Creative ideas for a singer &/or writer

<p>Even though I already have 2 in college, I need help with child #3. Although she is only 12, I am guessing that the admissions game will be even more challenging in 2012. </p>

<p>She is a fun loving, social child-a less serious student than the other 2. So I'm not banking on award winning scores. She is a decent athlete, but just got cut from a 7th grade team. She is smart- in the school's gifted program, but not does not do world renown research or crave extra homework. I think she is a good writer, but she is not sure she should do newspaper again. She does like to sing, but our high school is so competitive that a musical role is slim. </p>

<p>We certainly don't talk much about college yet, I keep reading about how a student needs to be unique. Her dream school is Penn (she went on visits with her siblings) and I would like to guide her in having a decent chance. Does anyone have a good singer or writer, but not the school's best, who found a distinctive way to use their interest? Thanks</p>

<p>How about you just let your child's interests and talents develop on their own instead of trying to tailor her into the ideal prospective applicant?</p>

<p>Cardinal, no offense intended, but in my experience children's talents do not "develop on their own." Children need encouragement, training, mentorship, and opportunities to perform. These miracles don't arise spontaneously. I didn't hear snajean trying to "tailor" the child, but rather to help this child develop unique talents and interests.</p>

<p>That said, I confess I do have a modestly talented singer/musician in the family (one out of four), and this has been a pleasure and a delight for us all throughout school. It was not, however, a hook. D was accepted to great schools on the strength of academics, and perhaps the slight edge of a woman in math. She sings in chorus and plays in orchestra, but this is for pleasure, not a career path.</p>

<p>I'm all for music lessons, symphony concerts (and jazz or modern or whatever appeals) and plenty of encouragement. Coincidentally, music training (voice, instrumental, composition, whatever) has been shown to improve math scores, so maybe there's something in that. Musical performances also build self-esteem, poise, and social confidence.</p>

<p>Treasure that little singer you have.</p>

<p>

I couldn't agree more. I'm a high school senior, and for as long as I can remember, my mother has made a point of telling me in no uncertain terms that I'm a good-for-nothing disgrace of a child (for whatever it's worth, I was a shy, imaginative girl who liked to draw and tell stories and learned to read at two and a half years of age). I never tried out for sports teams because I was sure I wouldn't make it. I didn't join clubs because I didn't think I had anything to contribute. It's only in the past year that I've started to consider that maybe she isn't 100% justified... but by now, the damage to my resume (and self-esteem) has already been done. This isn't a plea for sympathy, just an example of how an arguably talented kid can fail to flourish when denied even a bare minimum of external support.</p>

<p>Your daughter is lucky to have parents who encourage and support her, and the best advice I can give is to continue that, and let her know that you'll always be there for her. :)</p>

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Cardinal, no offense intended, but in my experience children's talents do not "develop on their own." Children need encouragement, training, mentorship, and opportunities to perform. These miracles don't arise spontaneously. I didn't hear snajean trying to "tailor" the child, but rather to help this child develop unique talents and interests.

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<p>To the OP: sorry if it was not your intention but your post came across like you are more concerned with finding a talent suitable for college admissions rather than to encourage your child's exploration of different fields for its own inherent sake.</p>

<p>In any case, I think I'm getting used to presuming the worst because this is CC after all. But I should give the benefit of the doubt to those in the parents forum; which is generally the most down to earth forum here on CC.</p>

<p>Well back to the topic:</p>

<p>Perhaps you can enroll her in some creative writing classes (She might like this more than newspaper writing because crafting original fiction is generally more engaging that reporting on nonfictional events and stories)</p>

<p>Cheers.</p>

<p>Google is your friend! :) Here's one quick link for writing contests. </p>

<p><a href="http://www.teenink.com/Resources/ContestsR.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.teenink.com/Resources/ContestsR.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I think age 12 is a perfect age to offer lots of opportunity to dabble. The parent's guidance toward "meaningful" dabble is valuable. Kids tend to "like what they're good at" - so positive experiences + areas of strength = (often) passion. This is different from tailor-making an Ivy resume in that it's OKAY if a kid doesn't do well. This is exploration.</p>

<p>For music, Google youth choirs, singers, chorus, etc. in your area.</p>

<p>Thanks to all of you for taking the time to post. After reading the posts this morning, I realize more than ever, that what worked for my other 2 children, isn't going to be the best path for this creative 12 year old.</p>

<p>CardinalFocused, I couldn't agree more that pushing a child in an area of interest, just to build a resume is short sighted. I agree about the creative writing being a better avenue than the newspaper, and now that you mention it, she has written lyrics to songs off and on for the last year or so. Binx, I especially liked the link to 'teenink' and googling our area for opportunities (which I had forgotten to try). Celloguy, you are right to suggest lessons, and we are enrolled into a local musical theater program that starts next week. Cameliasinensis, I understand how frustrating it was for you to feel unsupported in high school, that was a little bit of my childhood too. But if you are like me, you will find yourself stronger and more compassionate as you mature. You have already shown that now. Good luck to you.</p>

