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    My sister's teen daughter wants to pursue classical music full-time. Parents feel that she should also get an academic degree. We do not want to crush her dreams too

    Team ParentCircle Answered by Team ParentCircle


    Dear Parent,

    Thank you for asking this very interesting question. I am sure there are many parents out there struggling with a similar dilemma. As parents, we give a great deal of importance to an academic degree.  Her daughter can earn a degree in classical music too. Or she can pursue a distance education program to earn a degree in the subject of her choice, while she continues to pursue classical music.

    Today’s teens are exposed to the innumerable opportunities that lie ahead and many are quite clear about their choices. And yes, as parents we must be there to guide them. Here’s how your sister can guide her daughter:

    Step 1 – Take delight in her interest and passion for music. Have long chats with her about her love for music, what it makes her feel about herself. See things from her perspective and appreciate her talent.

    Step 2 - Ask her daughter to do in-depth research on Music studies – colleges, curriculum, basic requirements. Pay attention to the curriculum – content, rigor. This will help her match her learning habits with the demands of the curriculum.

    Step 3 – Have discussions with her about successful and not-so-successful musicians. What lessons can she take from their experiences? What are the challenges?

    Step 4 – Deliberate together and make a joint decision - there is mutual support, respect, and understanding of each other as well as for the decision.

    Step 5 – Take the help of a career counselor in case the situation cannot be resolved.

    Wishing your sister and niece all the best!

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