West Ridge Academy: The Important Balance Of Freedom And Choice In Music

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The top 3 things you can do to help your kids when have a drinking problem. Knowing how to do it is just as important to knowing what to do according to West Ridge Academy Experts.


  • 1. You Call That Music?By Christopher Woods, Music Instructor____________________________________________Did your parents say it to you? Have you said it to your kids (even though you probablyswore you never would)? Your grandparents almost certainly said it to your parents.From My Chemical Romance and Drake to Nirvana and Public Enemy. From LedZeppelin and The Rolling Stones to The Beatles and The Beach Boys. From Elvis andBuddy Holly to Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis. For decades, parents around the worldhave been telling their kids thats not music and have often found themselvesscreaming, Turn off that noise!Of course, parents arent the only ones who struggle when listening to anothergenerations music. If you ask any teen about the music theyll tell you how painful it isto be trapped in a car or other confined space with their parents listening to theirmusic. Its boring. Its cheesy. Its not classic it is just old. And, just as you likelycontested many years ago, they will argue that their parents just dont get it when theyhear the complaints about what they are listening to.Negotiating the many differences of opinion between parents and teens can feel likenavigating a minefield. Its not unusual for disagreements over music to exacerbate riftsin families. Understanding why teens like the music they do, and knowing what parentscan do if they dont approve of their childs music choices, has the potential to bringfamilies together. Theres no denying the powerful role music plays in a teens life.Kids identify themselves with music, and many experts agree that music gives voice toa generation. Just think back to the music that you listened to in High School and themusic your classmates listened to and remember what it said about who you and theywere at that time. Music has the ability to communicate the deepest feelings of ourhearts; the feelings of our souls, essentially, says Chris Woods, music teacher at WestRidge Academy. Its happy, its sad, its feelings of heartache and triumph, feelings ofanger, disgust, and yes, feelings of peace. Music really is that medium by which allfeelings can be communicated, from the person who created it to the person who islistening to it. Looking through a teens playlist on his or her iPod can provide arevealing glimpse into some of what your teen values.There is hope for those parents who dont like the music their children are listening to.Remember that teens can often gravitate toward music more for its rhythm and beat,than for the lyrics. A lot of our kids today like to listen to hip hop and rap music. I think1

2. the reason for that is because of hip hops rhythmic structure, Woods says. And, sincemusical tastes often change, Wood agrees that the best approach is to be patient.Some music, however, has overt negative messages and can be harmful to teens. It isimportant for parents to establish guidelines and standards for music, such as excludingmusic with violent lyrics, sexual innuendo, or profanity. Once parents have establishedthese guidelines, it is important that teens be exposed to different kinds of music andallowed to make their own appropriate choices. Agreeing to occasionally share andlisten to each others music can help build bridges and minimize disputes. If parentsallow their children to choose, and if clear, respectful boundaries are set and followed,then both parents and teenagers can achieve a more positive relationship.Students at West Ridge learn from Mr. Woods how to appreciate music and expressthemselves through different types of music. At the end of the course, some of thestudents even record their own songs. Giving expression to their feelings can be a lifechanging experience. It surprised me how many of the kids were writing spiritual music,music reflecting changes they had made, Woods says. I think the music is theiracknowledgement that West Ridge has helped them, and theyve needed that.West Ridge Academy, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, is a residential treatment center for struggling youth from 918 yearsold. www.westridgeacademy.com, 801-282-1000 or 1-800-262-2697 2 3. 3