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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:52 pm 
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I am aware that I'll probably get as many opinions on one side as the other in this but I would be interested to hear people's opinions!
So at my ds's primary school they do music performances fairly often - in front of the other pupils and any parents who choose to attend. Because they are so frequent they are relatively low key and lots of children perform - of all standards after grade 1.
My dd is a born performer and used to absolutely love it - and always performs better in front of an audience than at any other time.
My ds gets on with it but he absolutely hates doing it. I watched him last week and I could just tell that he was shrivelling inside. He is good at playing his instrument (he did his grade 5 the same week) but he plays worse when performing than at any other time, although better in exams. It's definitely not that he is teased or anything like that - it's a lovely school but also they all think that his instrument is quite cool (and him). He just hates standing up in public.
I do too. Part of me thinks that, had I had to do this as a child, it would have given me more confidence as an older child/adult (even now I shrivel if I have to talk to more than 10 people at a time and ice-breakers bring me out in a sweat). But part of me hates putting him through this and thinks that it isn't helping him at all. He could easily not perform; the school doesn't force it. I'm not sure what the right thing for him is... What would you do? Edited to add: He's 10.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:01 pm 
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I think the thing is here is to encourage but not force.

I've got a DD who is shy (although I don't use that word in fact of her), she certainly wouldn't want to speak in public (drama is out of the question even now she is 13). When she first started dancing, she hated 'watching week' at the end of term when the parents got to watch and she was obviously very reserved.

She has improved, with encouragement. A few weeks ago she played ukulele with a group of girls at the school fun day. Not sure she would want to perform on her own yet, and she certainly wouldn't sing solo, but this was her choice to do it.
Today was the infamous watching week at dance, and not only was she dancing in front of parents, she was doing it on her own. With no problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:01 pm 
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Does he want to play solo? if not then look at whether he could do a duet or a group performance. I think some people prefer playing for pleasure and some are performers ...

I wouldn't make my child perform to others if he didn't want to.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:12 pm 
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I'd let him choose. My DD is a bit like Tinkers' as regards performing and dancing in front of others. She hated any kind of performing at primary school - but she's suddenly found her confidence at secondary school; perhaps because it's all new people. You may find your son is the same. The biggest lesson I've learned with my children is a) don't expect them to do what you think they are going to do, and b) don't expect them to be the same as each other!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:20 pm 
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This is tricky as I too was/am very shy and with hindsight you realise how much it holds you back as an adult and therefore needs to be tackled. Forcing can make it worse but I have noticed that boys seem particularly reticent when it comes to performing. I can't be the only one whose sat through numerous talent shows full of female performers of varying degrees of talent or lack of :wink:

So how do schools encourage boys? Two of mine hate it but I try to force them to do things independently and encourage them to perform. Some how I've cracked it with one, not sure how, but think it is too late re the other.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:29 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Does he want to play solo? if not then look at whether he could do a duet or a group performance. I think some people prefer playing for pleasure and some are performers ...

I wouldn't make my child perform to others if he didn't want to.


He hates doing it. I don't know if he would hate more being the only person that wasn't doing it. He loves being part of an orchestra/band but these performances tend to be individual. Ironically he once won a prize for a talent show for doing a magic trick on stage. Somehow that didn't faze him at all.

Tinkers wrote:
I think the thing is here is to encourage but not force.


I don't know if he feels forced. He's never asked not to do it. But this week was the first time he admitted (and only because I asked) how much he hates it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:40 pm 
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Maybe it's never crossed his mind before that he doesn't have to do it, so,maybe he has (inadvertently) felt he had to.
Maybe just knowing he does have a choice will help. It sort of helps DD, she knows it is something that is in her control.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:45 pm 
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Yes I think it has been an assumption that he will do it because it's the norm. I will chat with him about the fact that he doesn't have to do it. I guess though that I will encourage him to try and feel more comfortable doing it because I do feel that maybe it will help him as he grows up?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:46 pm 
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I don't think it's related to gender - maybe fewer boys learn an instrument?

Certainly the male young musicians I've seen have been brilliant.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:58 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
I don't think it's related to gender - maybe fewer boys learn an instrument?

Certainly the male young musicians I've seen have been brilliant.



Out of the three talent shows I have recently attended all have been girl heavy. Same went for those I attended at the International School my boys attended. I don't think it has anything to do with talent or numbers playing instruments. I do think there is an element of peer pressure.

Not to say some girls aren't shy and some boys extrovert. In some areas boys seem to dominate, sports for example, whereas girls perhaps less so. In general when it comes to music/talent shows I find boys in short supply.

Re this case if DS accepts he has to do it and has been doing it successfully then I would encourage him to keep on going and give massive reward for it. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger or some such phrase.


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