Sunday, February 10, 2013

So Your Kid Wants to Be a Music Major...

Perhaps you should let him. It is interesting how supportive some parents can be in terms of their kids' participation in band, orchestra or choir, right up until the point when one of them decides to pursue it as a career...
A weird thing about a lot of parents is that they beam and glow when their kids get solos in orchestra, band and choir in high school, but they freak out when the same talented kid says “I want to study music in college.”

I don’t get it. You raise a kid to have pluck and self-determination, and then when the kid says “I love playing my instrument more than anything, and I want to pursue my passion as a career,” the parent flips out.

Right now is the time of year when parents call me in a frenzy of parental angst about their children’s musical aspirations. They sound panicky on the phone. A child has decided that he or she loves music, and the parent is certain the love of music is going to send an accomplished, self-directed kid straight to Skid Row. They ask me, “Am I dooming my child to a life of poverty if I let him major in music?”

That's from a wonderful new blog post by Liz Ryan, CEO/founder of Human Workplace, and, yes, holder of a vocal performance degree. She calls her post "Let the kid study music, already," and she makes some great points about how the study of music has value that carries over to other disciplines, even if the student doesn't end up doing music full-time after graduation.

I know I mentioned it on this blog before, but a good friend of mine--a tuba-playing mortgage broker--feels that his music education degree is his ace in the hole; the discipline, time management, and multitasking skills, along with other good qualities noted by Ryan in her post, have given him the edge over many of his coworkers over the years who may not have had such a rigorous course of study.

Like any major, music isn't for everyone, but, as Ryan says, studying it doesn't necessarily doom someone to a life of poverty.

Read the whole thing.

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