Students, teacher discuss the benefits of music, self expression


Helena Wang

Junior Audrey Scull plays the cello. She said music helps her express her thoughts when she can’t put them into words.

Eddie Sun and Hibba Mahmood

The vibrations of music fill the air as senior Owen Bruner composes his own pieces with a simple guitar and his own voice. It’s a soothing melody, and the song is one of many Bruner has created. Bruner said it all started in the front of his father’s truck, where his father and he would bond over the common ground of music

“I started writing music a while ago, I’d say late elementary school. I didn’t really get to a good level until I reached high school and it’s been pretty much nonstop since then,” Bruner said. “I got into music when I was younger. Growing up me and my dad would jam out in the car, and my best friend and I would spend a lot of time playing instruments together.” 

Although music isn’t a specific written language, Bruner said music can be understood by anyone, and that artists are flexible in the way they express themselves. 

“Music being a way of self expression comes back to what I said earlier about it being a universal language. Everyone can understand when a song is sad, and the same can be said with happy, aggressive or dark melodies,” Bruner said.

Bruner said music has always been a large part of his life and has allowed him to express his own thoughts and feelings while also connecting heavily with the listener.

“My main goal when writing music is for the listener to connect to it,” he said. “I want to make music that pretty much anyone can enjoy, while at the same time I want to have a deep connection with myself so I can put real emotion into it when I perform it.”

Junior Audrey Scull said she agreed with Bruner and said music helps her express her thoughts when she can’t exactly put them into words.

“I think music can be a way of self-expression just by being able to say whatever you want and not even having to use words and just create something, and say something that you have in your head that you can’t express otherwise,” Scull said.

Junior Audrey Scull plays the piano. Scull said she gets inspiration from many different things, especially instruments such as the piano (Helena Wang)

Scull said she gets her inspiration from many different places, and she said music has always been a significant part of her life.

“Both of my parents are musicians- they both went to music school-so it’s always been a pretty big part of my life, and I’ve just always loved it and have always been surrounded by it,” Scull said. “I think I started writing songs, I always liked playing around on the piano and just figured random stuff out, but I don’t think I wrote an actual song until I was like 12 years old.”

Scull said she has been a big fan of many musicians, watching YouTube videos and listening to their music since childhood.

Beyond it’s ability to communicate, according to John Hopkins Medicine, research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness and memory. Similarly, making music can lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate and improve our body’s ability to fight viruses.

As both Bruner and Scull discussed the benefits of making music, they both said creating music has greatly benefited their mental state, by allowing them to have fun during the music producing process while also maturing along with their music styles as time goes on.

Joshika Sathyamathan

Director of Bands, Michael Pote said he agrees with both Bruner and Scull and said that music in general has many great benefits with both listening and producing music.

“A human being needs a creative outlet as well as a scientific and mathematical outlet. I think you need to balance yourself out as a person and creating music definitely helps with that,” Pote said.

Pote said that music and arts of all forms can benefit students especially regarding therapy, where it may express their feelings or values at a certain point in time. 

“Music therapy is a big field,” he said. “We have students who go into music therapy where it definitely benefits them mentally, but anything arts related can help with therapy.”

Bruner said he agrees with Pote and said that most of his pieces embody his own personal values, beliefs and emotions.

“My writing gets a lot of inspiration from my beliefs, my values, and the experiences I’ve been through. Not every song I write will be about something that’s happened to me, but it will still have a connection with my personality and what I value,” Bruner said.

Ultimately, in light of National Music as Therapy month which takes place in March, Bruner said he hoped to continue his music career as seeks to reach a large audience to share his emotions and feelings through the music he produces.

“I plan on pursuing music until the day I die,” he said. “Performing for an audience is something I’ve grown up doing, and I’ve performed for tens of thousands of people before and it just feels home to me. I know it’s what I’m supposed to be doing and for that reason I’m going to put toward all the work that’s necessary for it to happen.”