Parents want one major, I want another....

<p>I am an entering freshman at UCLA this fall. I was admitted as a Violin Performance major, and I have gotten to be very close with my violin professor. He's a wonderful violinist, and it's an honor to be studying with someone as accomplished as he is. I know its an opportunity that hardly anyone else gets, but my parents are very adamant about me pursuing a career as a violinist. I, however, enjoy studying, taking tests, doing projects, etc. I'm REALLY not sure whether or not violin is really the career for me. I may have been able to practice 5-6 hours in the past, but that was because I wanted to win competition for my college application. Now that that's over, I hardly find the motivation to practice at all. The whole " become a better player because you want to " is not working for me right now. I can hardly practice 2 hours a day, which is a significant drop from the 5-6 hours I used to do.</p>

<p>The thing is, my parents have threatened to cut off all tuition and support for me in college if I dare to switch majors. They say I am not mature enough to make my own decision as to what I want in life (which is what i agree with actually). Double majoring has been a huge issue too, because with the major I want to pursue (Business Economics), all I would be doing is just studying and practicing. They make it seem like double majoring is easy, when my violin professor told me hardly anyone gets out with a Music Perf + second major. </p>

<p>I am afraid to even approach them about the possibility that I don't love classical music the way they do. They merely brush it off as another 18 year old teen angst-doesnt-know-anything-not-mature claim. But they also know and have seen the way I am with classical music. I literally do not know ANYTHING beyond what I have played in my own repertoire. I don't know the dates of composers, musical eras etc, simply because I could care less. </p>

<p>I don't want to end up forever doing what they insist on me doing, and hating what I do. But I also know I am not mature enough to really know if I would rather work 8 hours a day with a set schedule and send my kids off to daycare and have to rush home and make dinner etc etc, or just play violin.</p>

<p>You're right, they're wrong. I've got a few friends who were performing arts majors. They are debating that decision now after attempting to get work. It's very hard to make ends meet as a performing arts major.</p>

<p>If you do not want to be married to the violin--don't major in it! It's hard enough to make a living in music if you love it.</p>

<p>Switch now before you have too much invested in the wrong major and have to spend another semester or year taking the right courses for your new major. That wouldn't make your parents happy, would it?</p>

<p>You'll appreciate the violin much more as a hobby, a way to make friends and relax, while you actually make a living doing something else.</p>

<p>I hope you can explain this to them. It may be hard to burst their bubble of having a violin virtuoso in the family, but it's got to be done.</p>

<p>Listen to your parents, they are the last person on earth who would see you unhappy. </p>

<p>The violin teacher for my DD told her that they make over 100K by working only the concert season. Very good life style by doing what you love.</p>

<p>But OP doesn't love it, Dad II</p>

<p>18 year old teen angst-doesnt-know-anything-not-mature</p>

<p>Dad II--listen. Music, esp. something as taxing and competitive as the violin, isn't something you can get a degree in if you don't love it. Somewhere along the way the OP will not play well, not pass her boards, and drop out from not applying herself 110% the way her classmates do if they want to stay in the major.</p>

<p>And just b/c your daughter's violin teacher makes 100K in what seems to be an effortless manner doesn't mean every violinist does. Even the really good ones.</p>

<p>I guess you learned absolutely nothing from the children of your cousin who were pushed by their father into fields they don't love and who explicitly told you not to do the same with your children.
This is America, Dad II, not China. Over here, we find the idea of following a career path because it's what your <em>parents</em> want for you unattractive.</p>

<p>OP, just ask yourself, on this earth, who love you the most? It will be your parents. Why would they, with their life experience, want to see you staying with violin? Go talk to them.</p>

<p>It does not matter which country or what race, all parents want the best for their children.</p>

<p>Making a living in music is terribly difficult. My brother is in his 50's and double majored in conducting and piano when he was in school (they were still writing the classical music at the time...). He has NEVER had a lucrative job in music, although he continued to do music all this time. Your violin will always be with you. You might want to continue to play, but on your terms. There are plenty of musicians who make money doing other things, and still get great joy out of making music. Amateur groups do not necessarily mean shoddy or mediocre performers. If you major in something different, and you don't have to depend on the violin to pay for your life, then you will be free from it and can approach it without pressure, and maybe you will love it again. It will wait for you. But it will make you hate it even more if you have to rely on it.</p>

