SPEAK UP: How does music influence you?

Do you enjoy music as much as we do? The use of musical instruments and song has been documented for as long as historical records have been archived. Music is a big part of many ancient religious texts, like the Bible, as well. We believe music transcends gender, nationality, race, age, and just about any other descriptive category you can name. Music overcomes language barriers and touches us all in ways that are very relatable. American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer Billy Joel once stated, “I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music.” Do you agree about the powerful, universal appeal of music?

How does music influence you? Do you have a particular genre of music you prefer? If so, what is it and why? Why do you think music is such a powerful and universally accepted and utilized medium?
 
Music is such a huge part of my life and I probably could not function without it. It lets me speak when I don't know what to say and does a better job at getting across what I mean or what I feel. I love all kinds of music. Just recently I have fallen in love with Jazz. It's so different and I feel that it can express so many different emotions and people. So many people like the same music, it doesn't matter where you are from or what you believe in music is commonly loved and people grow closer because of that love. – Marianna, 16 (Sports Reporter)
 
I could go on & on about this topic (no Badu pun intended), but I actually love music and can't imagine life without it. I don't have a specific genre that I love, because picking just one would be way too hard. I listen to everything from Led Zeppelin to the Fugees. I think what makes music so universal is its ability to connect with people through a specific rhythm or intriguing lyrics. Our generation is extremely lucky to have nearly unlimited access to the music that preceded us.  Christa, 18 (Style Reporter)
 
Since as young as I can remember, music has been the epitome of my existence. I was only three when I heard jazz music for the first time and might I say I fell in love with the smooth, sentimental, emotion-stirring sound. It was during those years that my grandparents took notice to my new found love and started calling me "Jazzy J." As I got older, my love for music grew and eventually led me to take up playing the very instrument that I fell in love with growing up: the alto saxophone. All in all, I can't really say that I have a particular genre of music I prefer, because my music preference changes with my mood (which changes a gazillion times during the day ... lol). But what I can say is that music is something that several of us can relate to, no matter the genre or type. It possesses a healing power that is soothing to many of our souls and puts many of our minds at ease. Jazmin, 18 (Music Reporter) 
 
Since I was little music has always been a great influence on my life. I remember coming home after school and popping in my Tchaikovsky CD while hearing reggae blasting from the other room. I became infatuated with all genres of music, mainly reggae, hip-hop, r&b and classical, not knowing that my appreciation and study of music would lead to the desire for a career in the music industry. Universally, music has the ability to bring people of all cultures together and generate good vibes which is why I love it.  Aja, 20 (Fitness Reporter)
 
Music doesn't influence me much. I kind of just listen to it when I'm bored to block out noise I don't want to hear with some more rhythmic noise. I like rap and pop music, but really anything with a good beat, like international music. I think music is so accepted because you don't really have to comprehend it. Songs have so much bass that stirs something within you and it gets you moving and grooving to the beat, without caring about what the artist is saying. I feel like if more people could memorize beats and not lyrics, the music would be viewed in a much more universal way and create more emotions to truly communicate how you feel. Renee, 18 (Hair Reporter)
 
Music is a necessary part of my life. I cannot live without it, and I think that if I were to go deaf, I would be like Beethoven - continuing to create music in my head! Although I love pretty much all genres of music, my favorite is alternative/pop-punk. I fell in love with the band Green Day back in 2011 when I watched the musical American Idiot on Broadway and its messages of finding yourself resonated with me! I think music is a powerful medium because it gives people the opportunity to use the sense of hearing to feel and understand things. – Veronica, 17 (Culture Reporter)

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Nicole Johnson Roberson, LCSW is continuing her mission to provide ethical, creative, and clinically based therapeutic support to today’s youth. She delivers clinical direction through articles that address various mental health concerns and provides education and information about community resources. Nicole has also been involved with other aspects of TEEN DIARIES including the formation of Dear TD (formerly Dear Nicole) and Project Butterfly. Originally from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, Nicole currently resides in Atlanta, GA and provides confidential, clinically sound and creative services to youth and adults alike by serving as the clinical director of a small medical solutions company and through her own private practice. The proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. Nicole is also a doctoral student at the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago, Illinois.