The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Daniela Torrey

Keegan Dyer finds that playing and listening to music provides him with stability that life sometimes lacks.

Keegan’s Story

Music provides young musician with solidarity amidst uncertainty

“I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t playing music.”

Keegan Dyer is 16 years old.

He’s a junior at Carlmont High School, and despite his young age, he already has a goal in mind for his future.

For as long as he can remember, he’s had guitar chords and music lyrics running through his mind.

“I started playing music when I was very little, and it has always been the only constant in my life,” Dyer said.

Like everyone, Keegan has a story, a unique life filled with both struggle and success. What makes him different is that which picks him up and encourages him to keep going. While many people turn to those they love and trust to help them rebuild, Dyer turns to music.

This feeling of support is what motivates him to pursue a career in the music industry. Comfort and stability, something only music has been able to provide for Keegan, are emotions he wishes to spread to others who listen to his music. As a musician, he longs to be a source of happiness to his audience, hoping people can listen to his music to ease their minds in the same way his favorite artists can ease his.

While many of the artists Dyer loves create rhythms and tunes that soothe people’s pain, they also experience many of the struggles they’re trying to help their listeners fix themselves. This includes mental illnesses.

Numerous artists in the music industry have opened up about the different ways they use music to express the trials they face living with mental illnesses. Mainstream artists such as Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and Zayn Malik have publicly opened up about their conditions, including living with depression, PTSD, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Musicians like these create a music industry where all types of people can find someone who relates to and understands their internal struggles. This is an industry many aspiring artists like Dyer dream of joining.

These musicians also provide music that the general public can listen to purely for their enjoyment. Though they create an environment where people with mental illnesses feel comfortable, those without mental illnesses can also enjoy and connect to their music.

Also, others can gain consolation from artists’ positive energy. The upbeat songs they produce end up changing their moods, allowing temporary relief from the daily struggles they experience.

“Music helps me forget about pressing issues, relieve my stress, or even just give me the motivation to get through the day,” said Vanessa Marquez, a sophomore living in Indiana.

Diversity in who listens to their music is a focal point many musicians strive to achieve. Having only one group of people listening to their work only sets limits on what they can accomplish as artists, and Dyer is aware of this.

“I hope I can eventually make music that everyone can listen to,” Dyer said.

From a young age Dyer’s been able to appreciate the true power of music because of the artists he’s listened to throughout his life.

Many people, including Megan Hughes and Dyer value not only listening to music, but the emotional response it triggers, which is why music is such a huge part of their lives.

“If something happens in my life, there’s always gonna be music, no matter what,” Dyer said.

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