Adolescents and Music

Published: 14 Jun 2021
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The ways that adolescents engage with music can be understood through the use of two metaphors – music as a mirror that reflects self-knowledge, and music as a stage where identity is performed in relationship with others. Both of these functions contribute to the formation of adolescent identity by providing young people with opportunities to explore and express themselves in both public and private forums. Emotional engagement is an important part of the relationship between teenagers and their music, and many young people perceive music as a positive influence in their lives that supports pleasurable, as well as difficult experiences. A thorough review of the literature suggests that young people at risk of mental health problems may use music less effectively to modulate their mood and the results of music listening to feel better can be unproductive. The distinctions between the ways that teenagers use music reflect their personal state more than the characteristics embodied by particular musical genres such as metal and rap music. Music therapy studies suggest that active engagement in supported music experiences can assist vulnerable young people to overcome personal challenges, particularly when paired with a supportive group environment or an individually tailored program. As access to music improves through new technologies, the investigation of how young people use music as a health resource has become more critical than ever before.

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Authors: Katrina McFerran

Publisher: Nova Science Publishers, Inc

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