I Believe in Rock and Roll


Photo by Stampede

Jackson Howell, Staff Writer

Music is the great equalizer. Everything can be fixed by music. Art brings the world together. It’s not exactly true, but it works. For the better part of my life I’ve been living with the music that my parents have chosen for me. My tastes really developed out of a mould. When I got a bit older I developed my own mind and my own tastes. I became my own person. I grew up and broke the mould that my parents had made for me. There aren’t a lot of ways that I can differ from my parents, but one of the ways is in my taste in music. My political opinion, and of course in the way that I go about my life are some other ways.

Rock and roll has been a big part of how I overcome struggle and anxiety. There is nothing like a good Black Sabbath song to calm my nerves in a tense situation. I believe that everyone needs a coping mechanism. One of the only things that separates us from animals is our ability to use our imagination to create art. We can, as a people, do incredible things. Some of the most talented and intelligent people have been the biggest rock stars ever. For example look at John Lennon and Frank Sinatra. Back in grade school they told us to pick up an instrument because it was likely to help us succeed academically. I played the trumpet for four years and I do believe that it helped me a great deal, and it also developed a love for instrumental music.

Many times I have felt that a tense situation, or a stressful test, or an awkward conversation would have been made better by a soundtrack or some music. Especially during tests do I think that music should not be disallowed. Studies have shown that if students are allowed to take a test in a similar environment to that which they studied in, they score better. While you can’t let every student take a test at home in their pj’s, you can allow students to listen to the same music or drink the same drink or chew the same gum. My biology, and now forensics teacher, have created a playlist that plays during every test we take and has made it readily available so that students can study to the same music they will take the test to. It really isn’t a hard thing to do. It is also worth saying that it isn’t as if AC/DC is going to sing me the answers to your trigonometry test. The aversion that teachers have towards phones astounds me. Music is a tool through which real learning and achievement can take place.

When I’m listening to “La Virgin De La Macarena” by Arturo Sandoval, the whole world melts away and there is nothing left besides me and the music. When Tim Blake Nelson belts out “Cool Water” I feel the desert heat and the weight of the world lift off my shoulders. “I believe in rock and roll.” -Don McLean “American Pie.”