Today, we live in a world that is full of endless opportunities. Children have a smorgasboard of extracurricular activities to choose from: swimming, tennis, netball, softball and all other sporting activities connected with balls!; chess, debating, girl guides, scouts, playstation 4, wi, xbox and other PC, DS, QRST games…. but let’s not forget about diving, go-karting, gymnastics, golf and thumb wars! The list is endless…
What worries me is our society is immersed with instant gratification, so how does that change our children’s confidence in the long term? Are we breeding a generation full of bravado, not a genuine confidence in sight? Will they have no understanding of commitment, no concept of reaping the rewards of hard work nor will they understand the value of money or loyalty.
I am not an expert however I have had over twenty-seven years of experience dealing with children (and parents) and it’s fascinating to see what ideals, ethics and life skills are being lost along the way.
From a performer’s perspective, our 21st century artists need to be formidable talents. They need to be able to sing, dance, act, flip and do tricks, learn to play an instrument, read sheet music all while balancing their hectic schedule as they self promote, write marketing campaigns and keep ahead of all various social media’s, tweet, beep and be discreet! (And I know I’ve only revealed the tip of the ice berg!) They need to understand their bodies, incorporate ways to hide their weaknesses and highlight their strengths, diet and nutrition, work health and safety, fashion and beauty, stage make-up and hair, update their skills and techniques and keep abreast with “re-inventing” themselves. That’s a lot to do! It’s a lot to think about!
But what about those stars who rise to instant fame through Media platforms such as Australia’s Got Talent, X-Factor or So You Think You Can Dance. My focus is on the younger performers who have obtained a quick claim to fame when I ask, “What detrimental effect is this instant stardom going to have on that child’s persona & how will they cope in the future?”
As singing and dance teachers, I believe that our main focus should be to raise confident little people – First. We need to teach them to trust their judgement, work hard, commit and set small goals, make healthy choices and good decisions and learn to love themselves. We need to guide them to develop a strong sense of self-worth and understand that it is okay to be the square peg even if you don’t fit the round hole. It’s okay to make mistakes and it’s okay to ask for help.
The Entertainment industry is full of knock-backs. Instant stardom has a short life and is few and far between. However If you’re confident in yourself and have a strong sense of well being, then it’s easier to handle the negatives thrown at you. No matter what you do, you will always succeed.
Even though I’m a singing and dance teacher, my job is to raise confident little people – First.