This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanHCI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Meet Allegra Giannini, junior English major, from South Brunswick, NJ (Middlesex County.) Allegra wrote this article to connect the Rowan community. She shares, “I wrote this piece on music because I feel that music is a universal thing that connects humans together. From the meme in Bee Movie where he asks, “Ya like jazz?” music never fails to be a talking point. I’ve met countless people who have said music has saved their lives or impacted them in an equally large way. Ask practically anyone who their favorite musical artist is, and you see their eyes light up. It’s one of my favorite things because it makes me happy to see people talk so passionately about something. My article talks about how normal it is to let music have an impact on you. How it’s been clinically proven that the right music can decrease anxiety and simultaneously elevate your mood. It’s an important, yet overlooked part of our lives. But it’s a discussion worth having.”
Music has been around since the dawn of time. It began most likely with a rhythmic beating of rocks against a hard surface, and humming, to downloading a music program and mixing sounds with a keyboard. One easy way to study societal evolution is by exploring the wide range of music. Most people on this planet have a type in music. The answers often heard range from rock, indie, rap, R&B, the list is endless. One interesting question though, is what makes people have a taste? Do people tend to enjoy music they’ve grown up on? Or is it scientifically speaking people’s neurological reactions to the aesthetic sounds created. Perhaps both answers are true, but maybe there is one more. The other answer would be where one is developmentally influences the kind of music they listen to. Not just because of rhythm or melody, but perhaps because of the lyrics.
What do people most remember about songs? Everyone has done that thing where they try to look up a song in Google, but can’t remember the title so they either type in the rhythm which looks something like, “that song that goes dum da dee dum.” Or they Google a snippet of the lyrics, they may Google, “Same as it ever was” and learn the song they were looking for is “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads. Whatever the case may be, they Google the lyrics that stuck out to them the most, the ones they resonate with. Maybe the lyric “same as it ever was” perfectly describes how they feel on the inside. Those lyrics hit home, they mean something to them.
If people correlate how their lives are going with songs, they may find that they gravitate towards artists, albums or songs they feel perfectly encapsulates how they are mentally feeling, or brings up a memory. An article written by Nancy Shute for NPR from September 2013 said, “Music is a powerful cue for retrieving strong personal memories — when you kissed that girl at summer camp; the blue polka-dot dress you wore to prom; how lonely you were freshman year.” (Shute, npr.org)
That article may be from 7 years ago, but the message still stands. Music is a lot more powerful than some give it credit. Hearing a song can change someone’s mood instantaneously. It is important that it’s power is embraced. So, when the going gets tough, it’s a good idea to put on a song. Make a “Happy Times” playlist, or even a “Rad and Sad” playlist. Sometimes listening to the songs that bring on the tears is just as healthy. What’s most important is embracing the effect music has on one’s personality.
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Allegra Giannini, junior English major
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major