How to Stop This Generation of Music Shamers

A few weeks ago, I read an article about “Music Shaming,” and thought, what are we, 10? Who makes fun of people for what kind of music they listen to, especially at this age? 

But as I started thinking back to middle school and high school, everyone always had something to say about other peoples music taste. The emo kids with their heavy metal music were called weird. The popular kids with their catchy radio pop music were told they didn’t know anything about music. If people listened to rap music, they didn’t know “real rap.” If people listened to classic rock, they “weren’t even alive to hear these bands, so, like what’s the point?” Yet no one was interested in anything but what they liked.

But is this really fair? Music, in my eyes at least, is one of the few things on earth that everyone can enjoy, no matter what it sounds like. In every song, a lyric can be appreciated, understood, and talked about. People can dance to anything if they put their minds to it. They can introduce their friends to underground bands, and to new songs that aren’t overplayed on the radio. 

Yet many people in this generation do the opposite. They hide what they like, most of the time just to fit in. They listen to what their friends listen to, instead of embracing the fact that they like boy bands or rock out to classical music while doing their homework. No one wants to be shamed for anything they like, especially music. But why should people hide something that makes them happy?

Michelle Levash, a senior English and education major, sees this generation as being heavily involved in the electric dance music, or “EDM” scene. “I feel like while at college I’ve realized it’s a weird mix of students liking edm or country, and that’s pretty much it. I’ve only met a few people who like anything besides the two.”

“As for me, I like dance music and am not into country at all. I make it pretty clear too, by pouting whenever it comes on. I just feel like it’s completely different than the dance music I like, and I can’t really get into it,” Levash adds.

Aaron Furgason, an associate professor of communication, agreed. “I think a majority of college students are into EDM music, Country and Pop music. The usual suspects most youth avoid, Blues, Classical & Jazz music. They openly ‘voice their lack of support’ by not buying [CDs] or attending concerts by artist in these genres.”

Though there is a possibility that rocks will be thrown at me as I leave campus, I have to admit, I do not like country music. I never have, and though I have tried, I probably never will. I simply do not understand it. Where I grew up, no one listened to country. It was never even mentioned as a genre as I drifted through my middle school and high school days, trying to figure out what kind of music person I was. 

Once I entered college, I realized I was one of the few who didn’t worship the country music gods and their southern drawls. The only thing I really ever got from it was that other than the clothing and accents, it wasn’t too far off from rap music, mostly being about partying, drinking and women. 

But in my defense, I would never bash someone who listened to and loved country. Just because I’m not into it, doesn’t mean I think other people should feel the same way. If you’re into that sort of thing, by all means, you do you. You go to Nashville and learn how to play the guitar and wear red, white and blue every day for the rest of your life if you want to. If someone loves country music, it doesn’t affect me in any way, shape or form. Unless you try to play only country while I’m in the car, then you might receive a bit of a groan and eye roll.

Eric Szkodny, a senior history and education major, said, “I like a little bit of everything. I like classic rock, I can jam to some country, and I can get into a little hip hop. Those are the six preset stations in my truck, two of each, so that’s what I mostly listen too. It all depends on my mood.”

“I don’t like heavy metal, I don’t like hipster music, and I can’t get into reggae. I can listen to EDM at parties, but I don’t go out of my way to listen to it. I think everyone at this school thinks they’re a DJ, but I don’t really get what all the hype is about,” Szkodny added.

No matter what you may be into now, if you think about it, your music taste has definitely changed, and it will again in the future. What did you listen to in middle school? Probably not the same things you are listening to now, besides the occasional throwback. Though most people in college, and in this generation, seem to like the same kind of music, is it really all that strange for someone to be different and like something out of the norm?

I think not. People that listen to all different types of music are the reason music is what it is. With millions of songs to be sung and lyrics to be quoted on Instagram selfies, I say it’s time to rid ourselves of music shaming and embrace whatever music comes our way. So rock on, dance it out, and do whatever they do while listening to country music.