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Music provides teens with an outlet of expression

Music has been around for thousands of years. It has become a part of everyday life — defining culture, personality and personal interest. Music stands as the universal language. Face it, when was the last time you heard someone flatly say, "I hate all music"?

It seems popular genres such as rap and rock music are constantly being blamed for the corruption of many teen's lives. Numerous crimes and murders somehow end up being linked to lyrics on a rap album while one teen's depression somehow results from the latest rock single. Of course, these crimes or thoughts are in no way a result of personal issues actually occurring in one's life.

"I don't think that music is the reason that kids do things like bring guns to school and attack innocent people. To me the reason behind that is upbringing and environment. If it is to the point where music is causing these kinds of action, parents should have noticed and should make some attempt to stop it," Brian Englant, 23, of Naples said.

Regardless of what others may say about music corrupting today's youth, music actually gives teens hope in times of need and serves as an outlet or escape from life problems.

"Music definitely impacts my life everyday. It can change my mood from sad to happy, happy to thoughtful, or thoughtful to loving. Lyrics can help you out at times because you realize you aren't the only one experiencing these things. It (music) puts you where you belong," Lely High School senior Adolfo Briceno said.

When listening to music, if you look for the worst in the words, you'll probably find it. Everyone has their own interpretation of what others are trying to say. But, if you look for the best in the music, you'll find that instead.

Linkin Park has become one of the most sought out alternative bands of today. Local radio stations play its hit singles every day and teens around America listen to its CDs incessantly. But, this every-popular band certainly isn't acceptable to many parents due to the hard rock sound and dry voices. If you take the time to listen to the words and read the lyrics, I'm sure you'll find positive messages, such as in this single "Nobody's Listening" from its newest CD, "Meteora," released in 2003.

"I'm riding on the back of this pressure Guessing that it's better I can't keep myself together.
Because all this stress gave me something to write on The pain gave me something I could set my sights on"

This small segment from one of their many hits tells listeners that even though you are going through a tough time, there is always something positive that comes from it. To let out the frustration, they write it down, which is a healthy way to relieve anger or stress. The lyrics go on to say that if you set your sights on something, you can achieve it. Aren't these messages points that parents try to get across to their teens every day?

Another popular artist, Nas, who slides into the rap genre, is looked down upon by parents for the plain fact that his music is classified as rap. But, not every rap artist fits into the notorious stereotype of sex, drugs and violence.

In Nas's hit single "I Can," he speaks out to kids, telling them that if they stay away from things such as drugs which will only drag them down, they can be anyone in the world as long as they work for it.
"You can be anything in the world, in God we trust
An architect, doctor, maybe an actress

But nothing comes easy it takes much practice"

I'm not saying that there isn't music out there that degrades women and only talks of negative things, but that there is also music that doesn't. I think that it's important for society to focus on those artists who are trying to motivate kids and send positive influential messages. Music holds a special place in people's lives, and will continue to grow and expand as far as style is concerned. Parents, just don't get too worried if your teen constantly blares music from her bedroom stereo, because for all you know that music could be the only thing keeping her together.

Naples Daily News - January 23, 2004



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