How Music Has Impacted My Life

Tommy McGinn '23, Contributing Writer

I want you to imagine a hypothetical world; a world without music. 

For many years, up until around 10th grade, music didn’t really impact me that much. I would just listen to music other people would deem popular at the time. Then, I started to listen to a lot less mainstream music, thus finding an artist called The Weeknd. 

The Weeknd had been pretty popular and had many mainstream songs people may recognize. I found a song from his first body of work called “The Morning”, and since then it has been my favorite song of all time. This song, like many of his, can be dark or inappropriate. Nonetheless, it just flows so well; his tempo and voice are something like no other. 

One thing I love about music is that you can easily relate to an artist if you find the right one. In the aforementioned song specifically, The Weeknd talks about his journey as an artist and that “Cali is the Mission”. This idea of being more than just another person in life is what I really value. Identifying your values is something really important to figure out — especially in high school — and good role models will push you to do so.

Once I started listening to The Weeknd, I really decided to listen to the music I liked despite others’ opinions. I relate this also to growing as a person in high school. I noticed when I first was in high school I was pretty concerned with what people thought about what I liked, but as I grew older I started not to care about those things so much.

I have learned that music can be an outlet for people. Behind the lyrics and melodies, it is a great stress reliever. Throughout my experience, I have seen how it can even help simple activities such as homework seem more enjoyable. Whenever a situation arises that is a lot to handle, I like to use music to calm my mood. I feel some of the best times of the day are just going for a drive with a good playlist and some friends. Music is something all people can enjoy and bond over. 

At certain times, certain types of music apply better than others. When spending time with family, we enjoy listening to groups like Coldplay. When I work out, I enjoy listening to Drake because he is a great lyricist, and the beats he uses energize me through my workout. When relaxing on my own I recommend artists like Khalid, Lana Del Rey, Kid Cudi, Bruno Mars, and of course, The Weeknd. Whenever I just want to decompress, Frank Ocean is a great chilled-out artist to resort to. 

In terms of homework, I suggest using music that you enjoy but that isn’t too distracting. Songs with low-fi beats or softer melodies would be best. With depression and anxiety increasing drastically for teenagers, music is a prime source to decompress or even just relate to some of the artists’ feelings through the lyrics. 

Whether you just failed a chemistry quiz or just won a big game against a town rival, music is something that is constantly relied upon to support our moods. Without it, life would be incredibly dull.