It does not matter which country or what race, all parents want the best for their children


<p>True, but they don't necessarily know what's best for their adult children. I've known some extremely unhappy adults who went into their career just to please their parents.</p>

<p>This is not what you are deciding between.</p>

<p>I don't want to end up forever doing what they insist on me doing, and hating what I do. But I also know I am not mature enough to really know if I would rather work 8 hours a day with a set schedule and send my kids off to daycare and have to rush home and make dinner etc etc, or just play violin.</p>

<p>I suggest that as you have a good relationship with your professor- that you ask for his advice- being very clear and honest with him.
I bet that he has had students in your position before & I agree w mommusic, making a living in a creative field is difficult even if you * have * to do it & by Have to- I mean, you could not imagine yourself doing anything else.</p>

<p>Essentially spending time and money pursuing a major in which you have little interest, does not sound like a good investment.</p>

<p>If your professor is as good as you say, he will support your decision to find your own path & if he is generous with his time, perhaps he will help you approach your parents.</p>

<p>My husband is a composer and clarinetist. MOST of the people who major in music do NOT make a living at music. MOST of the people who DO make a living with music do not make a GOOD (as in lucrative) living in music. If you think otherwise, I'm happy to introduce you to many many many many many fine musicians who are working in the computer field, working two jobs teaching in two private elementary schools, working in law offices, farming, selling food, and so on. </p>

<p>DadII, I'm certain, absolutely certain, that I know many more people who were performance majors than you do. Sorry, but your n=1 argument is ridiculous, and your utter disregard for what really makes other people's kids happy has been noted elsewhere and frequently.</p>

<p>musicalfeet, "I literally do not know ANYTHING beyond what I have played in my own repertoire." That's actually true of many music majors; many performers are too busy learning their repertoire to delve into other music. Don't feel bad about that!</p>

<p>If you don't want to major in music, don't. Being a part-time musician can be a fabulous hobby, and the discipline that music takes can easily carry over to other fields of study. You may need to find another way to fund your education. You might also want to consider the possibility of double-majoring but getting a commitment from your parents to pay for one or more years of additional undergraduate work. You could call this your fallback plan -- if music doesn't work out, well, at least you have other skills that you can bring to the world of employment. </p>

<p>Also, instead of being a performance major, you might look to music education as a major instead. You could still work on your instrument, but it wouldn't have to be at the same level as a performer.</p>

<p>franglish, classical music is still being written!</p>

<p>Okay, I couldn't let this go unanswered:</p>

OP, just ask yourself, on this earth, who love you the most? It will be your parents. Why would they, with their life experience, want to see you staying with violin?


<p>For the same reason some parents want their kids to go to HYPS -- for the bumper sticker, for the bragging rights. You know, some parents actually cry and reach for the alcohol when their kids don't get into Harvard, even if the kid isn't really interested in Harvard and applied only because his/her parents made them. The parents aren't crying and drinking because their kids are hurt by the rejection; they are crying and drinking because it means they, the parents, won't get the bumper sticker.</p>

<p>Some parents are incredibly out-of-touch with what their kids want and what makes their kids happy and who their kids are, and some of those parents don't even recognize it!</p>

<p>musicalfeet, would your parents really rather you not go to college at all than to major in something else? I'm thinking... not.</p>

<p>franglish, classical music is still being written!</p>

<p>ITA- not a frequent classical music goer, but recently heard some pieces written by Chen Yi</p>

<p>Id also agree that many are in other fields as well.
A friend has his Phd in stats, but he plays classical mandolin professionally as well ( however- stats is what enables him to pay the bills)</p>

