Music is a modern therapy for teens


Credit: Sarah Matyczyn

Wallis dedicates some of her senior photos to showcase her love and passion for music.

Ellie Haase, Social Media Editor

Wallis performs for Kalamazoo Academy of Rock online. This one was via zoom, broadcasted on a Facebook live.

Music has been able to help guide teens through this hard stage in their life. 

During quarantine, many people are dealing with mental health issues or just being sad and lonely because of the lack of in-person interaction. 

Some people took up new hobbies to fill their time, some people learned how to sew, bake, or how to play a new instrument. Senior Lucy Wallis, who is already a singer and pianist in a local band as a part of the Kalamazoo Academy of Rock (KAR), took up the guitar and the bass during the quarantine. 

Wallis describes KAR as “ a program for people all around the Kalamazoo area who want to play music.” Wallis has been a student in KAR for nearly 7 years participating in the different bands, workshops, and programs they have to offer to broaden and improve her skills. When the pandemic hit, this affected the band’s traditional rehearsals and shows. Wallis says they’ve had to adjust how they collaborate.

KAR started a music podcast and is now doing performances on Facebook Live. Check out the KAR website or their Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all their upcoming shows, podcasts, and more. 

Wallis said, “There are many programs. There’s something for everyone and we are always looking for new participants!”

By being able to continue performing even if it’s different, Wallis said the band members are given a way to “interact and express [themselves] during a time of disconnect.”

According to The Tabernacle Choir, music is linked to pain reduction and stress relief. Listening to music is said to “trigger opioids– the body’s natural pain reliever.”

“Performing and learning music has always been a creative outlet for me and a great break from school, especially when things are stressful,” said Wallis.

During quarantine, Wallis would turn to music a lot, whether listening or playing, to put her in a better mood, especially on the extra rough days. She said music was helpful in the sense that it gave her something to with all her free time, if she heard a song she liked she would sometimes just learn how to play it or sing it. 

HuffPost states that “Teens tend to gravitate to music describing what they are feeling and what is important to them.”

Aside from performing, Wallis also is an avid music listener. 

Wallis said, “I listen to all kinds of music but recently I’ve been enjoying alternative, Indie rock, and singer-songwriter acoustic.” 

She takes pride in the music she chooses to listen to and loves sharing her favorite songs or artists with people.  

“I’m always discovering new music from friends and also sending music to my friends,” said Wallis.