The Heart of Music

Music is the unifying force at the heart of students’ lives.
The Heart of Music

People come in many different shapes and backgrounds, with that comes many different types of music that kids are listening to. Music is an important part of many peoples lives at Johnston and some people choose to express that in very different ways.

Music is an excellent avenue for emotional expression, but for some it can be a core part of their self identity and how they push themselves forward.

“I’ve used music as a way to focus, cope with stress, and just have fun in general. Music is phenomenal for everything. Many songs from Kid Cudi, Kendrick, Mac, etc are relatable, and written very well, essentially like sung poetry,”

— Arian Kantarevic ‘25

With the new wave of listening to music online it is easier than ever for someone to explore any genre their hearts desire and get outside of their music bubble. With a wide array of genres people listen to, the genres themselves can be as important to the person’s taste as the songs. 

“My favorite genres are rap, metal and electronic music but usually just listen to rap and metal. My day changes based on the kinda music I listen to. If it’s more party-like music it helps me stay upbeat, but more experimental music like Black Kray can also impact me too and some songs make me feel like I’m in another dimension,” said Jack Gabby ‘24.

Peyton Brown ‘24 is a very committed musician and a drum major in the Johnston Varsity Marching Band.

“It depends on what I listen to, the more lyrical stuff I just listen to because I find it interesting but I also like to listen to classical concert band music which drives me to be a better musician,” said Brown.

There is a group of people who think that some genres are worse than others. “ young people are significantly more likely to say they like rap music and heavy metal than 20 years ago.” “but dislike levels have dropped almost in half among some demographics, especially among young people,” said Public radio station WQXR.

“I enjoy old rock, bands like Kiss, Offspring, Greenday, and Metallica, all of that kinda jazz. I listen to rock, punk rock, occasionally metal, and screamo but also a lot of less intense stuff.  A genre I hate is country, I freaking hate c ountry,” said Shiloh Hillabolt ‘24.

Juno Wunn 24’, who is an avid music fan, disagrees with this argument. They believe that all genres have a unique space in the music world.

“I really enjoy Cassiopeia, Takanaka, King Gizzard, tally hall, and MF DOOM. I don’t really think any genres are better or worse than others, I just think that people should enjoy anything they want. The genres I like the most are jazz fusion, alt rock and other stuff like that. I really like jazz,  jazz is good,” said Juno Wunn ‘24

Music is also a good way of online social life. Especially with online streaming apps people’s music tastes are more connected than ever. Spotify with every new update has been adding more and more social features almost creating a music social media.

“I just have always used Spotify, I also like to see what all my friends have been listening to and send playlists back and forth,” said Gabby.

Music listeners have been listening to music from all decades and not just music of today. Younger people and older people are unified in the question: has modern music been an improvement on older music or is older music better?

“It depends on the genre and your personal tastes in music. I think lots of people who are older are blinded by nostalgia with the music they listened to back in the day. Their style they enjoy listening to might have died too. But I think music is constantly evolving and has only gotten better as time has gone on,”said Shane Smith ‘24.

52 percent of interviewees said that they prefer music from the past compared to the music of today.

“I think maybe mainstream music has gotten worse but a lot of people get wrapped up in old music because they only remember the good stuff and forget about all the really bad stuff but it still might have gone downhill since streaming is a thing,” Said Wunn.

According to MRC Data “old music”(music that wasn’t released in the last 18 months) makes up 68.9 percent of the active music market. This is a sharp uptick to the percentage taken even a couple of years ago. This could show that people are more interested in exploring music than ever before.

“Music has definitely gotten a lot worse. There are a few modern artists I like, but generally before 2010 was when music was the best,” said Victoria Mikesell ‘26.

Music has struck a chord  in people’s lives. People from all backgrounds love music from all genres. Music has impacted the way people approach their everyday lives from turning on a song to cheer you up to having a music genre being a part of the way you self identify.

“I think it is a very powerful force in my life. It’s a tool I use often to motivate myself, cheer myself up, or to help me process emotions.”

— Belén Thompson ‘24.

I think it is a very powerful force in my life. It’s a tool I use often to motivate myself, cheer myself up, or to help me process emotions,” said Belén Thompson ‘24.

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  • John KirkpatrickSep 19, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    That’s Awesome