Yep, There’s Scientific Evidence That We Stop Finding New Music As We Age
If you’re past the age of 30, then you’ve probably noticed that you’re a lot less curious about new music than you used to be. And that will happen more and more as you age! We now not only have scientific evidence that this phenomena happens, but now we also know why.
It turns out that our musical tastes begin to get locked in stone when we hit 24, but by age 31 we’re in the middle of a musical paralysis that we can’t get out of. Whatever was popular during our teenage years, particularly between the ages of 11 and 14, then that’s what we’re going to listen to from that point on. As a matter of fact, there’s some evidence that our musical tastes are shaped by the very first music we hear, even though we’re very open to just about any type of music until we reach age 11.
A major study also found that as we grow older our music listening time goes from 20% during adolescence to 13% when we become adults. Frankly, I’m surprised that it’s as high as 13% as I know plenty of adults that just aren’t that interested in music the older they get (yes, that includes music professionals too).
Why Is The Question
But why does that happen? Scientists tend to agree that a major reason is psychosocial maturation, which is a long way of saying that we grow up. At the point of musical paralysis, we have serious jobs and probably a family to worry about, which moves music down (sometimes way down) the priority scale.
Yet another reason is that when we’re in our teens music helps us identify ourselves and with certain social groups. As we get older those social groups change as they’re less likely to be about music and more about finding our way through life.
A much overlooked reason is that as we get older our tolerance for loud noises (and music falls into that category sometimes) is lowered. To top it all off, as we get older we have less discretionary time. When we were younger most of our free time went to music in some way.
This is not meant to depress you about your personal music tastes, but the scientific evidence does help to explain your audience as they age. If they grew up listening to you when they were young, then good deal. They’ll be listening to you probably for life. But if you’re expecting to find a new audience that’s age 30+, the the reasons are clear why that’s always been difficult.