Den livsviktige musikken. En kvalitativ undersøkelse om musikk, ungdom og helse
MetadataShow full item record
The last decade’s technological advances have increased the availability of music. With portable stereos like MP3-players, iPods and smartphones, and music libraries such as Spotify, WiMP og iTunes, we have access to all music whenever we want. Adolescents are, more than most, up to date on technical innovations, and many young people are surrounded by music in their daily activities (Vaage, 2013). In the words of Swedish music researcher Carin Öblad (2000, s. 41), music exists in young people’s lives ‘like the air they breathe’. Also, music can, in many ways, be described as a ‘soundtrack’ to life in general (Ruud, 2013b). Music is no longer just a leisure activity. It also has an important symbolic function. Further, music has more influence on several social and psychosocial fields than before. Resent publications within youth research indicates that a large number of current adolescents struggle with physical or mental health issues (Mykletun et al., 2009; Samdal et al., 2009). There is a variety of explanations for this, but most frequently the causes are connected to non-material threats to health, such as a lack of fellowship, faith, meaning and hope (Fløttum, 2013; Fugelli, 1998). Even if present adolescents perform better and are more forwardlooking than before, scientist are concerned about their mental health (Frøyland et al., 2013). On the basis of the outlined topic area, the present thesis will examine the connections between adolescents’ daily use of music and their understanding of its affect upon their quality of life or in a broad sense, their experience of health. This explorative study is based on eighteen qualitative interviews with young people between the ages of sixteen and nineteen, who were recruited from upper secondary schools and from the Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care (ABUP) at Sørlandet Hospital (South Norway). The interviews can be described as ‘semi-structured’ (Kvale & Brinkmann, 2009). For the analysis I have used systematic text condensation, as modified by Kirsti Malterud (2003). The analysis is based on a theoretical framework where perspectives from music sociology, music psychology and music and health help form a unified theoretical platform. My interest lies in with how adolescents use music, and how they experience musical meaning and sense, not so much what kind of music they listen too. Following Small (1998), I hold that music is something we take an active role in, something we do. Music carries certain affordances that offers its listeners various possibilities for action (DeNora, 2000). The experience of musical meaning, then, is determined by the sounding material, the person who performs or listen to it, and the context within which it is encountered (Ruud, 2006a, 2011b). Health is interpreted as pluralistic and holistic concept (Barbosa da Silva, 2013; Duncan, 2007; Nordenfelt, 1991, 2007). The analysis indicates that music is part of young people's everyday lives as a resource on individual, social and existential levels alike. On an individual level, the adolescents’ statements show that they have a clear understanding of the music they listen to. Music is described as an “everyday good”, something that ”raises me up” and ”makes me feel good”. Music functions as a strategy for emotion regulation. It has the ability to amplify and change emotions, and it contributes to their ability to vent and process their emotions. In this way, music can contribute to emotional competence. Furthermore, the adolescents' statements show how music can function as a coping strategy. Music is used to relax, to gear up, to concentrate on homework, to sleep, and music activity can thus be described as a resource when facing everyday demands. Linked to a social level, the adolescents’ statements show how music use constitutes an important resource in their socialization process. Music forms a large part of their leisure time, and several of the adolescents describe music as a central and necessary ambience in social contexts. The adolescents categorize music into what it fits, and by playing the "right" music; the music can contribute to social basic skills. Furthermore, music contributes in different ways to regulate relationships. Through discussing music, exchanging sound files and identifying with or disparaging certain artists, the adolescents signal something about values and social positions. Music can thus also in different ways reflect their identity. The adolescents are concerned with authenticity and genuine musical expressions, which in turn can be linked to a desire to appear in the social community with a strong sense of individuality. Because music activities influence many and important parts of the adolescents’ everyday life, the adolescents refer to music as something they are dependent on, something that makes life meaningful. One of them puts it this way: ”Music's vital to me, for my life to be anything”. Another says: ” ”If a day goes by without music, it's like I haven't lived that day”. These kinds of statements speak to young people’s experience of music as a prerequisite for leading a good life, suggesting its positioning and potential as not only an individual and social resource but also an existential one that affects human existence in the deepest sense. Music can in this perspective be described as a recourse on an existential level. It became apparent through this project that the adolescents’ daily use of music involves more than the music itself. They use music, in various situations, as a deliberate strategy for coping with a host of challenges. Thanks to music’s multifaceted individual, social, and existential application, I conclude that music, as used by the adolescents in this project, ought to be viewed as a resource in their experience and cultivation of health. Technological developments continue to make access to music increasingly straightforward, and musical activity will impact young people’s lives for the foreseeable future. In this sense, we have only scratched the surface of this topic, which demands further exploration along the lines of the work presented here. - - - - Norsk sammendrag - - - - Temaet i Hege Bjørnestøl Beckmanns studie er ungdoms bruk av musikk som helseressurs. Beckmanns analyse viser at ungdom har et svært bevisst forhold til musikken de hører på. Musikk hjelper ungdommene å reflektere over hverdagslige hendelser. Gjennom ulike sanger og selvkomponerte spillelister finner ungdommene trøst, og musikk fungerer som egenomsorg og en ressurs på et individuelt plan. Musikk står også sentralt i ungdommenes sosialiseringsprosess. Ved å gi sin tilslutning til noen musikalske sjangere og ta avstand fra andre, fungerer musikk som et redskap til å innordne seg et sosialt miljø, og musikk blir en viktig brikke i ungdommenes arbeid med å skape sin egen identitet. Musikk fungerer derfor også som en ressurs på et sosialt plan. Siden musikk inngår i så mange og viktige deler av ungdommenes liv, kan musikken i tillegg beskrives som en ressurs på et eksistensielt plan. Ungdommene forteller at musikkaktivitet gjør hverdagen meningsfull. En av dem sier for eksempel at «musikken er viktig for meg, for at livet mitt skal være fylt med noe». En annen sier: «Hvis det går en dag uten at jeg har hørt på musikk, så føler jeg liksom at jeg ikke har levd den dagen». Disse utsagnene forteller noe om ungdommenes opplevelse av musikk som svært viktig i hverdagen, noe som oppleves essensielt og nødvendig. I helsefremmende arbeid er man opptatt av hvilke aktiviteter som kan påvirke helse og livskvalitet. Hensikten med Beckmanns studie er å synliggjøre hvordan ungdoms musikkbruk kan inngå som ressurs for å forebygge og fremme opplevelse av helse, en selvvalgt strategi som ungdommene bruker i møte med livets mange utfordringer. Det empiriske materialet til studien er samlet inn gjennom kvalitative intervjuer med 18 ungdommer i alderen 16-19 år. Beckmann har benyttet en tverrfaglig tolkningsramme basert på sosiologiske, psykologiske og helsefaglige teorier for å diskutere hvorvidt ungdoms musikkbruk kan forstås som en ressurs som på ulike måter kan ses i sammenheng med deres opplevelse av helse og livskvalitet.
Dissertation for the PhD degree Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo 2014 - Avhandling (Ph.D.) - Norges musikkhøgskole, 2014