Survey- Local teens in line with nation on music choices

Sunday, May 5, 2002

Music is a big part of 13-year-old Jacob Bowers' life.

The seventh-grader at L.J. Schultz School says he listens to rock and punk music an average of 49 hours a week while doing chores and homework or just hanging out in his room.

"I like the sound," he said.

Bowers is one of nearly 60,000 teens throughout the nation -- and 29 in the Cape Girardeau area -- who took part in a Teens and Music survey that appeared last fall in USA Weekend Magazine, on the magazine's Web site and in newspapers that carry the magazine, including the Southeast Missourian.

The 15-question survey asked teens when and where they listen to music, what kind of music they prefer and what makes them like a song the most. Fifty-two percent of local teens who participated said radio influences their music choices more than television, parents, friends, concerts or magazines.

The second highest influence in both groups was friends.

"If I hear it on the radio and I like it, I usually go out and get it on CD," said 15-year-old Sarah Gaines. "I love music. It helps me get things off my mind."

The survey asked students if they liked songs more for the sound or for the lyrics. Students locally and nationally preferred sound.

Derek Blankenship, a seventh-grader at St. Paul Lutheran School, said he doesn't really separate the two.

"I just tune in," he said.

Each year USA Weekend Magazine gives prizes to teens who take the survey, but none of this year's winners were from Southeast Missouri.

For complete results of the national survey, look to the USAWeekend insert in today's paper.

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