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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce
Old 04-17-2007, 01:06 PM   #21
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce

Not that $75/hour is pocket change, but compare the principal cellist of the orchestra for the fourth largest city in the country and compare this to your mechanic.
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-17-2007, 01:30 PM   #22
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

We've sort of fallen into this trap.

I wanted our kid to study music while she was still in the language-acquistion stage. Found a good piano teacher for the kiddo, but the teacher insisted that we must buy a good piano for home practice.

I argued up and down about the much improved quality of fairly inexpensive digital pianos, but noooooo. The teacher insisted that the kid's ears would be able to tell the difference between teacher's Steinway and our Yamaha. She argued that the kid would become frustrated by not being able to reproduce the sounds she heard during lessons.

I had to ponder that for a bit. In the end, we paid 5-figures for a piano. We're happy with the results. Our kid is soaking this stuff up like a sponge, and she's enjoying every minute of it. Since the biggest hurdle for kids is to keep it interesting, I'm going to pretend that the expensive piano made a difference.
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-17-2007, 01:31 PM   #23
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

I agree the parents need a relaity check..........

However, anyone who comments on this that doesn't have an exceptional child doesn't really understand it fully........... It's EASY to armchair quarterback stuff..............

Maybe my kids will be average and work hard like me...............
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce
Old 04-17-2007, 01:55 PM   #24
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce

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Originally Posted by FinanceDude
However, anyone who comments on this that doesn't have an exceptional child doesn't really understand it fully...........
That presupposes that their children are exceptional though.

It's the old, "Well *I* could certainly see faults in MY children... IF they had any".

How many of the kids pushed to excel in certain areas are actually at the 5 or 6 sigma point on the bell curve that they are going to make it to the top?

Like my highschool friend that just wished his father had pushed him as a child so he'd be in pro ball today. Uh, yeah
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce
Old 04-17-2007, 02:02 PM   #25
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce

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Originally Posted by runchman
That presupposes that their children are exceptional though.
Parents should check out the writings of Suzuki (of Suzuki music school fame). This is a guy who used to hang with Einstein, and he insists that people are not born with talent. Talent is learned, and the trick to exceptional talent is to start learning early enough and get immersed deep enough that it *seems* like inborn talent.
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-17-2007, 02:47 PM   #26
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

I wonder if they would be doing this if one of the kids wanted to be a swimmer or chess master? Seems like these parents , who both have musical talent in their background are living through their kids.

I suspect they would rachet down the pressure and spending, letting the kid(s) progress at their own rate of interest and skill if it was in a different direction.
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce
Old 04-17-2007, 04:07 PM   #27
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce

I agree with pretty much everybody that this family is creating their own road to financial ruin by overspending. But regarding the cost of a good string instrument, it's fairly common (I'd guess even typical) for a professional violinist in a good orchestra to have a $50k+ instrument. Not to mention the cost of a good bow, probably $15k+. If they're a touring concert soloist, probably at least double the cost, with $500k+ not unheard of at the highest level of "classical stardom".

Not to say a kid requires that caliber of instrument before turning pro, but if they're truly a prodigy and can afford it, I don't think spending that amount on instruments is unreasonable. It does make a difference in the sound, and the sound/feel of the instrument can make a difference in the quality of playing.
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-17-2007, 04:18 PM   #28
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

Well, while we're talking about how bad people are...

Another thing I see is parents who continue to spend $50/week for music lessons, and the kid doesn't practice at all. Everyone knows he/she isn't practicing, but they all continue with the charade.
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-17-2007, 04:42 PM   #29
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

i totally did that - hated hated hated practicing

would fake it and most of the time not at all.

never learned to read music, just played by ear. had lessons for about/at least 5 years or so and can barely play a tune now!!!

used to pretend to be sick or whatever i could to get out of it!
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-17-2007, 04:57 PM   #30
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

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Originally Posted by bright eyed
i totally did that - hated hated hated practicing
My wife was the same way. She was reluctant to have our kid start taking piano lessons because of that. I'm going to sound like a commercial, but Suzuki addresses that problem head-on.

