I can’t give up on my dream of becoming a music teacher

The Yomiuri Shimbun Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male company employee in my 20s, but I can’t give up on my dream of becoming a music teacher — I want to convey the charm and delight of music to children who haven’t discovered them yet.

I’ve had the dream since I was in primary school. But while I was a senior in high school, I learned there aren’t that many posts for music teachers, so I started doubting whether I should enroll in a music college. I ended up taking a course in the faculty of humanities at university.

I tried to seek something new at university. But for some reason, I became the conductor of a chorus group — it went on for four years. I was so content being able to convey the charm of music again.

I found a job at a manufacturing company, thinking I could go on keeping music as my pastime. But I’m now unable to give up on my initial dream. It must be because I never fully convinced myself that I couldn’t do it.

I know it may not be possible, but I wonder if I should try going to college again. I still want to obtain certification to become a music teacher.

On the other hand, I’m not sure whether I should leave my present job; I have great colleagues and I’m quite happy with my days there.

I’m a man who can work hard once I’ve decided on doing something. But the point is, I can’t really decide.

S, Ehime Prefecture

Dear Mr. S:

What you need to do now is to ask yourself firmly what you want to do most. You must stop questioning whether you can do it or not.

It was your indecisiveness, which comes together with your considerate character, that caught my attention. You end up acting too defensively because you are too observant of your surroundings when trying to take your first step. You are probably much more prudent than others.

Judging from the fact that you ended up conducting a chorus group for four years at university, you must have a talent for music. I say you should make moves to realize your dream to convey the appeal of music to children. Because, well, it’s your dream.

I wonder if you have ever heard of the phrase “knowing, liking, enjoying”? It’s a simplified version of a famous passage from “The Analects of Confucius.”

The phrase means that people who only know a subject can never surpass those who like it. But the people who only like the subject can never surpass those who enjoy doing it.

The most important thing is that you are able to enjoy the subject.

I don’t expect your path would be an easy one. Are you really ready for it?

I think you would never regret the challenge once you make the decision. Try imagining yourself teaching music to children, and go for it!

Akemi Masuda, sports commentator

(from July 14, 2016, issue)Speech

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