Music plays an important role in life of a teenager and is practically everywhere. It manifest itself in our lives in the form of television, video games, educational videos, a car or bus ride to school, culture, religions, or even eating dinner at a restaurant. Simply put, music is inevitable! The reality of this forces parents to wonder what kind of music their teen listens to when they aren’t around and how might this affect their behavior.
During the adolescent stage, most teens are trying to find themselves and their place in society.
This makes them the most susceptible to influences and outside forces because they want to “fit in” or feel like they belong. In the book “It’s Not Only Rock & Roll”, the writers claim that “…music provides teens with a firm cultural identity. To a large extent, it also defines the ways they act, dress, and speak.” This phase also brings about a wide range of emotions in which music acts as an outlet and provides teens with a way to express what they’re going through.
Although music in general is not the the frontrunner on who to blame for the well or bad behaved teens, it is still one of the leading causes. The main concern with music most parents have is the questionable, explicit, and violent lyrics that comes along with the melody.
The most popular genres among teenages are Hip Hop, Rock, and Pop. These genres usually entail messages that expose teens to glamorized substance abuse, and violent and sexual themes.
It is argued that though the lyrics of songs do contain messages of violence, adolescents just use the music for entertainment purposes, not for what is actually being said by the artist. According to the Omega-Journal of Death and Dying, “…approximately 25% of female adolescents and 17% of male adolescents expressed that they liked their favorite songs specifically because the lyrics were a reflection of their feelings.” In addition, according to Knobloch-Westerwick, an author at Ohio University, “…although young listeners might not understand all the details in lyrics, they recognize enough to obtain a general idea of the message they bring.” Both of these quotes refute the claim that adolescents don’t pay attention to the violent lyrics in songs or that they don’t understand the message the artist is trying to convey. With that being said, how can parents know what their child is picking up on?