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It's in the Mix - Music and Your Teenager

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It's in the Mix: Music and Your Teenager by Mike Nappa "I never really thought that being obnoxious would get me to where I am now," says Billie Joe Armstrong, the front man for mainstream alternative band, Green Day. Together with his bandmates, he routinely fills 15,000 seat stadiums and has sold millions of records to date. "When I play, I'm not a nice guy," he continues. "You know, when you get really drunk, and it's like this person inside you that wants to come out and be obnoxious? It's that same kind of thing. And then people like you for it. I don't get that." A lot of Green Day's fans are teenagers, and like Billie Joe, their parents don't "get that" either. After all, why would kids like yours want to listen to music that even its creator calls obnoxious? In fact, why do teenagers need music in the first place? Why do parents and teenagers often disagree about music? And what can parents and teenagers do to reach a middle ground? The answers to questions like these aren't always obvious, but that doesn't mean we can simply ignore the questions. Let's see what we can discover as we attempt to answer them now. Why Do Teenagers Need Music? There's no denying the fact that music has power in a teenager's life. ...read more.


But he saw value in setting aside his musical taste in order to take his daughter on a "date" to hear firsthand the Newsboys unique brand of in-your-face Christian lyrics and alternative music. His daughter seemed to appreciate it too. Halfway through the concert, she turned her attention from the stage and gave her father a long, heartfelt hug. That father also demonstrated another important factor when it comes to parents, teenagers, and music: Communication. Hefner underscores the that by saying, "The best way parents and kids can reach a middle ground is simply to communicate. To listen to music together, and be willing to discuss it in light of their beliefs. What does the music say? How does it represent the truth? And what is my response to it?" Dickerson also suggests we communicate our parental desire to see our children pursue spiritual health in their music choices. "I look at it the same way as I do nutrition," he says. "There are some foods that aren't necessarily healthy, but they taste good. And every once in a while, in moderation, they aren't a bad thing. But then again, you've got to know yourself. "To me the big thing is, and not with just music but with anything in my life, is this helping me to stay close in my walk with God or is this a distraction? ...read more.


They profess to be Christians and start every concert with a prayer. They're known to have a "squeaky clean" image. And several of their songs deal with excellent themes, like the hit, "Thank You," which is an expression of appreciation for the love and support they've received from their parents. The big flaw with Boyz II Men has been their willingness to sing sexually suggestive lyrics in songs like "I'll Make Love to You" and "Jezzebel." For that reason, this group might be bad for a teenager struggling with sexual temptation. However, if your teen's maturity level is such that he or she can skip past the occasional sex-focused songs, then Boyz II Men might otherwise be an enjoyable choice for the whole family. Christian Music Alternatives: Take 6 (Warner Alliance), La More (GospoCentric), Commissioned (Benson). SIDEBAR Teens and Music In his groundbreaking book, Understanding Youth Culture, Walt Mueller reveals these facts about teenagers and their music: �The average teenager listens to music four to six hours a day. �In the six years between ages 12 and 18, the average teenager will listen to about 10,500 hours of music. �Nine out of 10 teenagers tune in the radio at least once during the course of a normal day. �Ten- to 19-year-olds are the buyers in nearly one-fourth of all music sales in the U.S. �More than half of all teenagers "often" or "always" study while playing music. �Fifty-five million Americans subscribe to the youth-and-music focused MTV cable network. ...read more.

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