Dealing with the Burden of School Life


How do students balance the academic rigors and social pressures that are present in their school life? Some may experience little to no difficulty in dealing with both at the same time. Some may have even more on the table whether they choose to or not. Some will struggle to cope with one, both or even more of the problems that school life can present.

The Power of Music

Music has significant effects on humans ranging from being something to listen in the background to affect our physical and mental being. Music has been ever-present in the development of mankind, as the history behind different cultures provides more than enough evidence of the deep and rich history of music. One of the biggest reasons why music has taken such a large place in our lives is due to the effects it has on our body. There are obvious examples such as listening music to focus but if we dig down a little deeper we find specific types and style of music that suits our needs. For example, it is more effective to listen to a classical song than a song that makes you want to sing along with when trying to concentrate. Within classical music, there are certain styles, composers, rhythmic features, etc. that is effective for concentrating. (NCU)

The purpose of this project is to raise awareness about the struggles that students face and provide more context on how music can be a help in those situations. The power of music can never be underestimated having empowered multiple political movements and caused social phenomenons in history. So in creating a change within an individual is well within the capabilities of music. In this GOA course, we have discussed multiple times on how music has changed the world. Included is a Spotify playlist of some of the songs that came up during those discussions.

During these discussions, I repeatedly went back to the role of jazz music in the civil rights movement. There were many reasons for this including the fact that I’m part of the jazz band at my school. In one of the discussions, I talked about the song “Fables of Faubus” by Charles Mingus, included in the playlist above. This song was written for protest against the governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, after the famous Little Rock High School incident. Many African-Americans including musicians including Mingus was infuriated and used music as a medium for a protest against the discriminatory actions taken.

This song, along with many other famous jazz songs, contributed to the successes of the civil rights movement in the US. Although the civil rights movement is one of the biggest events in the history of the United States, this is only one example of how music has changed the world. My GOA peers discussed other issues such as racial tensions, wars, gender issues and how music has helped those cases.

In addition to the effect on large-scale movements, music can impact individuals and their physical state. Music is currently being used to help patients with neurological diseases in their recovery, known as Neurologic Music Therapy or NMT. One of the biggest effect of music in this area is the facilitation of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the function of the brain which allows us to adapt to new environment and conditions. This also helps with injuries and diseases because they are changes made to your body. NMT is being used in treatment for:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Stroke
  • Coma Recovery
  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Other dementias and neurologic conditions

The list is continuously updated with the improvement of technology and the creation of new music. Of course, these are a list of serious conditions and the effect on neuroplasticity is enough evidence of improving anyone’s well-being!

Problem: Burden of School

After thorough research, I arrived at multiple statistics on teen mental health. Here are some standouts (Center for Discovery)

  • Every 100 minutes a teen takes their own life.
  • Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24.
  • About 20 percent of all teens experience depression before they reach adulthood.
  • Between 10 to 15 percent suffer from symptoms at any one time.
  • Only 30 percent of depressed teens are being treated for it.

These striking statistics are just the numbers behind the struggling teens in the world. Another find in the preliminary research was the existence of social media. The children nowadays bridge between multiple social media platforms on a daily basis.

The composition I created was a little bit of experimentation with the available music resources I had as well as highlighting the key concepts of the problem that I am trying to address. The lyric I wrote is intended to work as a support in causing a change in the society in terms of allowing teenagers and students to take a moment to relax and relieve the stress that they face in their school lives. The music is composed slow and mellow as an intent to provide a relaxing feel to the song. I’ve also added a bridge in diminished and minor keys representing the struggles that one faces. The composition is focused on social pressures and the spread of anxiety in school.

Original composition

For all I have discussed about music, this is not the only way to relieve stress and take our minds off of pressure. The intent is for this to be a guide or an example of how you could face these difficulties both current and forthcoming. The world is full of alternate pathways that can be explored and ventured for a better living so get on to it!

Works Cited

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