Miami High News

Does Music Influence Behavior?



By Lisbeth Chavarria, Staff Writer

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When you hear the word music, which genre comes to mind?  I have come to know a truth; this generation’s taste in music varies.

For senior Rocio Rodriguez, “The most popular genre is hip hop.” Kelin Escobar, senior, says the most popular genre of music is inspired by the surroundings, ambient music. Diego Padua, another senior, says that pop is the most popular.

According to a report titled “Hip hop dethrones rock as most consumed music genre in the U.S, Nielson Music stats reveal” from, while rock has long reigned over less popular genres, the tables have turned with the combined genre R&B/hip hop now surpassing the popularity of not only pop but rock as well.  For the first half of 2017, R&B/hip hop was responsible for 25.1% of all music and consumption in the country, while rock claimed only 23%.

This progression of R&B/hip hop begs the question: do teens act out more when listening to certain types of music? Math and chess teacher Mr. Aguilar said, “It depends on the message because kids are easily manipulated.” Manuel Zambrano, senior, says that aggressive music gains an aggressive reaction

Senior band member Valentin Silva agrees that different music makes people react in different ways. “I have seen aggressive negatively connotative music make people act in a destructive manner,” he said.

According to a blog by Tara Parker-Pope titled “Under the Influence of Music” posted on the New York Times website <>, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine studied the 279 most popular songs from 2005, based on reports from Billboard magazine, which tracks popular music. Whether a song contained a reference to drugs or alcohol varied by genre. Certain genres of music, particularly rap/hip hop and heavy metal, have been blamed for teen misbehavior, and for acts of violence committed by teens. “Music is well-known to connect deeply with adolescents and to influence identity development, perhaps more than any other entertainment medium,” said the study authors.

Listening to different kinds of music might affect people differently. What are the benefits to listening to rap and heavy metal music?  Valentin Silva says that music unquestionably affects people’s emotions, and that rock and heavy metal music are an outlet for teenage anxiety.

Karol Vanegas said, “Rock and hip hop allow certain kids to express themselves because the music is relatable.” AP Human Geography teacher Ms. Albornoz said, “Rap has poetic aspects and some types of music just have the power to alleviate a situation.”

If there are the benefits to Rap and heavy metal, what about listening to classical or jazz music? Christian Ordonez, a senior, said that jazz and classical music help him concentrate. Susan Diaz said, “I feel more relaxed when I listen to soothing music.”

Students of Miami Senior High connect with certain songs and performers.  Kevin Rodriguez identifies most with the music of J Cole, particularly the songs “Grown Simba”, “Dead President 2.” Junior Ismara Corea prefers R&B, the artist Logic, and the song “Never Been.” Mr. Aguilar enjoys the music of Michael Jackson.

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