Teens, Music, and Individuality


PC: Ryan Arnst. Free to use under Unsplash license. https://unsplash.com/photos/jAQKshrauDQ

The teen years are a period of time that parents shake in horror about. Tales of crazy hairstyles, sneaking out late, and tattoos fill the mind of many concerned parents. Even the pre-teen years can be a struggle, with kids embracing the changes of adolescents. Although it’s a hard time for parents and children alike, it is still a time for children to turn into their own version of themselves.

Teens will often choose to find themselves in several different ways. Some will embrace the opinions of their parents, allowing themselves to be guided. Others will find themselves by forming their own opinions, regardless of their parents. As a teen in today’s fast-moving world, I can say that for me, music is an extremely important part of forming who I am going to be.

Every person on earth has a different taste in music. This is a fact, as every person has a unique thumbprint, and every person has a unique taste in music. Forming a personal taste is important to finding a sense of self. This is why restrictions to music should be at the very least limited. Although there is a valid concern of young children (ages 5-12) being exposed to inappropriate and vulgar content, older teens (14-18) should be allowed to make the right judgments to their style.

Concern about music artists that are “questionable” is valid when it comes to younger children and teens. As a parent limits questionable TV shows, movies, and video games, it is important for a parent to guide a child’s music exposure as well. As the children get older and take on more responsibility, however, parents should lift some restrictions to allow their child to find their own music tastes and style. A judge of maturity is important as well. Can this child handle more adult lyrics and artists? Putting into play maturity and age is a healthy way of judging whether your teen is ready for more variety of music.

Letting your child experience all types of music is still very important. Therefore, it is up to parents and teens alike to discuss the responsibilities of adult music. Letting your child or teen experiment is a vital part of their growth and should be treated as such. Some easy steps to ease into a world of more variety and fewer restrictions are:

Spotify mixes: Spotify mixes are helpful in allowing a teen to start finding her taste in music by listening by genre, mood, or artist. Spotify also has a filtering system that allows one to block explicit music with curse words.
Pandora: Pandora is helping in shuffling songs similar to an artist or specific song.

As Oscar Wilde says, “Art is the most important mode of individualism that the world has known.” Music is a wonderful form of art and an easy way to find a teen’s sense of self. Allowing your teen to experiment (within reason) will help your teen grow into themselves and help increase a strong sense of self-individuality.

Note from the editors: Teens, remember to always check with your parents before listening to anything new!