The Columbine Massacre

The Columbine Massacre

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When the day was over twelve students, one teacher, and the two murders were dead. Twenty-one people were injured. April 20th,1999: what seemed like it was going be another day of learning for the students and staff attending Columbine High School in Colorado, but for Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, this was the day their master plan was going to finally happen. At 11:10 a.m. on a Tuesday Dylan and Eric both drove in separate cars into the parking lot of Columbine High School. Into the lunch room they carried twenty-pound propane bombs in duffle bags with the timers set for 11:17 and put them near the tables. No one paid any mind to the bags because they blended with the rest of the backpacks that were around. The boys then escaped to their cars and waited for the explosion to happen. After a few minutes nothing happened. They realized something went wrong with the timers on the bombs (it’s believed that if those bombs was to go off they would have killed the almost 500 people). Dylan and Eric’s original plan, to cause an explosion and shoot the survivors as they were running outside trying to escape failed so they then decided to go into the school.
Dylan was armed with a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun, and a 12 gauge double-barrel sawed-off shotgun. Both of the boys had on black trench coats to hide the weapons, and they were wearing belts filled with ammunition. Dylan wore a black glove on his right hand and Eric wore one on his left. They also carried knives and had a backpack and a duffle bag packed with bombs. Two pipe bombs the boys had put in an open field some blocks away had exploded. They did this so it would be a distraction for the police. At the same time Eric and Dylan started firing shots at people sitting outside the cafeteria. Many students believed the shootings were a senior prank, and were paint guns, so they didn’t flee when they saw the boys coming with these guns. Dylan and Eric then started dropping bombs all over and going throughout the whole school injuring and killing students and teachers. At the end of their shooting spree they went to the library shot out the windows towards the policemen and paramedics that were on scene, and then shot themselves in the head ending the Columbine massacre.

