New Study Links Teens, Music And Overall Happiness

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Image: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget
Image: SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget


A new study shows that the way teenagers listen to music is linked to how happy they are.

“Happiness” seems like a simple concept, but you can think about it in two different ways. First, there is feeling happy in the moment, like when you hear your favourite song on the radio. Second, there is the happiness that comes from feeling good about your life overall.

We know that music can contribute to the first kind of happiness, but can it also contribute to the second kind?

It turns out that the answer depends on why people listen to music.

Researchers asked more than 200 college students about their reasons for listening to music. They wanted to know if the students were listening for their own reasons–for example, because music gives them pleasure.

Or were the students listening for different kinds of reasons–for example, to fit in with a peer group?

The research team discovered that the students who listened for their own reasons were happier with their lives.

In fact, the reasons students gave for listening to music turned out to be more important than the amount of time they spent listening.

But a mystery remains: Were the students happy because they listened to music for their own reasons, or did their happiness allow them to act on what was important to them rather than doing things just to fit in?

–The author of this article, Jeanette Bicknell, is the author of the book Why Music Moves Us.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
This article ends with an important question: “Were the students happy because they listened to music for their own reasons, or did their happiness allow them to act on what was important to them rather than doing things just to fit in?”

Re-write this question in your own words and then try to answer it using your own experiences and the experiences of your friends.

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
What is the role of music in your own life? When do you listen to music? What types of music do you choose to listen to? How does this music make you feel?

Junior
E
xtend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
An adjective is a word that describes a noun. A comparative adjectives compare two nouns. For example, “The dog is older than the cat.” Superlative adjectives compare more than two nouns. For example, “The nachos are spicy, the soup is spicier, but the curry is the spiciest.”

Write the superlative adjectives for the following adjectives:
For example: happy, happier, happiest
1. fast
2. smart
3. tall
4. close
5. beautiful