How do we stop a child thinking that they can not achieve their dreams?

Discussion: Children in care - how they can be scared to follow their dreams. How can we stop this?

I was working with a group of children in care recently and we were talking about an opportunity we have coming up soon where children from all over the city can come together to celebrate BBC Music day and a big birthday bash. The children all seemed excited but as soon as we said that it could be televised, two of the children said "we can't do it". I asked why. They replied saying that they are not allowed to have photos taken or to be seen on tv, so they can never be famous singers. I said they may be able to when they are grown up and they replied with "no, never". So I am wondering - how many vulnerable children could possibly not even be attempting to learn to do something they may love (play, sing, act, dance even sports) because they fear, or beleive that they can never go anywhere (or get famous) with it?

I was in a similar situation when I was young where I could have no photos, media, go near windows, had to move around and I still learned to play and sing. I can not remember if I told myself that I could never be famous, I don't think that was important to me, it was just about playing and singing. So does that mean it doesn't matter? if they want to learn and play, they'll still do it? 

I always cringe slightly when a young persons goal in life is to win some of these TV talent shows as I feel that the shows are there for the wrong reasons so is it a good thing that young people don't pursue something just for fame but for the love of the actual art or whatever it is they are doing? But is it not still a shame that they feel as though they could possibly be put off learning something for fame which they could actually grow to love in it's own right?

Finally, my big question is: If a child is scared to follow their dreams, how can we connect to the ones who have already given up thought of doing it and reassure them that even without fame there is success!?

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jimchorley's picture

Interesting and thought provoking Lucinda and pertinent to the times we live in...Sadly young people grow up being shown that success in music is only quantifiable by fame...The TV programmes you talk of reinforce the idea that the ones who get through are a success whilst the ones who don't are isn't about losers and winners it's about having fun expressing yourself and having fun...I am still a huge fan of music after listening to it for four decades...I'm a singer -songwriter and music practitioner because I love music and the transformative nature of listening to, creating and helping others to create music, not because of an idea of being successful or famous...Just wondered what sessions/workshops you run with the young people in the care home and how long have you been running them?




Lucinda Bristow's picture

Thanks for your reply Jim. I like to come from the same angle as you. I did work within artist developement etc for a time but didn't find it anywhere near as fulfilling or rewarding as the work I am involved in now. I hope you know that my use of the word "success" in the last paragraph was meant as in personal feeling of success or acheivement whatever that may be to an individual, be it: playing with a band and playign a song from start to finish for the first time, singing solo, making a nice sound from a violin or playing the riff to smoke on the water :0)

I work for Bristol Plays Music and it is part of 'The New Ambition' Project. We don't go to homes but run music workshops from different locations in the city. It really is great and picking up well! We have been running like this for a year now. Are you doing this kind of work too? if so, would always be great to share ideas/experiences etc. 

jimchorley's picture

Hello Lucinda...Yes I understood where you were coming from in regards to personal success...and that's the kind of success we need to encourage and help to nurture...Your work sounds very similar to mine...I work for SoCo music project in the Southampton area running songwriting and music workshops in different areas in the community...I'm currently running a project at a mental health well being centre for adults and at a visually impaired unit in a secondary school...

Yes would be good to share...What is your main field of expertise...As I said mine is songwriting.