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Many people will say that the music Dylan and Eric were listening to was what influenced them to shoot up their school, but it wasn’t.
Jazz Era
Historically music wasn’t created from the events that artists were doing it was created from the emotional time era. For example Jazz which emerged in the 20th century from the African American communities of the South combined European harmonies with African based music. This music came from the deep depression of slavery and helped African Americans get through this difficult time.
Louis Armstrong was one of the biggest influences in the jazz era. He was an African American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. In this time era slavery was abolished and the society was dealing with uneducated African Americans. Even though slavery was abolished African Americans were not accepted by whites. Louis Armstrong helped with that cross over. He was largely accepted into the white society on stage and off. This was a privilege not many blacks had at the time.
Rock and Roll Era
Rock and roll was a genre of music that emerged in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. It was primarily a mixture of the popular music of the time which was blues, and jazz. During this time televisions started to influence American culture. It was a new technology that mainly influenced the youth. Teenagers being able to see the images of these rock and roll musicians helped the rise of the rebellious youth culture, which increased the popularity of rock music.
The children of World War II veterans were just reaching their teen years and, many of them were not agreeing with the post war idea that their parents had which was they should be proper adults. This music helped them bring together an effort to backlash against their parents expectations.
Hip Hop Era
Hip hop culture emerged out of an atmosphere of disappointment in society. By the 70’s the civil rights movement was over but for African Americans all around the states the struggle for full civic, and economic participation was not finished. There was political progress as far as black legislators served at every level of elected government. Integrated schools and neighborhoods were slowly re-segregating removing economic opportunities for, black families from the suburbs. After World War II it left black refugees in the troubled urban centers. This lead to poverty.
Hip hop came out of the Bronx people kids adults all gathering in parks street corners, and all over the neighborhood to speak over melodies. These people were speaking about problems going on their society, and people all around could relate to the words that were being spoken it was a movement that spreaded everywhere.
Rap music was aggressive and oppositional. Rappers such as Biggie Smalls who was from brooklyn rapped about being from poverty, and how he had to sell drugs just to put food on the table for his daughter. He talked about the stereotypes that whites gave African Americans. In his music he made people feel his struggle and how good it felt to not sucumb to these horrible stereotypes of what the black man was supposed to be like.
As we can see during the different time eras music was influenced by what was going on with the society. It gave people the opportunity to relate. One would like it to conclude that music influences youth to interact in an inappropriate way however, history reflects that music is influence but what is going on with society.
Music Therapy
Music therapy is one cure that works for teenagers with many diseases and ones that are just dealing with their own problems in general. Music is taken in through the ear, the sound is processed in the mind, and the body responds physically or, emotionally (McCaffrey, 2008). For, example a lullaby which has a slow rhythm it causes the body to calm down and relax. It’s very common for parents to sing lullabies to their children before bed to put them to sleep. However, if you actually look at the contents of the song itself, they are not soothing. It’s the rhythm of the melody that's soothing. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall And down will come baby, cradle and all (Rock-a-Bye Baby, lyrics.) These lyrics are not soothing, they are violent but because the melody is slow and calming, it brings the impression of serenity.
Music therapy has been studied in children with mental illness in various settings. These studies has included over 500 children of all ages. The goals of these studies were to determine the effectiveness on their social skills and functioning and, if music had an effect on their behavior. The results found that music did not have any effects on the children's behavior. Music has been used for centuries as a healing intervention providing holistic patient care (McFerran, 2011). One responsibility of a nurse is to provide an environment of healing for each patient. It is important for nurses to be aware music therapy’s effects in children with mental health disorders to provide holistic care (McCaffrey, 2008).
Recently music is being studied in children living with various mental health disorders. Although more high quality research is required, music has been shown to aid in communication, socialization, memory, and coping (Naylor et al., 2010). Music is something that always been used since World War I and II when the wars was going on the hospitals hired music therapist to help the patients through their pain. By playing this calming soothing music, or sometimes even sometimes fast music it helped take these patients mind off of the deep pain and depression they were going through. No it didn't fix it but it did give them a chance of hope that everything was gonna get better.
In an interview with Davida Price, who is a teen music therapist one of the questions that was asked in his interview was “How do you actually use music therapy to help teens?” His answer was “the therapy I do is a combination of talking, song writing and, learning to play various musical instruments, such as the guitar or piano. I'll ask a teen how they are feeling let's say the answer is they feel depressed. Then I ask them to describe this feeling as a color or metaphor, perhaps they say it's yellow or it's like living in a cave. Then we explore this colorful language and, it unfolds into song lyrics and, music. Here's another example: I might direct a teen to imagine the music as a wave gathering up their sorrow, then carrying it away when it retreats (Davida Price 2011). In Price’s studies he says music has various positive effects on teenagers.
Present day, the music industry has expanded so much where if a child wanted to take a career in music they could. There are high schools everywhere that are just for people who are artistic. These high schools give teenagers the opportunity to study the specific art that they are interested in. Colleges now give young adults the opportunity to come and major in all different music areas. In present day there is a possibility that if you are musically talented you can get a career in it. MTV which is a multi-billion dollar industry shows teenagers that getting a career in the talent that they have is actually possible. MTV and, other networks like it has become very broad giving so many job opportunities for the youth to participate in.
Some people think that music has a negative effect on teenagers behavior. In the present day, popular music is all around children. Radio, various recordings, the internet and new technologies. This allows adolescents to have access to listen to it whether its alone or share along with their friends. Most parents are unaware of the lyrics that their children are listening to because of the smart phones which kids are able to download music directly to their phones and most kids nowadays use headphones to listen to music. Kids are getting exposed at an early age to violent music from the video games that they are playing. In these games the music that is that is used is popular music with explicit lyrics and, is uncensored. Games such as grand theft auto which is already violent, exposes the youth to this kind of music. Kids all ages play video games and are exposed earlier than they should be to profanity. By them being exposed so early it starts to be used in their vocabulary and they may even think this is okay.
There has been research done on popular music exploring it’s effects on schoolwork, socially, and, their behavior. This has been a big concern since the way music is presented to teenagers in present day. Lyrics has become more explicit using references to drugs, sex, and, violence. The council of media and, communications mentions that the music that teenagers chooses to listen to could be correlated or associated with their moods. They also go on to say that research shows that the exposure to violence, sexual messages, sexual stereotypes, and, the use of substance abuse in music videos might produce changes in behaviors and attitudes of the youth viewers. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh did a study on popular songs and, came to the conclusion that the average adolescent is exposed to the about 84 references to explicit substance per day from music. Out of the music they listen to during the day which is about an average of 8 hours a day. “Music is well-known to connect deeply with adolescents and to influence identity development, perhaps more than any other entertainment medium,” (New York Times 2007).
Studies have shown that
There’s always gonna be a selective amount of people who are easily influenced by outside sources. But, the majority of them music will affect them for the better, and positively. By using music therapy it has helped youth with diseases socially and,intellectually. Music has been shown to aid socialization, communication, and, coping. Music healing has gone back in centuries for healing. Back then when music was a hard industry to get into and was fairly looked down upon as not being a “real job” today the industry is so big where you can go to school for the talent that you have or even if you don’t have a talent and want to study music colleges and, high school gives youth that opportunity to do so. The music industry is so broad there are so many job opportunities are available today.
Music never has affected my behavior. Music was always my go to for me when I felt as if no one else was there. Having a hard life and not having friends at the beginning of my high school career I felt as though music was my friend. Depending on the mood I was in usually reflected on the music I was listening to. Music for me always keeps me focused I feel like I can get things done in a more productive way if I had music playing in my ears. For my first two years of high school I went to an arts school majoring in vocals. This gave me the opportunity to express my talent and learn more. By majoring in vocals it made me learn more about myself. Music made me feel like I had a place in the world when everyone else around made me feel like I didn’t. It also helped me deal with my peers in a positive way. When going through the things that I did instead of acting up in and, behaving in an inappropriate way, I choose a song to sing that related to the feelings I was dealing with at the time. Over time music has became my life whether I’m singing it, or just listening to it. Music is my friend so much that I want to continue learning it after high school in college. I honestly can say if it wasn’t for music I probably wouldn’t be the positive humble person that I am today.


Works Cited

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Brower, Chris. "Positive Effects of Music on Teens | eHow." eHow. Demand Media, 8 June 2011. Web. 6 Nov. 2013. .
"Can Music Affect Teens in a Positive Way?." Everyday Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Nov. 2013. .
"How Music Affects Teens." Teen Ink. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2013. Lamont, Alexandra. "Emotion, Engagement and Meaning in Strong Experiences of Music Performance ."Psychology of Music, 86 (2012): 21. ERIC. Web. 6 Nov. 2013.
Massacre at Columbine High - turning murderous teenage fantasy into devastating tragedy. Dir. Rebecca Florrance. Perf. Derrick coleman, Brian Wilson. Nordisk Special Marketing, 2009. Film.
"The Emergence of Hip-Hop | The Paley Center for Media." The Paley Center for Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2013. .
"The history of rock and roll." Rock N RollJan. - Feb. 2000: n. pag. Rock N Roll. Web. 2 Nov. 2013.
Tomilinson, Jo. "Music therapy in schools." Music Therapy in Schools: Working with Children of All Ages in Mainstream and Special Education 15 (2011): 256. Print.
on communications, Council. "Impact of Music, Music Lyrics, and Music Videos on Children and Youth ." Pediatrics 5 (2009): 200. Pediatrics. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.
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