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The Weekend Vote weekend vote: Would you want your kid to be a violinist?

November 29, 2008 at 1:36 AM

I've heard musicians answer this question so many different ways, everything from having a whole family that lives, breathes and loves music, to "I'd never want this life for my kid."

I also remember being in music school with students whose parents were disappointed in their choice of music, and others whose parents were quite happy.

You can answer it whether you have kids or not, and even if your child is grown and has made all his or her decisions, you can still answer it! Tell us your thoughts below.


From Christopher Ciampoli
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 2:08 AM

I can't really vote yes or no because I want my child[ren] to pursue whatever they desire and I  honestly can't hold an opinion either way

From Vincent Le
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 2:13 AM

Long way from getting kids but someone gotta take care of my violin.

From Mendy Smith
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 2:29 AM

Violinist, violist, cellist, oboe, french horn, tuba.... doesn't matter.  Doesn't even matter if it is a career goal or not.  So long that there is music in life. 

From Ruth Kuefler
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 3:12 AM

If I have kids, I want to expose them to music and have them all take lessons at some point, but not necessarily violin and not necessarily to make it their profession, as I'm doing. That will be up to them.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 12:57 PM

I voted yes, meaning a broad definition of violinist--someone who can play the instrument and enjoy it.  By that definition, my daughter already is one.  And any other instrument (or voice) is great by me too.  But as for a career choice, it's completely up to them and they aren't ready to decide yet.

From Thomas Gardner
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Of course I would.  Obviously I will let their talents and skills and desires determine what it is they will be in life, but should it be music in general or a violinist in particular then great.  Unless you are one of these parents who measures success by the degree of respect that others give to a profession or the amount of yearly income one makes then I don't know why one wouldn't want "violinist" to be on the career option sheet.  My wife and I have had this discussion before (casually mind boys are 4 and 1 right now and aren't really considering a much right now other than what Santa might bring them for Christmas) and we both feel that whatever they do is fine as long as it is an honest living in which they are doing whatever it is they do in a way that glorifies God.  In other words, violinist: fine, mechanic: fine, tattoo artist: fine.  Bank robber: not so good, porn star:  not so good,  international baby smuggler: not so good.  You get the drift.

From Jodi B
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 3:18 PM

I have always wanted my kids to have an appreciation for music, whether it is classical, jazz, opera etc.

From Jim Glasson
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 3:28 PM

A qualified "yes".

If they have the opporrtunity to learn and enjoy it that would be perfect.

I've just seen too many parents insert their lives into their childrens and push them so much.


From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 3:31 PM

I really think one shouldn't decide for the career of his or her kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But you have the responsability to be realistic, honest and inform your kid about the real situation in music so that he or she can make a choice knowing all the pros and cons.  We live in a free society.  Personally, if I would have kids, I would say that I would make them try it (and many other things too so that they find themselves a hobby) and if they like it, then, I would pay them lessons with a good teacher and let the career issue their own choice.  A kid that really wants to become a professionnal violinist pushes himself alone into this path!  For money resons however, I think that a parent has the right to support his or her kids in as many activities that they can afford.  Thus, if violin is too expensive, they should find another hobby that is still fun and less expensive.  I think that when someone plans to have a kid, he or she should always have the money to pay him at least one hobby or activity (for the hapiness of the kids), but that is my opinion and some may disagree!


From Daniel Jenkins
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 4:17 PM

I will ultimately let my Daughter choose her own career.  I want her to be happy.  My preference however is that she would be an amateur musician (cellist) and do something else for a living.

From J Kingston
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 4:47 PM

I think there is a bit of karma at work when one chooses and succeeds in the arts. I think individual karma puts people in a destiny where the arts are a factor. Look at the countries where there is so much suffering. Why were we born here, now, and provided an opportunity for the arts. Possibly to give goodness to this world on some level. Philosophy aside, I think there is an issue of temperment.  I think sucess as an artist, means you can make a living and pay the bills without compromising the core of your principles. That being said, if my children wanted a career in the arts I would encourage them and help them keep their eyes open to the responsibilities and pitfalls. For example, I know many artists who left the art profession to have a family. Artists I know with families usually have help from parents or spouses unless they were established already. People are very fearful and want their kids to be doctors and engineers. 30 years in a career you choose just to be secure is very long time. my mother always said, "Money won't make you happy...but happy won't make you money." Another wise man once told me that if you want a great career, "Work with people or money or both". I notice successful musicians are good with people. When people compromise their dreams before they even try, their dreams remain unfullfilled their entire lives. They become the parent that everyone is living through their child. Even when one fails, there are lessons to be learned and you appreciate life a bit differently. On the flip side, if you like what money can buy and have difficulty delaying gratification, the arts are a questionable career track.

That being said, I think most musicians need collateral skills to successfully live a life in the arts. Unless you are a recording artist or tour artist, I think you need a differetiator. Composition, theory, conducting, chamber, arranging, recording skills, weddings, funerals, teaching, commercials, musical theatre, you name it. As my first career was in sales, I see many similarities  between music and sales. People work with who they like. Musicians who like other musicians and audiences and really enjoy that connection seem to have a good temperment for self promotion as a natural extension of their personalities. If your kid is an introvert, they might be miserable as a musician. So you have to be talented, but you need to get along too and have the temperment. Some people think the musical world is very "political", but I think that goes with every career. Politics is the way we work with who we like and keep strangers out. So talent is assumed but being a genuine person who really likes other people never hurts build up a network of supporters.

From Daniel Blomdahl
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 6:03 PM

My child can do whatever he/she wants but music has done so much for me. And I want them to have the potential to play music better than me...they get to start at a younger age.

From Corwin Slack
Posted via on November 29, 2008 at 10:07 PM

 I wanted my kids to play a musical instrument and if they wanted to play it badly enough they could choose to be an "-ist".  None did but I think they have enjoyed it and will probably play their instruments throughout their lives.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted via on November 30, 2008 at 2:48 AM

I'd be happy if I had a kid who was a very good, dedicated, amateur violinist, but I'd rather see him or her in a profession that pays enough to live on reasonably comfortably.

From Craig Coleman
Posted via on November 30, 2008 at 5:41 AM

Hi Everyone,

If the parent has the attitude I want to bequeath something to my child, I want my child to inherit this from me, why not become a violinist. All we need to look at are people like Robert  and Nick Mann at Juilliard or Claude and Pamela Frank at Curtis. There are many cases where it can work. The relationship and attitude between the parent and child is the utmost important.


From al ku
Posted via on November 30, 2008 at 1:37 PM

i will treat "violinist" as someone who makes a living around violin.

lets just hope that the parents are astute enough and the kids are interested enough, IF the parents want to steer the kids to be violinists.  perhaps j touched on this,,,i believe that what matters in the end is one's fate,,,not 10k hours:)    since many many more start with violin end up doing something else,  to my family the training process offers many other lessons, if not more important lessons,  besides and beyond music.

of course, it is only natural for violinist parents to influence their kids, consciously or subconsciously, to follow their own paths since ear training has started on gestation:).  yet, at the same time,  whether the kids are meant to be violinists is a new book,,,for the kids as well as for the parents, if the parents are open minded enough to acknowledge that, because there are just so many other opportunities out there most of which the parents are not necessarily familiar with.

that makes life interesting i guess:)

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