Music shapes our days

In the classroom and beyond, music sets the tone

Elena Clark

More stories from Elena Clark

Walking down the hall, a tune plays in the background. There’s a beat in your brain that carries you through the sea of students. Other students pass by, earbuds in their ears, all listening to their own soundtracks of life.

Music is a formative part of life to many students at Shorewood. Michael Wymer, junior, says music has always been important to him. “I grew up listening to music, we have CDs, a record player, and it’s a big part of my family’s life is listening to music.”

Many people are affected by music as a component in their daily lives. English teacher Nate Stearns expresses that music influences him every day. “I listen to KEXP radio station every morning on the way to work,” he says. Along with listening to the radio and CDs, people share their music with their peers.

Sharing music is another way that students and teachers express their music taste. Stearns expresses his interest in music is in his own classroom. “[I do] a ten minute write every day in all my classes… often it’s kind of quiet and I thought it would be cool to have music, but you can’t have music with words,” says Stearns.

Through these ten minute writes, Stearns was able to expand his musical horizons to unfamiliar genres. “I’m trying to get a diverse background with different kinds of instrumental music. From jazz with Thelonious Monk to what’s going on right now: the Lo-Fi Beats,” he said.

Musical influence can be from anywhere. Students diversify their own music through different platforms such as social media or through friends and family. “I’ll find it on TikTok,” explains Wymer, “or to find music I’ll type a word into a search bar and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the songs and hit shuffle and see if I like it.”

Discovering new music allows people to expand their taste and surround themselves with a musical ambiance. “I love the atmosphere of music. When I’m working and I’ve got just the right tunes that are getting an atmosphere of creativity. It makes me work better and happy about life,” says Stearns. Music inspires people through sound or lyrics to be productive or creative.

While the sounds of music are pleasing to listen to, lyrics are another way that artists affect their audience. “Music with a message and has means to get people interested in things,” said Wymer, “I think that’s a good way, it’s not just for pleasure but it has another aspect to it.”

Stearns states, “I think music affects us in a real non-verbal way that is exciting. It can change our moods; it can make us feel more connected.”