Raising teenagers in this rapidly changing world can be an intimidating prospect - especially with the emergence of AI and its potential to stifle our youngsters’ creative problem-solving skills. Staying abreast of the latest educational, social media and musical trends is key to helping them become independent, empathetic, responsible adults empowered by knowledge and technology, but I want to take this one step further.
What if we could use AI, social media and music together to facilitate in the mental health, emotional intelligence, and learning of our young people?
I think it's more than doable. In fact, I think it's imperative.
The Introduction of Social Media and Tech in our Daily Life
With the invention of television in 1927, and its popularization by the 1950s The Buggles' classic "Video Killed the Radio Star" was a prophetic reminder that things would never be quite same. But if you thought TV heralded revolutionary changes: computer technology had yet to show us what it could do.
Invented during the 1930's - but only making its widespread presence felt some fifty years later - computers began an unstoppable march towards dominating our lives. The first social media platform: Six Degrees, arrived on scene in 1997 signaling that we were now firmly entrenched in a world where information really is power.
Six Degrees led to:
Friendster, MySpace and LinkedIn 
It's amazing to consider that the current generation of parents was once told they'd never experience a world with dictionaries, calculators, and encyclopedias at their fingertips. But here we are! Now it is our challenge as Gen X and Millennial parents to help nurture children into this innovative age without trying to fight modern technology - learning how best utilize these tools for healthy navigation in today's digital age.
So how can AI, social media and music assist your children?
Read on, dear reader. Because I've noticed some rather interesting observations recently.
Firstly: hi! My name is Emma G, and I've been a music and vocal teacher for over 15 years, professional musician for over 20years, and a youth empowerment through songwriting coach since 2019. I've always had an inclination towards using music and education simultaneously to empower the mental health and critical thinking of my students.
This has become increasingly important, however, since March 2020, when the world shut down due to COVID.
How could we - as a society - ensure the well being and education of [specifically] teens when everyone is forced to stay at home, somehow adapt to machine learning, and still maintain some level of ability to lead a healthy life?
Again, I believe it starts with learning to ride the waves, not fight them. We need to embrace how to:
Use Artificial Intelligence for the well being of, and a communication tool for our teens
Use Social Media as a means to connect with our children [TikTok dance challenge, anyone?]
Learn how to effectively navigate the internet to enhance kids' learning.
Let's break it down:
I don't know if you've noticed, but communication is not your typical Gen Z's highest skill right now. Over the 15+ years I've been teaching, I've noticed a huge increase in students wanting to text or Snap rather than make a phone call, or - even worse - face to face contact. This is one of the main reasons why many therapists now offer texting or phone call options for their practices.
But what I have noticed is that, when given a creative outlet like songwriting: teens are suddenly far more comfortable to explore their thoughts, express their opinions, and - with the right coaching - learn how to recognize the blessings in their lessons.
And - believe it or not - AI services like ChatGPT - can drastically speed up what this can look, feel and sound like.
For example: if your teen wanted to write a song about "feeling depressed, wanting to understand why, and trying to feel better", this is [literally] what artificial intelligence might generate:
Feeling lost and feeling low
Can't shake this feeling, it won't go
I try to understand why
But my mind is just a cloudy sky
I'm searching for the light
In this darkness of the night
I want to feel alive again
But the weight of the world is heavy on my pen
I try to hold on to the hope
But it feels like I'm at the end of my rope
I'm tired of feeling this way
I want to find a brighter day
I know I'll find a way
To chase these demons away
I'll keep on fighting
Until I see the light again
I'll keep on searching
Until I find my way
I'll keep on fighting
Until the clouds clear and the sun shines again
Yep. That just happened.
Now, I'm sure that the average teenager might look at those lyrics, and think "uhhhh, I would never say 'the weight of the world is heavy on my pen'", but AI-generated lyrics can act as a spark for teenagers to express the emotions they are feeling. By simply reading these robotic words, young people may find themselves inspired and ready to put into their own terms how heavy of an impact life's pressures have on them!
Beginning with this initial point, you can collaborate to uncover and address the emotional upheaval of your client. Embracing this starting place will enable a resolution process as things come into focus.
From there? Who knows what is possible. With social media providing a platform for self-expression, many teens are now utilizing music as an avenue to share their voice and build relationships with others around the world... and by utilizing artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT, and other technology: we may see 2023 as the dawn of youth voices really starting to tackle their mental health in out of the box methods like this more prolifically.
After all: I've often thought of music as a security blanket for young people to express themselves honestly and authentically. To be able to utilize artificial intelligence in this manner could, quite possibly, make self expression, communication, and even therapy for kids even more accessible.
And - of course- if you want some support in learning how to support your kids in this journey: with or without the input of AI, I'd love to help. After all: music and songwriting are both super effective tools which, when coached and mentored correctly, can help support
your teenagers' mental health and well being
developing your teenagers positive sense of identity
your kids' retainment of lessons they've learned during more clinical therapy sessions
guiding your teenagers' perspective toward a positive disposition
training social medias algorithms [including google!] to be places where your child [or children] have more access to similar content surrounding mental wellness.
I've been writing music to express, understand and overcome my own challenges for my entire life, [you can hear more about that in my recent TEDx Talk here], so it's an honor to be able to help middle-school children and teenagers learn how to do the same.
Click here to book a discovery call with me to learn how I can facilitate the emotional and mental health well being for your teenager through the art of music and songwriting - especially when it comes to embracing the age of technology.
I look forward to answering any questions you may have when it comes to artificial intelligence, music, and the mental health of your children.