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#31 jpiano

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 18:54

I believe young people should study the subject they are most passionate about. Sometimes that may be vocational, leading directly to a job- nursing, medicine to name but a couple- even then, the decision to study this subject at university does not mean that you have to be a doctor or nurse for the rest of your life- or at all. How many young people know at age 18 what they want to do for definite anyway? It's only now at the age of 52 that I really understand how young I was at 18!  In any case, the majority of university degrees are non-vocational in that they are not related to one specific job. And that's wise- in today's world we need, more than ever, people who have learned to think critically about the world around them and to think for themselves -the very thing which Arts and Humanities subjects are all about. The notion anyway of a job for life is no longer a reality in any case.

 

Plus there's the notion of education. Education is for its own sake. It should help to make us human and enhance and enrich our lives. Life would be a miserable and utilitarian affair if everything was geared into making money and surviving-it's through educating children and young people in the arts that we create the audiences for the wonderful music, dance, drama and books that make the world a better place.

 

Coming back to the question of being top at a discipline- the top-flight heart surgeons would look pretty silly without the team of support staff, you cannot have a piano concerto without an orchestra and a ballet like Swan Lake wouldn't work with only the Swan Princess- you need a whole company of dancers who are never going to be international stars but provide an essential role together. Yes, there are orchestras and orchestras, some better than others, and the same goes with soloists, dancers and so forth. But if you only had people who are in the top rank, there wouldn't be the professional musicians, for example, who go round doing good quality but not necessarily international concert star level performances in my little local theatre- nor the touring dance companies (some excellent, some less so but all give enormous pleasure and a lovely evening out) who are prepared to go out to our local, smaller stages.


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#32 Cyrilla

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 23:01

Hear, HEAR, Banjogirl and jpiano!

 

If you haven't read Sir Ken Robinson's 'The Element' or heard him speak on this matter on YouTube, do...:wub:

 

He defines 'the element' as finding the thing that a) you're good at and b) you love doing.   Many people go through life without finding their element :(.   It's no good just being good at something if you don't LOVE it too.

 

I remember a wonderful article that I read about a year ago, about people who had changed direction in life.   My favourite story was of the mid-30s lawyer - academically very bright so always pushed down the academic route...Oxbridge law degree, 'successful' to outsiders - but so unhappy.   So he decided to research a new career (having been fascinated by magic since the age of 5).    The headline ran, 'LAWYER TURNED HUMAN CANNONBALL'.   Yep, that's what he now does, in touring circuses - and is loving it.

 

:wub:


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#33 elemimele

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 23:05

... he was obviously a high-flyer who wanted to give it a shot. 

Come to think of it, he's now in a job where he can get fired every day.

 

(seriously, though, agree with every word, Cyrilla)


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#34 meadowblythe

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 15:08

Regarding employability ... my eldest son's total passion is theatre - backstage roles.  Come University application time, I tried to persuade him to accept an offer from one of the "prestigious" offers he had from leading theatrical institutes.  He insisted that another was the right choice for him.

 

How wrong I was, how right he was.  He has worked consistently from the minute he arrived at Uni, partly his initiative, mainly the contacts he made.  He took a 9 month sabbatical in the middle of his degree to work for one of the most prestigious organisations in the UK.  Returning the day after his course finished, he earns nearly 3 times my salary (OK, school librarians aren't well paid, but I digress .)  Who says the arts don't pay?

 

My point is:  you need commitment, talent and luck.  Sometimes the most prestigious organisations aren't necessary for success.


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#35 GMc

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:06

I too had the Latin bug.  Good old Gallic Wars.     I had the form for Latin, Greek and Ancient History A levels sitting by the one for double maths, physics and chemistry  until the day they had to go in.  I often wonder what I would be doing had the former not gone into the bin.  Probably would have had an equal amount of fun and a lot more sleep! And less luxurious holidays and instruments.


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#36 minimum

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 14:37

I totally agree that you should encourage your children to find something they are good at and enjoy.

Mine lives for music and doesn't want to do anything else, and has been the same since being about 3.

We have always been realistic about work opportunities, her dad makes his living from playing and likewise wouldn't contemplate a plan B of teaching or anything else to do with music, except playing.

Realistically there have been times when teaching the odd pupil has kept the wolf from the door and we have never been rich, but we get by.

I think if you want wealth as a certainty then musician might not be the best career.

He also tells her not to choose music unless she can't imagine doing anything else as it's a tough business. 

You certainly don't choose it for glamour and money. 


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#37 BadStrad

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 15:22

He also tells her not to choose music unless she can't imagine doing anything else as it's a tough business. 

You certainly don't choose it for glamour and money. 

There is a really fun documentary about Hilary Hahn which gives an insight into her life, such as the amount of travelling she does and how little time she has to be in her own home and with family and friends.  Definitely not a glamourous lifestyle.


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#38 minimum

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 17:02

This is so true, I'm glad you agree.

Our daughter has concerts at school coming up and her Dad can't make them because he has gigs. She does moan and is disappointed but we point out how many she will miss if she makes playing music her career.

He misses family parties as they are usually on nights when he's got gigs.

Summer holidays are impossible and in 25 years of being married we haven't spent a NYE together yet. 


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#39 meadowblythe

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:59

Is it possible to ever get away from the guilt of missing concerts?  Interesting switch-around.  I feel guilty about just about every concert I miss that my daughter plays in - and cried when I missed ballet child's  professional debut.  

 

Child is now desperate to see our school production - knows how many man hours/weeks/months I have put into this.  Frantically trying to amend schedule so can at least to get dress rehearsal but no avail.  A real case of "welcome to my world .."


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#40 Banjogirl

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 16:21

We used to draw lots for who DIDN'T have to go to the school concerts. They were dire.


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#41 meadowblythe

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 14:30

It must be said I am still haunted (make that scarred) by the Year 3 whole class rendition of Theme from Eastenders on assorted brass.  

 

But the stuff now is rather good, and I'd love to hear more. 


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#42 Banjogirl

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 14:52

Perhaps it was similar to the one I attended in which the school 'orchestra' played. Well, played is stretching it a bit. The lad on the cello hadn't pulled his spike out and a violinist was holding the bow halfway down with his fist wrapped round the hair. It transpired that they couldn't actually play their instruments. They hit out a rhythm of sorts on them and were wildly praised by the headteacher. And then of course the Boy was led out as the 'talented' pupil. In other words he'd had proper lessons and had practised. I was furious.


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