BYU-Idaho students use music as an outlet to express their thoughts and feelings after spending stressful hours attending classes, work and completing homework.
According to The Atlantic, “All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness.”
Music is one nonscreen interest many BYU-I students share.
Ian Caloobanan, a junior studying web design and development, closed his laptop then reached for his acoustic guitar to write his own music. He expressed his thoughts and feelings in the music he wrote.
“I feel like I have a lot of thoughts like grief and sadness,” Caloobanan said. “I’ve found that when I don’t know how to relay it, I usually relay it in a song.”
In July 2019, Caloobanan began writing original music. Almost two years later, he has performed his original music under the stage name, Castle KYD, in various locations in Rexburg including The Basement, Crispy Cones and Chesbro Music Company. He has also performed at BYU-I’s Open Mic Night and Acoustic Café.
“The point of my writing is so that someone can know and maybe somewhere, someone who goes through the same feeling can kind of relate to it,” Caloobanan said.
According to the Painted Brain, “The benefits of songwriting include self-expression, stress relief, a means of interpreting difficult circumstances and overcoming challenges.”
One challenge many BYU-I students are experiencing is the stress of a global pandemic.
According to SWNS Digital, “Music is helping Americans during isolation. 81% say music has helped them cope through the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Caloobanan has used this time of isolation to develop his musical talents. He remarked how he is shy and unsure of his musical abilities, but recognizes a positive result of performing his original music.
“There’s a moment when I sing where I lose my inhibition,” he said.
He isn’t the only one who recognizes the positive influence that music has on an individual.
Kate Shumway, a junior studying social work and a former music major, resorts to music, especially playing the piano, as an outlet of expression.
“I’m not super great with words and so often, music is how I communicate my feelings of admiration and love to God and just to the world in general,” Shumway said.
While serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Shumway turned to exercise as an outlet for stress because a piano was not available to her. However, music is her first choice when it comes to relieving stress.
“If I get mad or frustrated or anxious, I play the guitar or I turn up the music loud and sing as I drive,” Shumway said. “It just releases a lot of tension.”
Music not only releases tension for Shumway but is also used as an outlet of expression.
“It’s how I express the deepest, hardest parts of me,” Shumway said.
With the stresses of college life, students are finding ways to express themselves through music.