Is There Good and Bad Music for the Body?


A little while back, someone found my blog by searching for whether or not there is good and bad music for the body. It is an interesting question, and one that I think is fairly easily answered. You can find tons of places on the web where people postulate or offer facts (such as here, here and here. All random results from a Google search).

All in all, I have seen that music can have profound effects on a person. And in my field, I get to see a lot of teens who are impacted and affected by their musical choices. Here are some of my observations. But remember, that these are generalizations, and each one has one or two exceptions:

  • Teens who spend a lot of time listening to hip-hop and gangster rap tend to lean more towards seeking money, bling, and becoming pimps. There is little to no respect for women or for authority.
  • Teens who spend much time listening to country tend to be laid back. There are many who do not look past things at face value, and miss a lot of stuff beneath the surface.
  • Teens who spend most of their time listening to CCM (Contemporary Christian Music, which I have several issues with anyway, and will be a separate blog post) tend to be very against anything outside of their box. They can tend to be very closed-minded to value found in anything that does not come from their favorite artists or bands, or musicians who are not under the CCM umbrella. On the plus side, they also tend to be more respectful of adult authority, though not necessarily of women in all situations.

Taking all of this into account, one must also consider the home life, and other social issues that impact a teen. Are they taught values at home? Do their friends support them in their faith? Are they taught moral values in school? The list goes on. A person cannot blame their music choices for their attitude or their actions, but they can not deny that it does influence them subtly. Here is how.

It is all about worldview. A worldview is described as:

A world view (or worldview) is a term calqued from the German word Weltanschauung ([ˈvɛlt.ʔanˌʃaʊ.ʊŋ]) Welt is the German word for ‘world,’ and Anschauung is the German word for ‘view’ or ‘outlook’. It is a concept fundamental to German philosophy and epistemology and refers to a wide world perception. Additionally, it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts in it. The German word is also in wide use in English, as well as the translated form world outlook. (Compare with ideology). (Wikipedia.org)

In other words, it is how you see the world. It can be influenced by many things, ranging from parents, to teachers, to friends, to church leaders, to media and entertainment choices. It influences how you act toward others, how you place value on things such as human life, sex, love, money, etc. It is a framework for how you live your life. And music can have a definite impact on that. One that goes far beyond angry music amplifying angry emotions and soft classical music aiding in relaxation. What you listen to can influence your thinking from small items to large, life-altering opinions.

This is a serious flaw in CCM circles. The biggest (and sometimes only) factor I hear in music selection from Christian teens and adults is “is there swearing?” While it is important to watch for this, it is not the most important factor in music selection. I have heard numerous songs that do not include swearing, yet put forth a horrible worldview. Tommy Jane and the Shondelles (and later Tiffany’s) I Think We’re Alone Now puts forth the idea that the teens in the song know more than the adults around them. Sugarcult’s Do It Alone is all about sex without thinking or consequences (outside of wedlock, no less). Justin Timberlake’s Lovestoned is all about lust and a desire for illicit sex. These are just a few examples. The worldview presented by the musician is much more of a danger than how many times they might drop a profanity (still important, but not as important to look at as the worldview).

The short answer is, yes, there are good and bad music choices for your body. Be discerning in what you listen to. Watch out for (and be involved in) what your children listen to, and pay attention to the subtle influences your song choices may have on your life. And your worldview.

Advertisements