How music can influence us
Book Corner

Listen Deeper – Are you really hearing your favorite songs?

It’s just music… right?

As you hopefully remember (since it was just a few days ago), I just wrote about how fiction can influence and teach us. But books aren’t the only type of media that can influence what we think and believe, and I’d hate to leave music out of that. After all, music can be just as, if not more, influential than books.

For while books attempt to influence and instruct us through a fictional but realistic character arc and theme, music goes outright and (for the most part) tells us exactly what they want us to think and believe. Through creatively written lyrics, notes, and chords, song writers pour their emotions, thoughts, and perspective into a beautiful song.

This creates a beautiful work of art that represents hours, days, even weeks, of that artist’s work. It also will show that artist’s perspective on the world, life, truth, morality, politics, or whatever that specific song is about. Often enough, this is fine. There are plenty of songs that express views we can agree with, or that aren’t really relevant to anything.

…and then there are those songs.  The ones that you love listening to because of the singer, the tune, or whatever else, but that you disagree with for the most part. But you still find yourself listening to them. I’ve had this happen to me countless times, and had to stop listening to some songs because they were changing they my thoughts in a negative way.

These are the songs we must look out for.

They’re truly dangerous, because, while we may being listening to them with the simple justification that it’s just music and surely it can’t be that bad to listen to, it will eventually, whether slowly or immediately, change your thinking and opinions, letting in that of the artist’s.

Sometimes this is a problem, sometimes it isn’t. Think of music like food. The stuff that we both enjoy and are beneficially influenced by is like steak dinner or a smoothie, it’s both delicious and good for us. The stuff that we enjoy but influences us negatively is like cake or cookies, it’s delicious… but it’s also not the best for us and has the ability to leave us feeling sick afterwards.

(and the stuff that should influence us positively but we don’t enjoy is like broccoli, it’s good for us… but also not necessary for life on this planet)

So, as ‘cleverly’ illustrated in that metaphor, music affects us, whether we want it to or not, whether for good or for bad.  Therefor, when we come across songs that have the ability or possibility to influence our thinking negatively, we need to stop and ask ourselves if it’s worth being negatively influenced just so that we can listen to an interesting beat.

What does this change?

Next time you’re listening to a song, ponder what the artist wants to tell you. Truly listen to the lyrics, then ask yourself if you agree with that. Sometimes you will and sometimes you won’t.

If you find yourself lacking good artists to listen to, here are some of my favorite Christian artists:

I hope that list is helpful! Until next time,

Julia Elizabeth