Encouraging Children’s Dreams
Emma Sutton-Williams, an accomplished violinist and Juilliard School graduate, wrote about her own experience. At the age of 6, she told her parents that she wanted to become a professional violinist one day. After months of adamantly repeating this, her parents offered a bargain. They would rent her a violin, and later buy her one of her own, if she agreed to practice diligently until she went to college. She gladly accepted and the arduous journey of developing this new skill began. Naturally, the initial enthusiasm wore off quickly as practicing on one’s own can get tedious rather fast. But her parents decided to provide some more encouragement.
Keeping the Interest and Motivation Up
Rather than forcing their child to continue practicing or threatening with punishments, Emma’s parents began planting more seeds of curiosity. They took her to concerts, signed her up for a chamber music program, and encouraged her to join a youth orchestra. Emma said that being surrounded by other children that shared those interests and dreams of being on stage playing amazing musical pieces made practicing and learning the violin fun again. Her dream grew bigger as she wanted to one day attend Juilliard and play at Carnegie Hall. Emma’s parents showed her more of what could be by surrounding her with inspirational prodigies. Due to years of hard work and the right type of parental encouragement, she graduated from Juilliard and played at Carnegie Hall, and Broadway. What was once a childhood whim became an unforgettable and worthwhile journey.