Music Methods

With the change of seasons and the tunes that come with it, a reflection on music and the methods of listening to it is a must!


“The Listening Station” at Mills Record Company gives customers the chance to preview their albums before purchasing Oct. 17, 2022. photo by Sarah Schwaller

by Sarah Schwaller, Staff Writer

Music has developed throughout history, and some styles are representative of entire time periods and culture; this is the same for the way that people listened to music. Starting with the music box, and eventually evolving into digital methods, music has changed communication for the better. 

To begin my search for the best method of listening to music, I went to one of my favorite local record stores, Mills Record Company, where they offer a wide selection of music methods and the resources to listen to them. Browsing their store offered a look into a multitude of music methods, specifically records, cassette tapes, and CDs.  I personally love records due to their popularity and accessibility. I can get almost any album, if not in person, online. In addition, record players are easy to find and come in many varieties that you can personalize. Another reason for my preference of this music method is that artists are increasingly choosing to sell their albums in record versions. I own quite a few records, my favorites being  “Red — Taylor’s Version” by Taylor Swift, “An Evening with Silk Sonic” by Silk Sonic and “Golden Hour” by Kacey Musgraves. An additional perk of records is their price. While some newer albums are expensive, I have found many secondhand, yet still new, albums for under $10.  

On the contrary, cassette tapes are a music method that have not kept this accessibility and popularity. This does not necessarily take away from their importance and value, but it does make it difficult to purchase and even play this music method. There aren’t many stores in Kansas City that sell cassette tapes, and even these are older albums and songs. Modernity when it comes to the music may often motivate shoppers, such as myself, to purchase cassette tapes, and unfortunately, this music method does not offer much. CDs are a similar alternative that have much more longevity due to the fact that you yourself can burn a CD with any music you’d like. Additionally, many cars may not have the most contemporary stereo systems, and CDs are an option that allows you to customize what you would like to listen to.

Digital streaming platforms are by far the most popular way to listen to music in this day and age. You can listen to almost anything you could ever want, especially on large platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify. This accessibility may be the largest and most influential selling point for this music method, and I would have to agree that it motivates me to listen this way. I can go on my phone or computer, and with a few clicks of a button, I am able to listen to my favorite song, playlist or even my curated radio station. The sheer size and personalization is another reason why this contemporary method of listening draws so many customers. My favorite is Apple Music, as I have all of the features mentioned above, and more. I can share a personal part of myself with many, and I really enjoy that aspect of digital music.