My son the MUSSSSIC major


Apr 22, 2018 Bully Pulpit 0 Comments

When I tell certain clients (and family members) that my middle son was a music and history major at Dartmouth, I can sometimes feel them freeze in embarrassment. What can they say? How awkward. It’s kind of like if I told them he’s in prison. They’re usually pretty good about covering up their initial shock, but they make the mistake of following up two seconds later with some sort of permission. “Oh, well now, that’s good! It’s OK to follow your passion.” But I can see it in their eyes. They’re stunned. Did we not calculate the ROI for a music major at a college that costs more than $70,000/year. To us, being overwhelmingly proud of our musician is simply an extension of the intuitive parenting that has always guided us. When I see a young adult who shows up every day, who practices his vocation (whatever than might be) consistently and beyond the pale, who turns every stone over in pursuit of his next step– when I see a real work ethic at play, why then I bet on that person. I want to tell these parents, and I suppose I’m telling them now, to stop worrying about ROI and stop trying to forecast a job market that is impossible to forecast. Instead, start teaching your children to work hard for themselves, to own their own education, to listen to their intuition, and not to expect a handout. Then, no matter what major they pursue, they will be successful. I had a someone recently tell me that she would never pay for her child to get a fine arts major. I say raise them up right, have faith in their good sense and commitment, and the truth will out.

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