• Harrison Wilmot

Is music a ‘double-edged sword’ or an essential incentive?

Music is immersive. It’s enjoyable. It’s personal. However, it can be obsessive.


Senior Laurence Shao warns excessive music listeners: “You have to be careful. It’s like a double-edged sword. It can instill you with confidence, but at the same time, you have to be aware of how music manipulates your emotions.” Shao, an avid studier, listens to music to focus, not as a distraction, concluding that music can serve as medium to avoid problems from the real world. He continues, “You don’t want to deceit yourself to distract yourself because that won’t solve the problem.”


Despite common obsessions with music, it can allow you to channel your energy in a melodic void. “Music should be what you want it to be: it could be to alleviate discomfort, it could be comforting, it could match your mood,” says sophomore Cooper Kitson. His classmate, Cole Leon, adds, “It amplifies what emotions you’re currently feeling…make you feel present in the moment.”


This is what music should be: a connection with the listener and the tune that is intended to be natural, meaningful, and intuitive. It allows for you to zone in on the current task you’re undergoing—whether it be working out, studying, or relaxing. Music emphasizes your present moment which can frankly, look different for everybody.


Melody Cai, a junior, is one of many who has made music a subconscious part of her life. “If I’m not doing anything that doesn’t require audio [talking], there’s always music playing…it’s become natural.” Bill Nguyen, a sophomore, agrees, saying that the “lyrics don’t matter. I just like it for the background noise.”


Amber Shan, a sophomore, believes music helps fuel her creativity when drawing: “It gives me more inspiration because of the lyrics and I found out that when you’re listening to music while drawing, it can affect your stroke and your style.” Shao, in addition to focusing, uses it as a time to escape: “Most of the time it’s to focus, but sometimes it inevitably works as an escape from negativity…… If I ever have a really bad day, I will lie on my bed, close my eyes, and put music on.” Shao admires the rhythm of classical music and is naturally drawn to masterpieces such as Mozart’s productions.


Music is exactly how it seems: it offers an outlet for your inner turmoil, it offers a haven from your persistent trenches, it offers a personalized therapist to clean your mind, it offers a private waterpark to let out your greatest anticipations. Even though it’s possible to overwhelm yourself in an escape from the pressure, and a red flag can become apparent when it engulfs you, music after all, is practical in the face of adversity and belonging.


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