I’m going to pivot a little today and talk to parents, guardians, or supporters of students looking to pursue a career in music. There can be a lot of questions and overwhelm for someone supporting a student and I want to start that conversation with you. Let’s start with a question that you can be asking them to clarify a lot for you.

If you’d rather listen instead of reading, check out the podcast version below! There’s also a video version on YouTube found below:

What is the most important question that you should be and could be asking your student? If you’re reading this, you must be one of the following:

  • A parent of a student that is looking into a music career
  • A guardian of a student already in their music degree or they’re midway through.
  • A supporter of someone in post grad and they’re already done.
  • Or they’re looking into graduate schools.

What is the most important question you can ask them?

I’m going to introduce myself for those of you that don’t know me. My name is Chelsea Melcher. I am a performer and a teacher. I have a music school with my husband Paul, and we have wonderful and amazing students there. And I also have a performing career. I’ve done everything from opera, musical theater shows, master class recordings, you name it!

What can you do to support a musician?

So today, we are answering the question of… what is the most important question that you should and could be asking your student or your child that is looking into going into a music career?

Music career could be teaching, this could be performing, this could be pretty much the spectrum of anything music-related.

This is the question. What exactly does that look like? This is a question that you should repeat as well multiple times.

 

How to approach your musically-inclined child

So let me give you a sample conversation between you and your child:

“So what is it that you want to do with your life or your career?”

And then they’ll probably say something like…
“Oh performer, be on broadway, or I don’t know something involving music.”

Then say “what exactly does that look like?”

 

What kind of questions should I ask my child about the future?

The important takeaway from this is that you’re forcing them to envision it, which is really half the battle. You’re forcing them to envision it and then in as much detail as possible.

You’re forcing them to make it something that is actually measurable. Because if you’re just like “Oh yeah I want a dream career in performing”, or “Yeah like I want to be on broadway” …that’s miserable, right?

It has to go so much deeper than that.

It has to because it’s like…

  • Okay, do you want to be a chorus member in a national tour?
  • Do you want to have a role in an international tour? Do you want to be a cover, or all of the million terms that are for variations of covers
  • And swing in and out and through all of what understudies do. Do you want to have that and then end up having a big break somehow going through that?
  • Do you want to be a lead in an off-broadway production in New York City?

See how all of a sudden it’s like “Oh right. There are all these different ways and all these different things!

And not that you can necessarily pick and choose to the extent of like: “I want to be Maria in the international tour” but maybe you can.

The thing is you’re causing them to think. You’re causing them to open and be creative. Open up their minds and realize that they can envision this.

So maybe their goal is to be Maria in an international tour. Awesome, now they’re starting to think about it.

And now they’re like, “Okay well what would it take to be Maria? I mean what kind of dancing skills would you need? What kind of style of charisma would you need, if that was Maria?

I mean some things you know they just can’t happen necessarily based upon you as to them as a character.

What type of voice do you have? Obviously if you’re like a bass or baritone, probably the likelihood of you singing Maria and a national tour is not likely. But anything is possible, right?

The thing is to find something that it kind of makes sense with the prototype or the character or the voice type. And then finding something that’s attainable through that.

Maybe it’s not a specific role. Maybe it’s like I want to be in the chorus of a tour of Hamilton around the nation. Maybe that’s what I want. Okay maybe I want to be one of the front row dancers in an off-broadway production in New York City because y’all know you’re looking at that front row their dancing skills are top-notch right. If you’re a singer anybody you’re not necessarily the strongest dancer. Maybe you’re like in the third row or the fourth row.

These are all things to ask to get them to start thinking. And so what you don’t want to hear from them is vagueness. Like yeah that sounds good yeah all that.

 

And here’s another question to ask them: what do you love about performing?

Because if it’s something for them, if it’s like “I love being a star or I love the applause” be careful about that. Be very careful about that.

But if it’s something a little bit deeper, if you can tell that there’s something therapeutic about it for them, if you can tell that there’s a passion for them or there’s a nurturing to other people, making people happy, or you feel like they themselves are incredibly happy when they’re performing. I mean these are all much more logistical reasons to consider.

 

So that is the big question: What exactly does that look like, because they really need a picture. Also you’re helping them envision it and helping them see this is possible. This is what you want to create, but half of the problem sometimes is that people just are very vague with their goals.

You can have this in anything. Say it’s like, I want to get healthier.

What does that even look like? What does that even mean? That’s not a measurable goal.

