Music is a major part of many teenagers’ lives. It has been shown to improve focus and attention in the classroom, as well as helping children relax and calm down.

However, many young people listen to music that has explicit lyrics or references to drugs, sex, and violence. Parents should be aware of the positive and negative influences that music has on teens.

Positive Influence

Whether it’s listening to their favorite CD, attending a live concert or learning to play an instrument with friends, teenagers often feel a sense of belonging when they are part of a musical community. The experience of performing music with others stimulates pleasure-inducing and empathy-generating neurochemicals in the brain, which can help teens construct a positive identity that helps them fit into their social environment.

In addition, many musical genres evoke specific emotions and attitudes in the listener, and can inspire them to change their lives in a positive way. For example, the song lyrics of a rock band may encourage teenagers to take risks and express their individuality. Music is also used as a tool to communicate and unify diverse cultures around the world. Hip hop culture, for instance, began as a subculture among African American communities but has since grown into a global phenomenon.

It is important for parents to pay attention to the types of music that their children are listening to, and the artists they are influenced by. They should consider if the music they are listening to has negative effects such as violence, drug use and sexual content. Then they should help their children find other forms of entertainment that are more beneficial to their well-being.

Negative Influence

Several studies show that listening to music negatively influences a person’s behavior, attitudes and thoughts. When a song has negative lyrics it can cause the listener to behave inappropriately. In addition, listening to music can be a time consuming activity that distracts teens from other activities. Parents should pay attention to what type of music their teenagers are listening to, and should help them find music that is educational and positive in nature.

Violent and demeaning messages portrayed in violent music can influence a person to behave in destructive ways. These songs often glorify drug abuse, sex, violence and other immoral behaviors. The listener is easily influenced to act on these impulses when they hear violent music lyrics, because the words are repeated over and over again in their mind.

The rap genre has a negative reputation for its content. Critics believe that rap promotes a sexy and immoral lifestyle, as well as laziness and obsession with image. In addition, rap music has been linked to a lack of commitment to education and disciplinary problems at school.

Teens spend a lot of their spare time listening to music and watching music videos. Choosing the right type of music is important to a teen’s mental health and academic performance. Musical tastes tend to define peer groups among adolescents, so their taste in music can have an impact on their social life.

Instinctive Influence

Children and adolescents are receptive to the content that they hear in music. The content of some music communicates harmful health messages. Some music contains lyrics that glorify drug abuse, gangs, violence and sexually explicit contents. In addition, some songs depict the lifestyles of the artists who perform them. The lavish lifestyles of some musicians are often admired by young people and they consider them their role models.

Violent music can also influence teens’ social and moral development by inculcating negative attitudes and beliefs. Violent lyrics can lead to aggression and even violent behavior. Moreover, they can desensitize the listeners to real life violence and may even cause them to lose empathy. The effects of these negative lyrics can last long, unlike other forms of media that have short-lived effects on youth.

Teens who are passionate about rock and rap music tend to have a ‘don’t care’ attitude towards the rest of society. They are also likely to have disciplinary issues at school and home as well as smoking habits and delinquency risk behaviors compared to their peers who don’t like such genres of music.

Some music therapy programs use the power of musical instruments to help retrain and refocus the mind of teenagers. This type of therapeutic music is known as receptive and active music therapy. Receptive music therapy involves listening to the sounds of the music while the therapist plays or makes the music. Active music therapy is when the therapist and the client create music with instruments, their voice or other objects.

Social Influence

Music is a powerful medium that can influence people and shape their personalities. However, it can also have a negative impact. Violent music has been linked to increased levels of aggression, violence and drug abuse among youth. It is important to understand the effects of music on young minds so that parents can avoid listening to violent music and can help their children find positive musical influences.

The lyrics of some music glorify detrimental messages such as substance abuse, crime and pornography. This can have a major influence on youth and lead them to behave in ways that are not socially acceptable. For example, if children are exposed to rock music that depicts the lifestyle of famous artists, they will be more likely to emulate this type of behavior. Similarly, if they are exposed to rap music that glorifies drugs, they may become interested in trying those drugs.

In addition, the distorted and cynical views of some musicians can affect youth negatively. Especially when the singer is someone that they look up to or respect. For example, if a famous pop artist portrays an immoral lifestyle and acts in an irresponsible manner, teens will be influenced by this and may develop an antisocial personality as a result of it.

A study performed by University of Sussex researchers found that students who listened to pro-social music showed more empathy and compassion towards their peers than those who listened to non-pro-social songs. One way the researchers measured this was by having students randomly knock over a cup of pencils, and those who listened to positive message music picked up the pencils much more quickly than their counterparts who listened to violent song lyrics.