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The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

How music impacts RCHS students

Ibrahim Barry
An RCHS student listens to music while doing homework.

Imagine sitting down, headphones on. A symphony of sound surrounding you and bombarding you with any type of music you desire. From the sickly sweet R&B tunes of Boyz II Men, or the chaotic noise of Metallica, the music cocooning you assuages any fears you may have, and provides a much desired distraction from the woes of everyday life.

While that may seem like a far-fetched dream, a simple fantasy, it’s reality to the innumerous amount of people who enjoy music throughout their day-to-day lives, whether that be listening to the radio on the way to work, to having headphones on while doing menial tasks. 

 For these people, music is more than just a form of entertainment. For them it serves a deeper purpose, often validating their experiences and allowing them to listen to songs that resonate with their current situations in life. 

“During my worst moments certain songs have validated what I felt and have gotten me through it,” freshman Juliana Hall said.

During my worst moments certain songs have validated what I felt and have gotten me through it

— Juliana Hall

And this sentiment is shared among many RCHS students, with 75% of students saying that music is extremely important to them.

Beyond just helping people through their own problems, music allows for students to build close bonds and connect with others with similar music tastes, with 89% of students stating that music has helped them become closer to people.

“Music just helps me get through the day [and] relieves stress. Friends and I can talk about music and listen together,” senior Logan Ciszek said.

People listen to music for a multitude of reasons, with some using it simply as background noise, while others derive a deeper meaning from it, with music truly serving as a life-changing force, getting people through the most trying of times.

“Music allows people to articulate how they feel and put words to experiences, that’s why I personally am more focused on lyrics than harmony,” SEL (social emotional learning) teacher Ms. Kelsei Trautwein said. “Overall I think music is a vehicle for emotional expression and creativity.”

“Overall I think Music serves as a vehicle for emotional expression and creativity.

— Kelsei Trautwein, RCHS SEL teacher

This sentiment is shared among various RCHS students, with multiple citing similar feelings. But beyond just RCHS, a trend has begun to emerge of people using music throughout their day.

“Music has helped me play ball every day even when I am unmotivated by a loss,” German exchange student and RCHS junior Mattes Bieler said.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, through a survey of over 40,000 people, the average time spent listening to music for most people is about 20 hours a week, (about 3 hours a day,) with 71% of people surveyed saying that music is vital to their mental health. Additionally, according to multiple sources, Spotify, which is the number one music streaming app in the world, has about 600 million monthly users, which, to put into perspective, is almost double the population of the United States. 

This number may seem outrageous, but it’s even more staggering when you consider that certain songs have upward of one billion views, essentially meaning that an eighth of the world’s population has listened to said song. As of April 2024, there are 621 songs with this achievement. 

In addition to just serving individual people, music also has wider cultural impacts, with certain songs/albums achieving widespread critical acclaim and having effects outside of just the music industry. 

One example of this is Kendrick Lamar’s 2017 album, “Damn.” To this day, it remains the only non classical or jazz album to receive the prestigious award. 

Another example is one that should come as no surprise, Michael Jackson. No matter where in the world you go, that name is one that is known by most of the world. In a time with no streaming, the singer managed to sell a staggering 750 million records worldwide, a feat not repeated by another artist since.

The cultural impacts of artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Michael Jackson, and many more can not be understated at all, and they’re even more prominent now, with the widespread use of social media spreading their music and impacts throughout the world. Popular dances such as the moonwalk, popularized by Michael Jackson, are known all across the globe, a testament to the artist’s widespread impact. 

From deeply personal experiences to viral TikTok dances, music touches all corners of life, with most people, if not all, having some interaction with the medium. From jamming to a Top 40 song in the car while on the way to school, or sitting down while listening to a conscientious rap song that causes to contemplate your place in the world, music truly is one of the few forces that, whether lightly or heavily, impacts everyone who interacts with it.

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About the Contributor
Ibrahim Barry
Ibrahim Barry, Staff Reporter
Ibrahim Barry is a freshman at Rancho Cucamonga High School, and this is his first year in journalism. He is a staff reporter for the school newspaper, The Cat’s Eye. His favorite thing about journalism is being able to reach out to the community and give voice to his fellow students. When outside of school, Barry enjoys trying various foods and reading.

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