So when you actually get to a certain point you’re like did I even achieve that goal? But if it’s like oh I want to exercise, or I want to get my blood pumping, or I want to feel alive. So I’m going to dance or walk or work out, I’m going to do that five days a week for 20 to 30 minutes each day. Okay now that is specific and that is attainable.

So that is something that you can envision, you can see it, and you know the steps to go backwards to make yourself in point here to get to point here. But if you’re like, “I want to get healthier!” what does that mean?

How to envision your future goals with this in other aspects of life

This is also something that they can apply to other facets of their life and really think about those things. But it’s so important if you’re trying to really envision a career that requires goals, that requires time management, that requires self-motivation, all of those things required for it, any career in music you’ve got to have a vision.

Then when you envision it, you can actually start believing it too, that’s the fun part. You’re like, “Wow look at all this is possible oh my gosh!”

The mindset is such a big huge part of it. That is the most important question that I recommend. The number one question to ask if you are a parent, guardian, supporter of someone that is looking into pursuing a music degree.

 

I want you to imagine what it would be like if you had so much focus, so much zen, so much peace, so much calmness, and so much excitement at the same time before performances and you’re not getting in your head, you’re not freaking out, you’re not becoming a basket case, or you’re not a hot mess. So if you feel like sometimes that is you, imagine what it would feel like if that wasn’t the case. If that wasn’t a problem anymore it would be pretty awesome, right. So what is the first step to that working with your mindset ?

If this is something that’s of interest to you, I recommend going to stopcaringwhattheythink.com. If you’re a performer and you want to have more confidence, if you want to get out of your head, these are tips and tricks that I’m offering to you for free. It’s a free resource that can help you have more confidence to manage that anxiety and just to feel like you can enjoy life again. You can enjoy performing. That’s what it’s all about right. So it’s stopcaringwhattheythink.com.

Thank you so much for tuning in this week. I hope that you enjoyed it and learned something don’t forget to comment below, I’d be thrillled to hear your thoughts on this. Whether you’re a parent or even a teacher yourself!

LEAD

If you’d rather listen instead of reading, check out the podcast version below! There’s also a video version on YouTube found below:

Powered by RedCircle

What is the most important question that you should be and could be asking your student? If you’re reading this, you must be one of the following:

  • A parent of a student that is looking into a music career
  • A guardian of a student already in their music degree or they’re midway through.
  • A supporter of someone in post grad and they’re already done.
  • Or they’re looking into graduate schools.

What is the most important question you can ask them?

I’m going to introduce myself for those of you that don’t know me. My name is Chelsea Melcher. I am a performer and a teacher. I have a music school with my husband Paul, and we have wonderful and amazing students there. And I also have a performing career. I’ve done everything from opera, musical theater shows, master class recordings, you name it!

What can you do to support a musician?

So today, we are answering the question of… what is the most important question that you should and could be asking your student or your child that is looking into going into a music career?

Music career could be teaching, this could be performing, this could be pretty much the spectrum of anything music-related.

This is the question. What exactly does that look like? This is a question that you should repeat as well multiple times.

 

How to approach your musically-inclined child

So let me give you a sample conversation between you and your child:

“So what is it that you want to do with your life or your career?”

And then they’ll probably say something like…
“Oh performer, be on broadway, or I don’t know something involving music.”

Then say “what exactly does that look like?”

 

What kind of questions should I ask my child about the future?

The important takeaway from this is that you’re forcing them to envision it, which is really half the battle. You’re forcing them to envision it and then in as much detail as possible.

You’re forcing them to make it something that is actually measurable. Because if you’re just like “Oh yeah I want a dream career in performing”, or “Yeah like I want to be on broadway” …that’s miserable, right?

It has to go so much deeper than that.

It has to because it’s like…

  • Okay, do you want to be a chorus member in a national tour?
  • Do you want to have a role in an international tour? Do you want to be a cover, or all of the million terms that are for variations of covers
  • And swing in and out and through all of what understudies do. Do you want to have that and then end up having a big break somehow going through that?
  • Do you want to be a lead in an off-broadway production in New York City?

See how all of a sudden it’s like “Oh right. There are all these different ways and all these different things!

And not that you can necessarily pick and choose to the extent of like: “I want to be Maria in the international tour” but maybe you can.

The thing is you’re causing them to think. You’re causing them to open and be creative. Open up their minds and realize that they can envision this.

