Being A Teenager Has Its Ups And Downs. Fortunately, Music Can Be A Positive And Beneficial Resource For Teens And Can Improve Their Quality Of Life.
Just like adults, teenagers have many challenges and stressors in their lives. Navigating school, work, building friendships, maintaining family relationships, and figuring out the future are just some of the things that teenagers have to consider and steer through.
Although the day-to-day lives of teenagers can be stressful at times, there are ways to manage this stress and increase a teenager’s quality of life. Through exposure and involvement with music, teenagers can receive many benefits and can improve many aspects of their lives.
Many students are exposed to some form of music lessons early in their academic career. Whether they’re learning the basics of singing and playing instruments in music class or picking up an instrument for their school band or orchestra, students typically have some familiarity with musical performance.
Regardless of if teenagers are continuing music lessons from their early childhood or just starting to study music, the teenage years are an important time for musical education. In addition to honing performance skills, teens who are continuing their music education can develop deeper understandings of music. On the other hand, teenagers who are new to music will also be able to develop new musical skills and enhance their enjoyment and comprehension of music.
As teenagers begin or continue their musical careers, they will be able to use music to reflect their feelings and express their emotions in a healthy, constructive way. In music lessons, teenagers are also given the opportunity to experiment with musical writing and composition, which can allow them to perform their own music.
If a teenager feels proficient in one instrument or area of music, they can also consider picking up a second instrument. Although starting over with the basics of a new instrument might be challenging at first, teenagers who play more than one instrument will gain an even deeper appreciation and understanding of music.
While some teenagers might be interested in studying music just for the sake of increasing their own musical knowledge, other teenagers might be interested in receiving the academic benefits that accompany playing an instrument.
Certain studies have shown a correlation between students who are involved in the arts in high school and higher SAT scores in both the verbal and math sections. Overall, students who are involved in the arts are more likely to score higher than students who do not take artistic courses.
These studies have also shown that students who take four years of arts courses have higher scores than students with less than four years of these classes. Although a causal inference cannot be made from this correlation, this association is still significant.
More generally, researchers have found that teenagers who take music lessons have improved spatial reasoning skills. These improved skills could be the primary factor contributing to the observed higher test scores, particularly in the academic areas of math and sciences.
Essentially, music activates many areas of the brain, and in turn, music improves a teenager’s memory and coordination. Importantly, the neurological benefits that teenagers receive from a music education can carry over into other aspects of their lives, including improved academic performance. As music enhances a teenager’s academic abilities, it also increases a teenager’s chances of succeeding in their intended future careers.
In addition to improved academic performance, a music education can also offer teenagers social benefits.
When students participate in their high school band, orchestra, or chorus, they increase their opportunities for meeting and connecting with fellow musicians. By joining these musical organizations, teenagers increase their practice and performance time while also building new friendships and cultivating a musical community.
This type of community can be especially important for teenagers, since teenagers are more likely to experience anxiety and depression when they feel disconnected from their peers. By participating in musical curriculum and clubs in school, teenagers create even more opportunities to feel like they belong and boost their self-esteem.
Taking music lessons and performing in a musical group can also help teenagers increase their confidence.
By performing regularly, teenagers will have many opportunities to be in front of a crowd. Over time, these repeated performances can lead to increased self-esteem and comfort when presenting in front of large audiences.
Frequently performing also teaches teenagers how to improvise when they make a mistake, both in music and in other areas of school and life. Through exposure to public performance, students also gain real experience with coping with anxiety and stress. These skills that teenagers cultivate through musical performances also translates to other performance-based activities, such as presentations at school and work and athletic competitions.
All phases of life can present challenges, but a person’s teenage years can be especially difficult to navigate. Although young adulthood can be tumultuous at times, there are ways for teenagers to process their emotions in a healthy, productive manner.
By studying music and learning to play instruments, teenagers can receive emotional and psychological benefits that extend into the academic and social spheres of their lives. As teenagers continue to grow, the skills they gain through making music will help them succeed in all areas of life.