Home Mind & Brain Music for Thought: The Ability to Affect the Youth of Today

Music for Thought: The Ability to Affect the Youth of Today

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The entertainment industry of television and music has embedded itself into everyone’s life, and with modern technology, music has become more accessible. Music has become a tool for socialising and interacting with people with similar interests. However, the content of music videos has changed over the years, with more sexual images and innuendos being introduced. More music videos contain images of weapons such as knives, violence, and even high-powered weapons such as AK47s. 

This could have a substantial impact on children and young teenagers, who have access to music videos through a variety of platforms that often show sex and violence, creating intriguing ideas in the impressionable child’s mind. The American Academy of Paediatrics stated that children spend more time interacting with media than any other activity besides sleep. Nevertheless, music can also create a positive influence by correcting its approach and improving the language used. The industry could use music platforms to enhance young people’s well-being and provide them with a voice as people relate to the lyrics of the song, focusing on positivity. 

Music has become part of our social and cultural identity, with listeners wanting to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in their social circle. The idea of using music as a method to reduce crime may be considered unrealistic. However, many songs have repetitive aspects that would help to convey positive messages, openly discussing these matters. Thus, positive messages will become entwined in their daily lives without them feeling as though they are being pressured or targeted with this information from professionals. Instead, their favourite musician will echo a message of peace.

Music positively affects the brain, affecting people’s energy levels and proactivity. By producing upbeat, reinforced music, young people feel confident, empowered, and encouraged to chase their dreams. A new creative approach is needed to address many issues in our society. There is no suggestion that music therapy or positive messages in music will solve these issues. Branching out and trying multiple methods to tackle them could create a multi-layer approach, capturing all the different remits that may influence violent behaviour in society. 

Songs such as ‘Give Peace a Chance,’ ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, and ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’, have influenced individuals to support charities and discussed the barriers set for people from different cultures and how to overcome them. Therefore, creating more catchy song lyrics with powerful messages expressing peace and non-violent messages could become influential, as music is often considered an escape for people from their reality. So, to re-educate and empower today’s youth, upbeat music can start the change and be a positive step forward. Although music will not change everyone’s mindset, it may encourage and empower young people to focus on constructive factors.

Natalie Quinn-Walker is a lecturer in public health and deputy course lead at Birmingham City South Campus – Seacole.

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