[VIEWPOINT]How to nurture kids’ dreams

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[VIEWPOINT]How to nurture kids’ dreams

A few days ago, I was invited to my friend’s for dinner, where I had a chance to talk about popular singers with my friend’s son, a high school student. Surprisingly, he had a profound knowledge of not only his favorite singer’s recent works but also the singer’s strong and weak points and management. His knowledge rivaled that of experts.
Because of his great respect for this singer, he said he wished to study music in college and become a star like his idol.
Listening to his talk, I thought about why lots of young boys and girls dream of becoming a star. To ordinary folks, anyone can become an entertainer. Also, it seems much easier to become an entertainer than to do well in school.
But is it really easier? Let’s take an example. There are reportedly more than 280 high schools in Seoul alone, which means there are as many as 280 top students. But how many people will become stars in a year? In the pop music industry, new singers who pass auditions with difficulty produce countless new songs, but in reality, only one or two new singers make it big each year, and most are forgotten before they even make their debut.
It is very regrettable that numerous teenagers, unaware of the difficulties, line up to enter the entertainment business. They can become stars only after they have had systematic and comprehensive education. Top singers such as Seo Tae-ji and BoA became what they are today because they went through extensive, rigorous training after they quit regular schools.
But our country does not have many professional training institutions to produce entertainers. Some private institutes or production companies cultivate entertainers, but these cases only apply to very few people.
I’ve heard of elementary schools in other countries that offer programs for children who want to be entertainers. To produce superior entertainers who make up the foundation of our culture, shouldn’t our talented children be able to get this type of education at an early age?
Entertainers are said to be born gifted. Such talent is important, but it is difficult to become an excellent entertainer without professional education.
With proper educational institutions, we can discover talented children at an early age and offer an organized curriculum. As a result, lots of children would be able to have realistic dreams and become sound cultured citizens who can purely enjoy and love the activities of entertainers.

* The writer is a songwriter. Translation by the JoongAng Daily staff.


by Lee Kun-woo
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