Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Engineering or Music?

My older son is planning his schedule for next year. He will be a sophomore in high school, and he surprised me today with his plans. I thought he was going to take Engineering Drawing or Engineering Design, and I was prepared to investigate the difference in the opportunities those two classes provide. He had an exploratory technology class this year, and the Technical Drawing portion of the year was his favorite. He has expressed interest in becoming an engineer, an occupation that I have always thought would suit him.

This afternoon he told me that he doesn't want to take Engineering this year because he wants to take an extra music class. He is already in the marching band, and he is enjoying it much more than he expected. He wants to take Instrumental Music as well so he can improve his skills on his instrument (percussion). After I asked lots of questions, he told me he would like to stay involved in music in college, and then he said that he is considering a career in music! I don't know how I feel about this.

I think my main concern is that he keep his options open for later. He can take private music lessons after school and continue with the engineering classes. I would be okay with him being a music major if he pursued a career that would provide a steady income (like band director), but I don't want him to be a starving artist! However, he is only 14 years old, and I am sure that he will changed his mind about what he wants to do for a living many times in the next few years. His father is 42, and he still hasn't made up his mind!

On the other hand, I think it is really cool that my child is interested in music! I took piano lessons for 10 years, including one year in college. My college teachers kept forgetting that I was not a music major, and I stopped taking lessons because I had reached a level that wasn't relaxing and fun. I also excelled in band in middle school and high school, and I love to sing. It is gratifying to see my child inheriting my strengths instead of my weaknesses for a change!

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