Below the Surface

The Importance of Music With Substance

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Below the Surface

Sarah Haylow, Writer

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Music pours from the speaker, the bass booming and the drum pounding. The guitar begins to play a familiar melody, a song that has been played on repeat. The music hits its climax and the singer begins to sing. The words pour out and the raw emotion can be heard clearly through the singer’s voice. Tears begin to flow from the listener’s eyes as the words hit deeper than anything they’d ever heard. The speaker has played this song countless times, but it never fails to relate to and comfort the listener like nothing else could.


Music is an important thing in many teenagers’ lives, as they are constantly surrounded by music at school, in restaurants, and on the radio. Numerous amounts of people simply enjoy music for the beat, not really caring about what the lyrics say or mean. These students are part of the crowd who are personally impacted by the meaning of what music they choose to consume.


“Music changes my point of view on a lot of things depending on what song it is,” Elijah Anderson (10) said. 


Music means different things to different people. It is a thing people encounter nearly every day in their lives. No matter the genre or artist, music easily affects a person’s view on things, for better or for worse. 

“You become what you consume,” Alan Scheer (12) said. “Your diet includes music, media, food, exercise… it is all important because it makes you who you are.” 


Many songs speak on sensitive topics that are meant to relate to a person or their problems. Music is an influential medium and can help produce change in a person’s life or in the world.


“There is an artist I like called Red that talks about stuff like how we are really bad people on the inside and how we can be better,” Lori Miller (11) said. “To me, it is really important to recognize that we have a darker side of ourselves that we need to pay attention to.”


A person’s cultures and lifestyles are often highlighted in music, which people find helps them understand where others are coming from and how it has impacted them.


“I like J Cole because he talks about things that I’m not accustomed to, like certain lifestyles,” Scheer said. “I’m privileged in the way I’ve grown up but I can understand where he comes from in his music and see how his environment has impacted him. It makes me feel fortunate and helps me understand how people are different based on where they grew up.”


Good themes in music can mean a lot to people. People find that music with good themes can inspire and give them hope or can just be something fun for them to listen to because of the beat. 


“When it comes to certain music it depends on what it’s for,” Anderson said. Like if I were getting ready for a football game then yes it would, but if I’m just walking down the hallway then I’ll listen to anything.”


For some people, music has a real impact on their lives and is often beneficial in helping them through difficult periods of their lives or personal issues. They find that music can often change the way they view the world through self expression and powerful words. 


“In art, there is freedom of expression, but it ultimately should be used to better people and reinforce good ideals and morals,” Scheer said.