So maybe their goal is to be Maria in an international tour. Awesome, now they’re starting to think about it.

And now they’re like, “Okay well what would it take to be Maria? I mean what kind of dancing skills would you need? What kind of style of charisma would you need, if that was Maria?

I mean some things you know they just can’t happen necessarily based upon you as to them as a character.

What type of voice do you have? Obviously if you’re like a bass or baritone, probably the likelihood of you singing Maria and a national tour is not likely. But anything is possible, right?

The thing is to find something that it kind of makes sense with the prototype or the character or the voice type. And then finding something that’s attainable through that.

Maybe it’s not a specific role. Maybe it’s like I want to be in the chorus of a tour of Hamilton around the nation. Maybe that’s what I want. Okay maybe I want to be one of the front row dancers in an off-broadway production in New York City because y’all know you’re looking at that front row their dancing skills are top-notch right. If you’re a singer anybody you’re not necessarily the strongest dancer. Maybe you’re like in the third row or the fourth row.

These are all things to ask to get them to start thinking. And so what you don’t want to hear from them is vagueness. Like yeah that sounds good yeah all that.

 

And here’s another question to ask them: what do you love about performing?

Because if it’s something for them, if it’s like “I love being a star or I love the applause” be careful about that. Be very careful about that.

But if it’s something a little bit deeper, if you can tell that there’s something therapeutic about it for them, if you can tell that there’s a passion for them or there’s a nurturing to other people, making people happy, or you feel like they themselves are incredibly happy when they’re performing. I mean these are all much more logistical reasons to consider.

 

So that is the big question: What exactly does that look like, because they really need a picture. Also you’re helping them envision it and helping them see this is possible. This is what you want to create, but half of the problem sometimes is that people just are very vague with their goals.

You can have this in anything. Say it’s like, I want to get healthier.

What does that even look like? What does that even mean? That’s not a measurable goal.

So when you actually get to a certain point you’re like did I even achieve that goal? But if it’s like oh I want to exercise, or I want to get my blood pumping, or I want to feel alive. So I’m going to dance or walk or work out, I’m going to do that five days a week for 20 to 30 minutes each day. Okay now that is specific and that is attainable.

So that is something that you can envision, you can see it, and you know the steps to go backwards to make yourself in point here to get to point here. But if you’re like, “I want to get healthier!” what does that mean?

How to envision your future goals with this in other aspects of life

This is also something that they can apply to other facets of their life and really think about those things. But it’s so important if you’re trying to really envision a career that requires goals, that requires time management, that requires self-motivation, all of those things required for it, any career in music you’ve got to have a vision.

Then when you envision it, you can actually start believing it too, that’s the fun part. You’re like, “Wow look at all this is possible oh my gosh!”

The mindset is such a big huge part of it. That is the most important question that I recommend. The number one question to ask if you are a parent, guardian, supporter of someone that is looking into pursuing a music degree.

 

I want you to imagine what it would be like if you had so much focus, so much zen, so much peace, so much calmness, and so much excitement at the same time before performances and you’re not getting in your head, you’re not freaking out, you’re not becoming a basket case, or you’re not a hot mess. So if you feel like sometimes that is you, imagine what it would feel like if that wasn’t the case. If that wasn’t a problem anymore it would be pretty awesome, right. So what is the first step to that working with your mindset ?

If this is something that’s of interest to you, I recommend going to stopcaringwhattheythink.com. If you’re a performer and you want to have more confidence, if you want to get out of your head, these are tips and tricks that I’m offering to you for free. It’s a free resource that can help you have more confidence to manage that anxiety and just to feel like you can enjoy life again. You can enjoy performing. That’s what it’s all about right. So it’s stopcaringwhattheythink.com.

Thank you so much for tuning in this week. I hope that you enjoyed it and learned something don’t forget to comment below, I’d be thrillled to hear your thoughts on this. Whether you’re a parent or even a teacher yourself!

Are you looking for a music teacher that goes beyond music lessons?

We believe that mentorship is more than just endowing someone skills and enriching their talent. We LOVE connecting with people passionate about music, student or not.

Music, for us, is community.
We love getting to know our students as unique individuals and creating a space where they can be themselves. Generally, musicians really show their best when they're in a good, positive space. And we want our students to find that space. 

We offer piano lessons, voice lessons, guitar lessons, violin lessons, Broadway classes and other group classes, at the heart of Marysville. We have students from Powell, Worthington, Upper Arlington, Columbus, and surrounding areas.

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