With a Song in Their Hearts

You wouldn’t know it from the way the music business has been tanking, but teens remain a tune-loving lot. That’s partly because it suits their multitasking lives. A USA Weekend poll found 79 percent of teens listen to music while doing chores, 73 percent listen while on the computer and 33 percent while eating meals at home. If you wonder why test scores are so lackluster, the survey provides a clue: 72 percent of kids listen to music while doing homework, and 18 percent do so in class. Even in the age of digital downloads, this obliges them to buy a lot of the stuff. As the chart indicates, CDs outrank other treats the teens would buy with a $20 windfall. Their parents might not endorse these purchases: 32 percent of respondents said their parents forbid them to listen to certain music, although 13 percent do it anyway. On the other hand, 9 percent said their parents often borrow their CDs. What’s the main element that draws teens to a song? For 59 percent it’s “the sound,” while 41 percent cited the lyrics.