practise, a genuine love for the art and an inventive mind.

It is here that the true impact of what music can do is seen easily. For many it improves stress levels, general mental well being and can give new opportunities in life.

Music often improves cognitive ability which often helps with higher academic life.

Jordan Cruickshank   PHOTO: Allardyce Photography

Bass player for Benedictus and student at Dundee University, Jordan Cruickshank, 22, said:

“It’s like you’re doing something productive but you’re not exactly spending loads of money, you’re having a good time.

“You grow but you know what you have to do to get your degree and no one can just study all the time and be happy, you’ve got to have something to do and music is definitely something good.”

This tends to be the general consensus between students.

I asked Glasgow Clyde College student Dylan Creely, 18, about his thoughts on how music has helped him academically. He explained:  “In general I’d say it’s allowed me to focus greatly on the academic side as it’s a vital part of the teaching aspect of my studies.

“By studying music it’s helped me realise that being a student isn’t as stressful as some people make out to be. It can be tedious at times but it’s something that can turn into a hobby as well as a career if you stick to it and enjoy it.

“Before I got into music I was a lot more introverted. It was my music teacher that allowed me to see what I was capable of which overall made me want to do music.”

Stirling artist, Thurmpy

Speaking to Stirling artist, Thurmpy, 18, he talked about his thoughts on how music has affected him. He said: “Once I discovered I could go study sound production I left high school and I haven’t regretted that in the slightest. So, I think it’s helped me focus on what I enjoy.

“I think in high school once I discovered music and sound production, I didn’t focus so much on academic studies but once I was studying subjects relating to it then I was more involved, so I think it gave me more of a focus but on that one thing.

“I think at the minute I’m totally happier, there’s times where I haven’t been so much, I feel like the more music stuff that’s going on the better things are. For the past month, I’ve been feeling really good.

“Meeting people, working with them, just having fun with what I like with people that I like and meeting new people has been enjoyable. It’s been great.”

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