By Kab. Jireh Micah Vargas

MUSIC plays a huge role in a teen’s life. Many of us listen and play music to express ourselves, especially to pent-up angst. Music is sort of a language for teens where it becomes part of our personalities and interests, as well as becoming part a very full emotional experience. Research shows that music affects every part of the brain, including our emotions and plays a huge role not just in a teen’s life but in everyone’s. We have been hearing music since we were little as our mom sang lullabies to us. My mom and dad always played classical music ever since I was still in my mother’s womb until I was a few months old, and that may be the reason why I’m so into classical music – I love hearing pieces of famous pianists like Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin. 

Let’s talk a bit about how music started since it has been around for a long time now.  One of the earliest forms of music were probably drum-based, percussion instruments being the most readily available at that time, like rocks and sticks etc. One of the most popular instruments today was created in 1500 BCE by the Hittites. Yes, I’m talking about the guitar. This was a great step; the use of frets to change the pitch of a vibrating string would lead to later instruments such as the violin and harpsichord. In the middle ages, Guido D’Arezzo made many improvements in music theory. He first improved and reworked standard notation to be more user-friendly by adding time signatures. Then he invented solfege, this is the vocal note scale that has affected almost every modern singers. It is: do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do.

 There are many genres and styles in music, naming some genres are rock, pop, ballad, soul, hip-hop, country, and classical music. These are known by many, but others may not be aware of the others such as jazz, blues, music theatre, heavy metal, black metal, death metal and much more that also I didn’t know about. We teenagers these days are quite modernized to such genres- I have quite a few friends that listen to metal and rock music, and let me tell you, one of them sleeps with metal music at night! I was surprised when I heard that because if I was the one to sleep with that kind of music at night, I would’ve had a nightmare as soon as I drifted off to sleep. But it’s not that odd since everyone does have their own preferences in music. Everyone has their own reasons why they listen to music, and in different genres. Others probably like listening to a classical or balladic song because listening to that song reminds them of someone or maybe because of the sentimental feeling it gives them when they listen to it. Some might like country because of its cheerful tone, we all know Taylor Swift as a country girl who rose to fame in 2006 and became a multi-millionaire by the time she was just 18 years old! She wrote songs as if she was writing in her diary with that country vibe rock tune which became hits in the charts.

A lot of artists and bands/groups inspire teens in different ways. There are many talented teens here in Dubai and all over the world that wants to be a famous artist someday and meet their idols who inspired them to accomplish their dreams and to never give up. There are also some bullied teens who use music as their escape from reality. Not to mention Taylor Swift was bullied in her school years, but she used songwriting to escape those terrible times. She composed songs about her school life and sang them in public when she caught the attention of Scott Borchetta and became a successful artist. Music is everywhere and its existence is just such a beautiful thing, without it, this world would have been so dull. I don’t think that I have already met anyone yet, that doesn’t like music, it just shows that music plays a huge part in someone’s life and in this world.

Many have been healed because of music as it can make us happy and helps us escape the reality sometimes when needed. Almost all teens show interest in music, whether they’re not very good at it or even if they are, it could be singing that they’re interested in, dancing or playing an instrument, or maybe it could just be their hobby listening to songs.

Probably, the most powerful effect music has over teenagers are our emotions, and the perception of the world, ourselves and our peers. Every parent knows that music’s influence on the behavior of teens is quite significant. It can motivate the youths, inspire them or help to calm down and relax. Point is that music helps adolescence to release or control emotions and helps to cope with difficult situations such us pressures of study and family, the dynamic of friendships and social life, and the pain of loss or abuse. But there are still parents who won’t allow their kids to pursue music, either because they want their child to just focus in their studies and thinks music is a distraction for them or the parents may feel annoyed because of their child/children singing, dancing or playing an instrument all day.

My parents always reminded me that the youths from this generation are lucky because we are supported by them, unlike in the past where the parents only cared and wanted their child/children to graduate from university and find a good job. But that’s not how it entirely works these days, being a musician is great and all but it’s not just about knowing how to sing, dance, or play several instruments, it’s about your character, your character is what’s going to make you stand out among the other musicians. If you’re scared because you think that they’re just too good, don’t be, just be yourself, have fun and be passionate about what you are doing. Many artists were scouted, mostly not because of their talent, but because of their character, their personality that the audience loves. Talent can be improved but no one can change or make your character, so don’t worry. Enjoy life and find something that makes you happy, if that’s music, then go for it! No one can stop you from achieving your dreams.