<p>snajean -- My D began piano at 4 but took up singing in fourth grade. In fifth grade, she decided that she wanted to be a singer. I really couldn't imagine that going very far but low and behold, she was the lead in the musical as a senior and we just moved her to Lawrence U last week where she is entering the conservatory in voice and violin. She didn't make the decision to study music until her junior year of high school. But prior to that time, she was focused on music. </p>

<p>Your D may not end up as a musician but if she loves singing, I would recommend some formal musical training (piano is great for singers) and a local youth chorus if available. It's a bit early for formal voice lessons but once she gets to high school, if singing is still on the radar, I would recommend lessons with a good private teacher. </p>

<p>The music forum on CC is a font of info -- please visit if singing remains an interest for your D. Good luck -- with a little guidance, she will find her passion.</p>

<p>Musicmomic,
We did a private lesson over the summer and it was just okay. She was probably too young to take it seriously. The tutor though did recommend piano lessons, but since we have no piano I haven't gone for that. Thanks for telling me about the music forum on CC, which I didn't even know about.</p>

<p>Congratulations about your daughter, it's wonderful to see an interest flourish like that.</p>

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Musicmomic,
We did a private lesson over the summer and it was just okay. She was probably too young to take it seriously. The tutor though did recommend piano lessons, but since we have no piano I haven't gone for that. Thanks for telling me about the music forum on CC, which I didn't even know about.</p>

<p>Congratulations about your daughter, it's wonderful to see an interest flourish like that.

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<p>In a way, I think its good you encouraging your daughter to pursue different interests quite early. I wish I would have started writing and reading earlier. Now I feel quite behind :(</p>

<p>CardinalFocused,</p>

<p>I really believe in the adage - better late than never. So, just be glad you have an appreciation of what to do now.</p>

<p>I think I am only realizing the need to start early due to the competitive school district where I live. My 12 year old was cut from field hockey about 3 weeks ago, and one of the reasons was that she -get this - started so late. She had missed a spring program in 6th grade and even though she did the summer program, she was behind others. It's crazy to me, but it is our reality.</p>

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CardinalFocused,</p>

<p>I really believe in the adage - better late than never. So, just be glad you have an appreciation of what to do now.

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<p>haha yeah, its just that i wanna make money and be successful and not be so stressed out about things.</p>

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I think I am only realizing the need to start early due to the competitive school district where I live. My 12 year old was cut from field hockey about 3 weeks ago, and one of the reasons was that she -get this - started so late. She had missed a spring program in 6th grade and even though she did the summer program, she was behind others. It's crazy to me, but it is our reality.

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<p>All I have to say is holy crap...</p>

<p>CardinalFocused,
I agree !</p>

<p>A few comments from a high school senior who had a parent who tried to "encourage" me. Over the years I played Piano, acted in plays, played Clarinet, sang in musicals, took tennis lessons, went to a tech camp.....</p>

<p>Only problem was that I despised these activities (and in the case of all of them with the exception of acting was terrible at them). When I got to high school I stopped listening to my mom... and she realized it pretty quickly too. At high school I found my own interests (politics and debate mainly) and have persued them very far.</p>

<p>Your daughter is twelve, and I find it absolutely repulsive that she already has a "dream" school. I'm generally even annoyed when Freshmen or Sophomores tell me when they have a dream schools. People change, when I was a sophomore I used to think that Brown was going to be my "dream" school.... until I grew up and saw that I actually liked Brandeis much much more than Brown. Let your daughter grow.</p>

<p>If she wants to sing, offer to get her singing lessons, find her a music teacher... but don't go out and tell her what she needs to do or go out and try to find an interest for her.</p>

<p>Your comments are overly harsh, Just Browsing. It's not "repulsive" for a seventh grader to be interested in a college she has toured with her siblings. I was interested in our local Big Ten college at that age and attended music camp there in junior high. I loved the campus and was very excited to think I might attend there (as both my parents did) and I did go there. There's nothing at all wrong with looking ahead. This mom is just asking for input in ways to guide her daughter toward developing what talents she is already exhibiting, and those opportunities don't fall down out of the sky. The OP isn't out of line at all.</p>

<p>Thank you so much bookiemom! I am glad that you understood and defended my original query. And I am glad to hear that you too liked a college at a young age, and were lucky enough to actually attend there.</p>

<p>Just_Browsing,
Repulsive is such a strong word for a child's interest. I work in both a middle and elementary school, and you would be surprised at the college sweatshirts I see children wearing over and over again. It is not unusual for a child to like a college, even at ages less than 12. It is fairly common for our middle school athletes to already have set their goals to play for a school like Notre Dame.</p>

<p>UPDATE: Thanks to the advice of many kind posters, my D is enrolled in a musical theater school with her first class this Saturday, and a creative writing program at school. This is probably all we will do for now. Thank you all for posting.</p>