Bingo game birds! You better be prepared to blow off $2 billion in stimulus spending over the next decade.
A new survey from the healthcare research organization JAMA Pediatrics finds that children and teens spending considerable amounts of time playing music related to anxiety and depression has “significantly” increased. More than half of teens and 50 percent of children and teens are practicing this “media use disorder” with music frequently.
Experts believe music plays an important role in coping with stress.
“Music and exercise are available over the counter in pharmacies and other pharmacies, such as restaurants, restaurants, and food courts, and they’re a great way to alleviate stress,” says Todd Crum, Ph.D., who worked with Jim Cipriani, Ph.D., of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, on the survey and is an associate editor at JAMA Pediatrics. Crum says it’s a relief knowing there is no price tag for removing stress to music for kids. “Contrary to popular belief, there’s no [price] for listening to classics through smartphone or other streaming services. The researchers hope that leads to alternative strategies that will have less impact on the costly spending on music for young people.”
It’s not clear how much the increase in music use for stress coping with correlates with the epidemic of youth music consumption, says Amok Katoolgen of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He says a 2015 meta-analysis estimated the annual music budget of elementary school children will be $170 million.
“Music is mostly social, much like games and family conversations,” says Katoolgen. “It’s like a microsuicide hotline. It’s so easy to get attention and now everyone is going to give a pill if somebody has suicidal thoughts.”For a suicidal person, music can reassure them that they’ll find a way through music. That, of course, was the impetus behind a 2016 law in the U.K. that provided for a one-time reimbursement of music therapy services for serious mental illnesses.
There’s more than one way to fun with music in the classroom; basic imagination and reaction play an important role. The researchers predict that music use will increase as adolescents and adults become accustomed to it. Someone who uses music frequently in the playground goes on to practice social, emotional and cognitive skills in everyday life. “It’s about time for the music industry to take note and start offering the sound treatment for music disorders for children,” says Katoolgen.