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The iNews Network

The Student News Site of NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

The Student News Site of NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

Music: A great piece of our lives


Would you rather be blind or be deaf?

It’s not an easy question to answer, yet most people pick deafness.

It’s understandable, as it is much easier to function when your vision is retained.

But without hearing, how could we appreciate the blessing that is music?

Without music a lot of things would be different. Creative outlets are reduced, thereby reducing the amount of ways people can express themselves and possibly cope with issues in their lives. Music is also known to boost the mood of others, as well as their creativity, which is a generally positive thing.

A friend of mine, Andre, makes sure to listen to music actively at least once a day. Just a session of listening to music without doing anything else. He told me “It motivates me and gets me to think more than I usually do; I become more creative”. It can really get your brain to start moving, may it be the lyrics, the instrumentals, the time signature, or some other aspect of the music/song you’re listening to. For some people, music has a huge role in their life, but Andre commented this instead, “I wouldn’t say it plays too much of a role, but I’d say it plays a big enough role to where I’d enjoy it”. Even the things that aren’t huge parts of your life are worth enjoying.

When it comes to what music Andre listens to, he listed the following genres, “I listen to drum and bass, I listen to jazz, I listen to Lo-Fi sometimes, and dubstep I guess”. Some of these are faster paced, and some are slower paced. Different kinds of music can evoke different emotions in different people, both positive and negative. Andre’s favorite song right now is titled “Castle Vein,” made by the Finnish game developer and music composer, Arsi Patala. When it comes to his favorite artist, Andre said, “Despite contrary beliefs, it’s not Heaven Pierce Her, it’s Naktagonis.”

Overall, Andre is more of a ‘Passive’ music listener, as the most time he spends listening to it, he is likely to be doing other things at the same time. Whereas I for example am a 50/50 in that regard, as I pay a lot more attention to music than the things I’m doing in the meantime, however if it requires me to pay more attention to what I’m actively working on, the music helps me concentrate on it.

Another friend of mine, Di, also listens to music about once a day. They commented the following about how music makes them feel, “Whatever emotion I’m feeling at the time, music lets me experience it to a greater and more intelligible degree.”  To Di, music plays a relatively minimal role in their life, although discussing it with people and their friends is a rather big social thing for both them, and many of their friends. 

On the topic of genres, they had the following to say, “I listen to a lot of folk music (shanty, Irish folk, some Americana) as well as folk punk (Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly). I’m also a fan of Will Wood but I’m not really sure what genre he is; I don’t think it’s fair to say I listen to emo music even though I listen to a lot of My Chemical Romance because I don’t really go beyond them . I suppose I’d say pop rock or pop punk.”

They also mentioned that their favorite album is SELF-iSH, produced by Will Wood and the Tapeworms. As for songs that have recently been on Di’s mind, they are Cruel Mistress, by Flogging Molly, Thermodynamic Lawyer Esq, specifically the live version, by Will Wood and the Tapeworms, as well as Willard! By Will Wood.

Generally, Di likes to listen to music so they can feel things more precisely, as well as listening to music so that they may discuss it with people they know. I consider Di to be a more active listener, since they listen to music on their own time, and they usually don’t happen to be doing anything else while listening to it.

Before reviewing the final interview, I wanted to go over how music is able to help you in general. According to an Article by Jill Suttie, as well as research from scientists, music lights up all parts of your brain, boosting brain activity as well as positively affecting emotions. A few other general things which music helps deal with are pain, stress and anxiety, reducing levels in all of them.

Another Article mentions that it also helps your heart, as it lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of cortisol, which will help you with being less stressed and will leave your heart feeling healthier. Another thing which music can help is your workout endurance, which if you are frequently hitting the gym, might be worth a try. Lastly, music can also help patients who are afflicted with dementia, either when they are irritated or sad, and can also help them with communicating.

When it comes to listening to music, Mr. Paris takes the crown, as he not only listens to it every day, but he also listens to it 3 times a day. By 3 times a day I mean he sits down, puts on a whole album, and just listens to music actively. When approached about how it makes him feel, he responded with, “Everything. There’s no one particular thing. Also from my perspective, it’s not about pure enjoyment, but it’s also for study, and listening for specific things.” As for how much of a role it plays in his life, he commented with, “Some of it is what everyone else experiences, like listening to it because you enjoy it. But also for me, I play music professionally, and so that is a very important outlet for me, so  I feel different if I’m not actively making or playing something, so that connection is really important to me.”

He also explained that throughout his life, he’s had different album favorites, changing as everyone gets older. As of right now, he says that his favorite is Ok Computer, by Radiohead. As for songs on his mind as of recently, it would be one named “45 Bucks,” by Becca Stevens, and “Life according to Raechel,” by Maddison Cunningham.

Out of everyone in the interview, (and most people which I personally know), Mr. Paris listens to music the most actively, and I would also say that it plays the biggest role in his life compared to everyone else which I’ve both interviewed, and talked to about these things in general.

Throughout all of the people that I’ve interviewed, 1 thing remained the same. It helps them all, be it mood, be it brain function, and for others may help in social situations, giving them a topic to discuss which they can reliably bring up. And one thing which is a constant, is that it makes them feel better.

So after everything, do you think that it might be worth it to reconsider the choice between being blind and deaf? If music has that big of a role in your life, like it does in Mr. Paris’ life, you might be inclined to do just that, however you may also not. Both a blind and deaf person can play the guitar, but it won’t be easy for the deaf person to tell that the guitar is out of tune, and they won’t be able to fully appreciate the chords and notes which are played. While playing the guitar while blind is like playing it in a dark room, playing the guitar while deaf won’t ever feel the same.

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