Parents love their kids and want what is best for them. I completely agree! However, what is best for them is to pursue something they have a TRUE interest in. Music isn't best for this girl. No certain major is best for anyone. Nobody can claim music is the best. What's best for her is to pursue something with vigor and great passion in order to sustain herself and achieve in that area. Playing violin as a chore because someone thinks it is good for you is not going to work. Actually, as mommusic mentions, she won't be able to compete with those who have their heart and soul into it 110% because she won't be able to do what she really needs to to do to rise to the top and succeed. Practicing should be pleasurable and not a chore, when it comes to the arts. </p>

<p>I do not believe at ALL with parents having ANY say in one's major. The major should be what the student WANTS to study. This girl does NOT want to study violin as her main focus. She has another interest. I think she could try to major in something else and see if she can have a music minor to keep her violin in her life. But she doesn't want to make a career of the violin and nobody can make you do that. It is her life, not her parents. If her parents truly want what is best for her, they will let her choose her path based on her honest interests. Violin is not better than business. Either one is fine...but only one interests her and that is where it truly matters. To succeed, you have to have the interest and drive in your field. </p>

<p>I don't agree with some that the decision should have anything to do with how hard it is to make it as a musician. If she wants to be a musician, she should go for it! I have a child in college in the performing arts and we are behind her all the way, even if it is a difficult career in which to make it. In her case, it is a deep seated passion and I can't imagine her NOT doing it. It is the core of her being. Violin is not the core of the OP's being and that is why she should not make it her major, not because the arts are hard or may not be lucrative.</p>

<p>To the OP, this is your life. If your heart is not into majoring in violin, you should not major in it. If your parents truly want what is best for you, they will want you to be interested in what you study and what you choose for your career. You need to have a heart to heart about this. You could still minor in music and violin would be part of your life but not your main focus. It may not be what they thought you would do or what they wanted, but you must explain that it is your life and you cannot put your soul into violin if it is not there.</p>

<p>Musical Feet --
I suggest you try the major for a year. At some point, this may have been a dream for you, (hopefully not just a dream for your parents.) You are probably exhausted from all of the work you had to put in to gain your admission to study with an accomplished musician. Perhaps when you start studying with him/her, and getting involved in your other courses, your love for music and performance will return. </p>

<p>If it doesn't return after a semester or two, you will then need to have a very serious talk with your parents. At this point in your academic career -- if you learn that performance is not what you want to do with your life, the year will not be wasted. However, if you don't take advantage of the opportunity now, you may not get it again. You'll always be able to study economics at almost any school, but you may not always be able to enter a competitive performance program.</p>

<p>soozievt, the comments about how hard it is to make a living in the arts were to counter DadII's "violinists make $100K" comment. I would never discourage someone who WANTED to pursue music as a major and career from doing so, regardless of how hard it is to make a living in the field!</p>

<p>Is this argument about violin versus business economics as a stable career? If so, go with economics.</p>

<p>But if this is an argument about wanting to make up your own mind, then be very careful that you do that. Don't major in violin because someone else wants you to. But also, don't drop it as a reaction against someone else. You have gone far with your violin, done well, and I, for one, am a huge believer in the power of music, and hate to see it lost. You have a teacher you respect. You have years of effort. Don't toss it all out in a momentary temper-tantrum. In making up your own mind, it is okay to consider other people's opinions (even mine :) ) but, don't go with the "best argument" - go with your gut.</p>

<p>You are right that many other majors are so demanding that violin will be lost by the wayside. It happened to my H, who was a great violinist, but couldn't keep it going while majoring in engineering. He is an enthusiastic concert-goer, and a willing hand to change the strings on D's violin when necessary, but he hasn't touched a violin aside from that in years. I think that's sad. But it is a choice he made all by himself - neither reacting for or against anyone else, so he can live with it.</p>

<p>(I am the mother of two performance majors and one economist. All are academically and musically talented. All chose their own paths. All are happy. That was my goal as their parent - to help them be content, productive, and (eventually) independent.)</p>

<p>True, the decision should have nothing to do with how hard it will/might be. However, it WILL be hard. So, if her heart is not into it passionately, enough to override the hardships, then the difficulty will trump anything else and will be gnawing at her all the time.</p>

<p>EDIT: Double posted with owlice.</p>