Parents are forced encouraged to participate. The teacher focuses on making it fun, no negative correction -- only positive reinforcement, pretty clever layering of musical complexity in the lesson structure, emphasis on playing in front of peers and others to boost self-confidence and eradicate performance anxiety, etc.

People (especially traditional teachers) are still skeptical about the method, but the results speak for themselves.
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-17-2007, 06:24 PM   #31
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

Uh, they should definitely go for it if they can afford it, but for the noted family it's way over their head.
My son's second year of Orchestra and I'm still renting his Viola for $43 a month. Have to check with DW as she use's cookie jar money to pay for his private lessons I believe $50-100 month. Kid loves it and practices every day. Makes the house sound great (glad he didn't like the drums).
His college fund and our retirement are intact and growing on schedule.
What were they thinking? Were they thinking
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-17-2007, 08:47 PM   #32
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)


I couldn't believe this article....what a pair of numbnuts!!!

Hopefully, neither of the girls will fall in love and become teenage moms!
I couldn't believe that they drive 2500 miles to go for a competition and the girls don't even make it to the top 9!!!

How are these kids going to develop any character if everything is sacrificed and handed to them on a silver platter **off soapbox**


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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-17-2007, 09:00 PM   #33
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Well, thank goodness they didn't have to sell the horses!
These people are truly delusional-- everyone knows that equestrians can't ever afford to retire.

Hey, T-Al, is your group looking for a couple of really good string players? Maybe you guys could collaborate over the Internet!
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-17-2007, 09:30 PM   #34
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

They are definitely nuts! I kept being more and more astonished the further I read. They are definitely not doing these kids a favor. I am afraid that the kids will not know how to live in the real world, once they are on their own. I think that the parents are one step away from financial disaster. What are they thinking?

Some of the activities that my 2 children participated in were: baseball, basketball, soccer, martial arts, gymnastics, swimming, various dance classes, viola, clarinet, trombone and guitar lessons, art classes, Odyssey of the Mind, Destination Imagination, band, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Neither of my children were really exceptional at anything that they participated in. I have no idea how much money that we spent on those activities over the years. No where near what they are spending for 1 year though. My children had fun doing these activities, playing with other children and this was part of our life. I think it helped their self-esteem. I have no regrets spending the money on this. However, I would not have done this is we could not have afforded it. We were able to afford this, pay our bills timely and save for retirement. I can not fathom how they had the money to pay the taxes that they knew they owed and spent it anyway. I would not be able to sleep at night!
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce
Old 04-18-2007, 02:48 AM   #35
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce

Quote:
Originally Posted by S
When the article first mentioned hoping to earn a "coveted conservatory slot", I was thinking Julliard or Eastman or Jacobs or Curtis, or even a program at a large state university. But getting a scholarship to the College of Saint Rose? Do they really feel link that's a satisfying culmination of the years of study and money?
I think they are probably just having her start there for 2 years. It's free lessons, orchestral training, theory, possibly free accompanist, then when she is a more accomplished soloist, I bet she will try to get a scholarship to one of the above schools. They just haven't told St. Rose that, yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by figner
it's fairly common (I'd guess even typical) for a professional violinist in a good orchestra to have a $50k+ instrument. Not to mention the cost of a good bow, probably $15k+. If they're a touring concert soloist, probably at least double the cost, with $500k+ not unheard of at the highest level of "classical stardom".
I'd have to say your numbers are outdated. Top level stars playing Strads go from 1 to almost 4 million. There has been a great appreciation in the price of good instruments all the way down to high school level. I'd say it would be hard to get a job in a good orchestra with a $50k violin, it simply would not have the resonance to fit into the section. I have friends who are just jobbers making their living out of many small orchestras/weddings/teaching, and their instruments bought 25 years ago are now worth so much they got threatened that they would be sold in their divorce settlement proceedings.


