Do you listen to the latest popular music? I do for my work as a Music Designer. But then, truth is, I may be listening to music that is new and on the charts, but I hear my younger coworkers listening to even NEWER music – artists I haven’t even heard of.

Turns out, it is just going to happen and I’m not alone. According to a study that analyzed Spotify listening compared to age, they found that listening to new, popular music declines as we age. In fact, once you are over 33, new music is only a small portion of your listening. The study attributes it to the obvious answers: you’ve got lots more going on in your life as an adult and a parent and you don’t have time to discover new music or you have nostalgia for your youth and prefer to listen to music from your teenage years.

I would add to it the idea that when someone is a teenager or in their 20s, they are doing all they can to discover the world! They read different genres of books, they watch lots of different TV shows, they are interested in learning about different jobs, school, locations, hobbies, and they are trying to find where it is they want to be in this world. As we age, it isn’t that we’ve gotten into a rut; it’s that we’ve found the shoe that fits!

There used to be a long list of jobs that I thought I would enjoy. All through my 20s I thought that I would like to be a teacher if my other pursuits didn’t work out. I felt sure I would enjoy it. In my 30s I became a substitute teacher. I discovered teachers have qualities (like patience, for instance) that I will never have. I had to scratch teacher off my future job list. The list of jobs I was interested in got smaller and smaller.

It happened with the kind of car I like to drive, the kind of house I want to live in, and the kind of man I wanted to spend my life with. So it doesn’t surprise me that the music I loved in my younger years, and new music LIKE it that might not be on the popular charts, is the music I’m going to enjoy and listen to.

An example? I’ve been enjoying Jim White vs. The Packway Handle Band (though I never can seem to remember that long name!). Their sound takes me back to my love of “progressive country” as we called it back then… The Pure Prairie League, Poco, Riders of the Purple Sage, the Flying Burrito Brothers…

– Submitted by Janice Williams, Music Design