What’s in Your Ear?

Students replay their year in music


Rachel Hartmann

Music platforms offer thousands of genres of music for listeners to create their own habits. The number one music app is Spotify where songs, podcasts, and even audiobooks can be accessed.

From the fervor of Spotify Wrapped and Apple Music Replay, AirPods and headphones have embedded themselves into the ears of students and other people around the world.

Refreshing themselves into a new year, students recall their development in music taste.

“My [music taste] didn’t really change a lot, and I didn’t listen to music that much; I only had like 20-something thousand minutes listened for the whole year,” sophomore Emma Irvin said. “This year, I started to listen to a lot more Bruno Mars.”

Towards the end of the year, Spotify Wrapped compared listeners’ hours on specific artists by putting them into a percentile which has become a common competition between listeners to see who has more hours.

“Spotify Wrapped is what inspired me to open up to Bruno Mars, and my goal for this year is to be his number one listener,” Irvin said. “I know all of his songs and listen to them on the daily, and I have my playlist set and ready to go.”

After being hooked by Versace on the Floor by Bruno Mars, Irvin indulged into his years-worth of discography.

“I don’t listen to a lot of underground artists; I’m not that type of person,” Irvin said. “For Bruno Mars specifically, people tend to know his more popular songs, but the good stuff is where his unpopular songs are. The songs that people have never heard of are his best songs.”

Unlike Irvin’s goal, many other listeners hope to spread their music variety.

“I listened to around 92 genres. I had two accounts and one had 26,000 minutes and the other one had 110,000,” sophomore Jaden Garcia said. “I listen to music pretty much all day until my AirPods die.”

Indulging into the art of music brings it to life and can be a contribution factor on what brings a song to fame.

“As far as rap goes, there’s so many different types to choose from,” Garcia said. “Some people look for just beats, but I look for anything that I like about the song. Sometimes a song could have a nice beat, but the lyrics and vocals could be terrible.”

Music can be used for countless situations and even as a distractor for the outside world.

“Music has played a big part in my life because you can use music to vent out your most hidden emotions,” Garcia said. “I think not being too close-minded about certain genres or artists is a big deal.”

Looking for a constant refresh of music, Garcia is always open to expand his style.

“For me, I have certain playlists for different moods, and I play certain playlists based on how I feel,” Garcia said. “Sometimes I’ll play a certain playlist to change how I feel because there’s a lot of different moods in music. That’s a big thing for me.”

According to a 2016 Jed Foundation study on anxiety with music, people who listened to music more during stressful situations were found to have lower levels of anxiety and faster stress recovery.

“Music for me is all about a persons’ mood or the vibe of the place you’re in. For example, if I’m in my room doing homework, I would play something similar to Gonna Love Me by Teyana Taylor, or if I’m about to workout and need to get energy, I’d listen to Wants and Needs by Drake. It’s all about the circumstances for me.

For years, music has been used and created to release stress, mental health, and influences how we feel. For many people, this is a contributing factor in the music genres they listen to.

“I listen to Spanish music a good amount,” junior Jennifer Rodriguez said. “My top artist according to my Spotify Wrapped was Jenni Rivera. You’ll see me pull up at least one Jenni Rivera song every day.”

With the discovery of the show Mariposa De Barrio, Rodriguez was inspired by the story and music of singer Jenni Rivera.

“Her songs are really powerful, and  I’m really into them because of that,” Rodriguez said. “I find a lot of them relatable because of me being Hispanic.”

Rodriguez typically finds Jenni Rivera on rotation throughout her day and has already become a top listener on Spotify.

“I tend to listen to music a lot, especially those times when I really have nothing to do like in the hallways, when trying to do homework or studying,” Rodriguez said. “I think I had around 30,000 to 50,000 minutes listened [on Spotify].”

With over 830 hours of music listened, Rodriguez has used music as a clutch for emotional hours.

“Music is almost like therapy for me,” Rodriguez said. “It really calms me down at any time and has me at peace. When I’m stressed, instead of people trying to help me, I turn to music.” 

As others listen to more well-known music in the current year, some listeners tend to look more into the past.

“One day I’m scrolling through [Apple Music], and I see The Beatles,” freshman Ellison Frausto said. “I had never heard of them and knew they were supposed to be good, so I played the playlist and liked it. One thing then led to another, and now I have just under 40,000 minutes listened to their music alone.”

After being introduced to The Beatles, Frausto indulged himself into the history of their music and group.

“I went through their story, and that’s what really got me in touch because the story is so interesting,” Frausto said. “I listened through each album: It goes from John Lennon being a teenager, his mom dying and then instant fame.”

Frausto now has expanded his genres through other famous artists throughout the same time period.

“I have [a playlist] for just the Beatles and I have one for whatever I find,” Frausto said. “I’m making a new one because I’m trying to find other artists other than the Beatles because I’ve gotten through the entire playlist a couple of times.”

With billions of playlists on Spotify alone, listeners are able to create an endless amount of playlists to their likings.

“I make a lot of playlists that rotate throughout the day. Whenever I find a song I like, I add it to my playlists,” freshman Nick Hartmann said. “I have over 1000 liked songs on Spotify, and by the end of around two weeks, I sort them into new playlists. I made this group of playlists a couple of weeks ago where some have a lot of rap, indie, or chilling music.”

Sitting at the top of his top genres, Hartmann appreciates a more lyrical side of rap.

“I listen to [J. Cole] a lot because he has a wide range of music. It’s different from a lot of other rap,” Hartmann said. “With J. Cole, I can understand him more than most rappers who do not focus on lyrics as much. I listen more to his lyrics, but he still has great beats as they combine together.”

 As well as rap, music became a part of Hartmann’s daily life. 

“If it’s been a bad day, I listen to more calming music helps me unwind,” Hartmann said. “I guess that’s why that’s how I fell in love with it. If I’m in a happy mood, I tend to use more upbeat music because I think my mood affects my song choices.”