Written By: Maria Emmons
Rap, Country, Pop, Rock, the ongoing debate… What is the best genre of music? Between students and teachers at Atholton, what are the differences in their music taste? Are there differences?
Clearly, music taste is generational and students and teachers have differing music tastes, on average. When sophomore Malia Billingsley was asked if she thought she had a popular taste in music, she replied, “A little bit, depends on the age range of people.” It seems that students tend to listen to newer music that is popular today, whereas teachers tend to listen to music from years ago and popular to their own generations.
Government teacher Mr. Mitchell explained how he likes bands like Nirvana and The Red Hot Chili Peppers and he said that his favorite genre is 90’s grunge, “I think it was just, to be honest with you, it was just popular when I was a kid.” Mr. Mitchell went on to say that his favorite genre makes him feel “nostalgic.”
Similarly, Malia Billingsley went on to say that she prefers music that is popular to Gen Z on average. Her favorite genre is pop music. When asked what her favorite artists are she replied, “I don’t have one…I like a lot of artists, there is a band I like called AJR, I like Bruno Mars and I like Ed Sheeran and other artists,” all of which are often played on the radio and known by high school students.
It was a common theme that both students and teachers both preferred to create their own playlists and listen to their choices of music vs. the radio. Atholton sophomore Parker Semmont explained that he much prefers creating his own playlists, saying, “Because the radio plays whatever they want… but what if I don’t want to hear a song right, I can put on whatever I want.” Parker, like both students and teachers, prefer to listen to what they like and not what the radio shuffles through.
It was also clear from talking to both students and teachers that both groups pick their music options based on their moods. Special Education teacher Ms. Bollt explained that she picks her music based on her moods and she created playlists for certain moods. She explained a few of her playlists saying, “So all my playlists that I have are based off a specific mood, I have one called ‘Sigh’ and one called ‘Today is gonna be a good day’ and so whatever I’m feeling, I can just put on that playlist which I like instead of having to think about what song.”
Sitting in class, feet tapping, his anticipation high, the students waits for the final bell of the day. The young sophomore has plans with his friends after school. The teacher is ready to get home and take a nap after a long week. What do they share? They’ll use music to get them there. The sophomore listens to his rap “pump-up” playlist and the teacher listens to her folk “wind-down” playlist, both ready to get into their weekend.
So perhaps asking what genre is the best is the wrong question to ask but observing the generational gaps and musical preferences based on them is more important. Both students and teachers can agree that music is feelings based and can always add some spice to their lives.