Jenna White: “Mum, I want to be a musician!”

Jenna White is an A Level Student and aspiring musician. Read about her experiences here:

The typical praised career choices of today’s generation tends to shy away from less income driven vocations like music. As a result, more young aspiring musicians are feeling compelled to follow a career path adhering to the dreams of their parents rather than their own.

Traditionally raised parents will never admit to how they dread the answer to this question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answer is typically solidified and realistic beyond the age of 16, once the child has some academic experience to judge subject preferences etc. Truth be told, the desired career for children (from a parental perspective) is one that offers some sort of financial security. Unfortunately for aspiring musicians, music does not first come to mind as one of these careers – more like lawyers, doctors and medical engineers.

As a young aspiring musician myself, I face the daily struggle of impressing my parents who were raised in a generation which much less liberty. It is a constant task to provide them with the assurance that it is the hard work one implements into their job that supersedes the job title. I found that this task is far from rare in young people of today.

Several unjust situations arrive from this ‘career fear’ shenanigan. There is astounding evidence of students reluctantly studying for the career that rests in the dreams of their parents’ heart as opposed to their own. Even those who do not identify with this reluctance, have subconsciously composed a prosthetic passion for the subject as a coping mechanism. These people tend to shy away from admitting that they are working towards a dream that they do not own, out of the utmost admiration and respect for their parents. The price paid for this admiration, however, has proven to be a drastic decrease in self-esteem, depression and contraire to the belief, a depletion of skills.