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Singer Songwriter & Vocal Coach, Lizanne Hennessey - Voice Coach


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How can we talk to kids?

How many of us have (albeit inadvertently) asked a child, "What are you going to be when you grow up"? Admittedly, I have caught myself doing this.

It's a bizarre way of making small-talk with a child, isn't it?
"Having fun in the sandbox? That's a cool sandcastle... so tell me, kid, what is your ultimate goal in life?" This isn't an easy question for anyone to answer, let alone a 5-year-old.

To me, this question reinforces the way our system is put together - which is designed to mold children into consumers, so they will be instrumental in our economic growth. At the same time, it is a question that can help us understand what drives our kids, what they are passionate about, what their dreams are...

In this article, Jennifer Fulwiler proposes that we should altogether stop asking kids this question, as it "reinforces the idea that the way to find identity and value is through career" and "undermines the concept of vocation":

How can we talk with kids, encourage them to explore who they are, and get them excited about who they will become, without asking such a weighty question? How can we allow them to expand their imaginations, and let them know they are taken seriously at the same time? How can we differentiate things like a purpose in life, as opposed to a career, in a way that children can focus on and hopefully achieve their passions?


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    Jul 3 2013: Lizanna,

    It is extremely, extremely, ironic how I have just now clicked on your web page below to find something I just did earlier TODAY with my 7( soon to be 8) year old!!! I recently traveled out of area to continue in my career of study and while Skypeing with her I picked up a guitar (friend I'm staying with owns) strumming G,D, and C major. I'm trying to learn Spanish somewhat just to get by to be able to understand a casual conversation around here so I began singing the very few words that I have just learned to her. I made it specially comical for her enjoyment adding business in it like hearing it on the Spanish channel or radio station ("Vemos...[sudden pause] Coke-a-cola"). I need to learn more Spanish LOL.

    Also while watching the video I had an idea of putting a pitch to every letter that we type here. A-B-C-D-E-F-G is obvious but I don't know about the rest of the letters. Probability research for nice melodies?
    I've played bass guitar for 25 years and just picked up a trombone a year ago that I had to take along with me. I'm trying my best to teach myself how to sing through it. I play along to vocal melodies with it. I have my favorites (The specials-Rudy, Police-King of Pain, Pink Floyd-Comfortably Numb are just a few).

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