Someone else posted about their pianist friend and remarked that there wasn't much to aspire to as far as a career in music. Well, as a pianist, that is probably true, but as a violinist, there is the orchestral avenue. Granted there is fierce competition, but the big 5 endowed orchestras (NY,Boston,Philly,Chicago,LA) pay very well, (plus those musicians are able to charge $250/hr for teaching lessons, or could book a 4 day recital tour and pull in a quick $20k.) And there are many other large cities (Atlanta, Cleveland,Houston,SF, Detroit,Montreal,Toronto, Pittsburgh,St.Louis, Indianapolis,Baltimore),that pay around double the national median and still offer an exeptional career making beautiful music. And then there are too many other cities to list where you can still earn the median wage doing what you love, and as long as you can manage to not get jaded about your coworkers, conductors, etc... you still get to make beautiful music for a living. Each of those numerous groups has about 24 violins, so there are opportunities, you just have to be the best one that day and persistent and lucky.

I don't think these folks are crazy with the music stuff, (it's no worse than the high investment doctors and lawyers have to make to get into their business), it's just the other things like horses and not having a job when you need more money coming in.
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-18-2007, 03:04 AM   #36
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

I'll bet the music teachers & institutions are smiling.

Training is good. It can provide insights a little more quickly. The rest is practice, perseverance, and natural talent. Whether it is $10k/yr or $100k/yr going into the education, for that gig... talent is the real differentiator at the end of the day!

Funny thing is some fool with no music training doing the 1 finger slash on a guitar screaming profanity will make more money and probably be considered more sucessful!

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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-18-2007, 08:13 AM   #37
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

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Funny thing is some fool with no music training doing the 1 finger slash on a guitar screaming profanity will make more money and probably be considered more sucessful!
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)
Old 04-18-2007, 09:29 AM   #38
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a cello)

Runchman, that is the funniest commercial I have ever seen! All of my childfree friends have received the link--thank you SO MUCH! Hilarious!

I grew up on horses, and it was a very intensive hobby that I have not pursued as an adult due to the cost. Competitive riding can become skys-the-limit expensive and I saw plenty of people spending every dime they had so little Ashley could have the best horse, the best riding clothes, and the finest training. All this so she could fall for the stable boy and get knocked up.

Sarah
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce
Old 04-18-2007, 10:42 AM   #39
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce

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Originally Posted by LKH
Yeesh! When I was in high school I took up the contrabass clarinet - an unusual instrument, much more expensive than a regular clarinet (all of $1k). The school bought it and loaned it to me. I doubt they can afford to do that kind of thing anymore, though - lots of schools can't afford music programs, even.
You are so right! You wouldn't believe the money it costs to have a kid in the high school band today! Between instruments, lessons, trips etc it was several thousand a year for our kid! In addition, the parents throw all kinds of money at the music director who has no problem wasting it. Our high school band directors had to hire professionals to personally arrange the marching band music because buying music "off the shelf" was beneath them. Of course the parents funded it, no questions asked.

Those of you with young kids, be prepared. School activities and sports are in a different league today than when we were growing up. It is a big $$ business!!
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce
Old 04-18-2007, 12:52 PM   #40
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Re: "Exceptional costs of exceptional kids" (or: blowing your retirement on a ce

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Originally Posted by mclesters
Runchman, that is the funniest commercial I have ever seen! All of my childfree friends have received the link--thank you SO MUCH! Hilarious!
I have to of course put out the standard parent line, "I wouldn't trade my children for anything they are the best thing in the world". Which I also do believe; I am very, very attached to my daughters.

I will say though that you can keep the first 3 years. It really isn't until the kid turns 4 that a rational human begins to appear. There are only so many times you want to do a 4-piece jigsaw puzzle with your child. I wasn't sorry to see those years pass by.

Anyway if you go to youtube and search for 'condom ad', you'll get a lot of entertaining ones.

That's how I spent a good part of my morning at work here today

- John
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