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AUTHOR'S CRITERION FOR PICKING MUSIC: DOES IT ENCOURAGE A PROPER LIFE STYLE?

While music is "one of the greatest gifts of God to man" it needs to be selected with wisdom, a seminary teacher said at the conference sponsored by the Utah Federation for Drug Free Youth.

Jack R. Christianson, author of a new book, Facing Up to the Music, said music is a common denominator in most drug abuse problems. Christianson is employed by the Church Educational System and holds a master's degree in Educational Administration from BYU. He is a former high school coach.With a lively and, at times, animated delivery, Christianson told the several hundred audience members that what matters is not whether one likes the music, but rather, whether it is going to have a profound effect on one's life.

"Does your music or do your videos promote a healthy productive life style?" he asked. "Do they prompt you to do good and be an active, contributing member of society? If they do, or even if they don't promote anything but just simply have good entertainment value, they are probably OK. But if the music is promoting drug abuse or illicit sexual activity, I say stay away from it."

To rebut the notion that one can listen to music without noticing the lyrics, he hummed or sang portions of some often-heard commercial jingles and asked the audience to say the missing words, which they readily did.

"It doesn't really matter if you listen to the words or not," he commented. "As soon as they are put to the music, they become a part of you and you learn them. . . . So if the words are promoting anything contrary to a productive lifestyle, the music is not good."