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!