Music changes, emotions don’t

Students and teachers share experiences through music


Photo illustration by Heidi Krajicek.

Music has been around for centuries. Over time, music styles and ways to listen to music have changed. However, the reason people listen to music has stayed relatively the same. 

Music has the power to do many things. This is often seen in movies to set the mood of suspense, happiness, sadness and many other feelings. Music is also often used in people’s everyday lives, and parties and dances include music to create uplifting moods.

There are many reasons teenagers might listen to music. Music can excite someone or relax them and can also be a distraction.

Senior Paul Kirchmann also points out that  “music is an amazing tool for focusing or motivation.”

There are many different types and styles of music. The styles evolve over time, so it would be expected that the music our teachers listened to would be different from what we listen to today.

Even though there are differences between the times of music, some songs and artists have stayed popular. One teacher who notices this is math teacher Natalie Zabrocki.

“Usher’s ‘Yeah!’ was a huge hit song that came out when I was in school. It always had us racing to the dance floor at school dances or cranking up the volume in our cars,” Zabrocki said. “It is so fascinating to see it has stood the test of time and is still a ‘must play’ song for high school dances.”

History teacher Dan Krajicek said one of his favorite high school songs was “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. This is right in line with what Kirchmann listens to today.

I am a big fan of ‘90s rap and the big names of today’s rap. I am currently stuck on ‘Something in the Way’ by Nirvana due to the recent Batman movie,” Kirchmann said.

Other students may also enjoy listening to older music. Freshman Libby Winn is an example of this.

“I’m a big fan of alternative and grunge music from the ‘90s. I also like 2000s and ‘90s hip hop and R&B,” Winn said.

Although students may still enjoy throwback songs, the way they listen to them is most likely different than how our teachers listened to music. Students are likely to listen to music on their phones, whereas teachers would’ve had CD players or cassette tapes.

“My brother and I had an 8-track player in our pick-up. We then upgraded to the cassette tape adaptor,” special education teacher Mike Davis said.

Another common way to listen to music was CDs.

“I vividly remember going out to get new CDs once I turned 16 and finally got a CD player in my car. My friends also made and exchanged burnt CDs with a multitude of different songs on them,” Zabrocki said.

Although there are many benefits to the technology today, some students still choose to listen to music using older devices.

“I like to listen to music on my record player too. Mine can spin vinyls and play CDs and cassette tapes, so I can play a lot of stuff on it,” Winn said.

Even though the world of music will keep changing, it will continue to impact the people who listen to it.

“I really love music because it puts me in a good mood,” Winn said. “It always raises my spirits.”