Tuesday, October 7, 2008

He's going to be a ...

People just love guessing at what a young child is going to become later in life.

If they show an interest in numbers, they wonder if he'll be an accountant or some sort of scientist. Or, maybe if he likes taking things apart to see how it works, he'll be an engineer.

The problem I have with all this is that the projections into the future are always some sort of "professional" occupation, and the mainstream ones at that. You never hear anybody say things like "Yup! He's definitely going to be a baker/plumber/excavator driver."

I don't come from a very traditional Chinese family but still, it was a Chinese family. My parents didn't push it as hard as some other families but education was still sold as the key to everything in life. It was study hard or else...

My point today is that, studying hard (and smart) is no longer the only way in this world. And, it probably never was anyway. Its also important to have passion, drive and determination. That's what I want for Aaron. I'm still Chinese though, so I also what him to have something to fall back on so....he's definitely going to school! But I'm not going to present life's prospects the same way my parents did and hopefully, I'll be able to open his eyes to "all" the things that people work at in the world.

The trigger for today's post is Aaron's current passion for music. He immerses himself totally into it. If he hears the guitar, he'll be strumming and tapping his feet. If its the drums, he's going crazy with his arms. I've taken this opportunity to teach him other instruments like the tuba or cello so he also "plays" those. This passion that he has at the moment has made him very receptive to learning about all instruments and it also allows me to teach him some musical terms like forte or pianissimo. It sure beats learning about them in Theory Class later on!

So anyway, back to what happened today. My parents have been enjoying every minute of Aaron's performances but at the same time, my mother keeps cautioning me. "Its better not to encourage this too much. He might join a band later and he won't want to study" or "You need to stress the piano more or he'll just play the guitar, and that will lead to joining a band". *sigh*

What if he wants music to be his life? Bands are only one aspect of music. There are all sorts of jobs to do with music. For example, the person who puts the fingerings on music sheets, or sets the layout so that you don't have to turn the page at awkward moments.

I'm not taking any heed. I'll give equal exposure to all types of music and instruments. I'm using it to teach Italian musical terms, counting, timing, rhythm, musical styles and instrumental families.

He's only two and there is probably two week or less remaining for me to use his interest for some good here. I'm not going to spend that time worrying that he'll join a band in his teenage years!


John said...

Education certainly opens many doors...and in many fields, including music. My brother is a professional musician. Music provides him with his income.

It is its own language, culture and is as multifaceted as any career field could be. There is writing, performing, teaching, arranging, working with instruments, etc. There is classical, jazz, rock, pop and a host of other genres.

I'm trying to encourage my daughter to take advantage of her musical talent and look to a music career. Of course, she has 15 years on Aaron and needs to start thinking about a direction for her education!

Anonymous said...

I think people have bad impressions about joining bands because many bands were involved in drugs, alcoholism, smoking, care-free attitudes and other kinds of vices.

Like John said, we need to open doors for kids via proper education.

I am sure you will do a very good job!

Mike said...

"baker/plumber/excavator driver"

In the USA these people all still have jobs.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Music is a difficult path to go.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I vote professional blogger.


I feel ya, we have our son pegged as Engineer already. Train or Electrical variety.

Kellan said...

Your mother is so cute!

I have had this problem with my twins. They are very smart and have achieved very high academic success, but ... they love basketball and they love art. I think they are both leaning towards a career in art. I have had a hard time with them not "using their brains" in a "serious" career - you know. But ... I decided that if they could truly find a career that they "LOVED" and if that career happens to be in art, somehow, then they would have a lucky life. I now encourage the art and am looking for ways to help them determine what sort of careers they might choose (to actually make money) where they can use their love of art.

Great post, Amanda - see you soon - Kellan