Mom and Dad might not be musically inclined, but their kid has talent. How do they know whether their child has what it takes to be a star?
How does a parent know whether they should consider taking out a second mortgage on the house to support little Suzie’s big ambitions? Expert vocal coach Renee Grant-Williams poses ten questions that will help parents make the right decision about what to do when their child announces they want to be a superstar.
“Most importantly, parents need to be absolutely certain that the driving force behind the dream of superstardom is their child and not them,” says Grant-Williams, vocal coach to some of the recording industry’s biggest stars.
“Fortunately, in my experience, it’s more often the kids. When I asked eleven-year-old Yahoo national yodeling champion Taylor Ware what she wanted for Christmas, she solemnly told me that she asked Santa to bring her a tour bus. This girl is clearly in the driver’s seat.”
As a place to start, parents can answer the following ten questions to gain valuable insight into their child’s potential for stardom. The questions address motivation and talent both of which are essential to a successful career in music. Does your child:
1. Appear to be motivated by making music or by the promise of fame and fortune?
2. Willingly pass up other activities in order to practice their music lessons?
3. Study other singers and learn from shows like American Idol and Nashville Star?
4. Seem passionate about singing, always looking for opportunities to perform?
5. Handle constructive criticism and rejection by learning from it?
6. Sing as well a cappella as when they sing along with the radio?
7. Naturally personalize a popular song by adding their own special touches?
8. Sound as good to legitimate music professionals as the singers on the radio?
9. Feel at ease in the spotlight and comfortable relating to an audience?
10. Get frequent requests to perform in public?
“If the answer was ‘no’ to several of these questions, don’t rush off to the bank for that second mortgage,” says Grant-Williams. “Your child may be talented, but most likely may not have everything it takes to have a successful career. Encourage them and give them some time explore their talent.
Revisit these ten questions in a year or two and assess your child’s progress. If there has not been substantial improvement, consider that your child may be destined to use their talent in the church choir or in a local band for fun, rather than for profit as a professional.”
On the other hand, parents who answer “yes” to most of these questions should seriously consider their child’s future as a musician. “Encourage your young musician and support them as best you can,” says Grant-Williams. “Seek professional guidance for responsible ways to help them grow musically. Remember that the drive for a music career must always be theirs, not yours.”
Grant-Williams coaches aspiring performers as well as celebrity entertainers like Bo Bice, the Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Christina Aquilera, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, and Martina McBride. She is the author of Voice Power: Using Your Voice to Captivate, Persuade, and Command Attention and has recently released a three-part instructional DVD and warm-up CD that are available on her website.
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