Blog: A Teacher once said I had no future in music

Hi music lovers and creators

Has someone you respected ever told you art wasn’t your thing? Or that you’ll never make the hockey team? All too often I hear people tell me they can’t sing and that someone told them that long ago.


I’ve just been sifting through old journals (not sure if that is wise, unwise, or just plain narcissistic). I am going to share with you an except (that sounds a bit formal) from when I was just 16. I had completely (conveniently) blotted it from my memory… but perhaps this event was a blessing in disguise?

Albeit there is swearing, vengeful teenage melodrama, “poor me”, throughout the snippet, and I may have deleted the words “fat faggot” (Ms Foster wasn’t overweight nor was she a pile of sticks…I’m sorry 🙁 ), but I suppose everything is egotistical and AMPLIFIED during adolescence.

Take a read. Has anything similar happened to you?



The moral of the story kids?

  • Ms Foster was wrong
  • Teachers have the power to make or break a kid’s dreams
  • There is abundance in this world. You can’t please everyone and the wide world of differences, diversity and tastes, but there will be people who get you.
  • Resilience and perseverance

Criticism is an interesting one. I’ve been trying to figure it out all my life.

Who’s right, who’s wrong? What do we take on board? What do we ignore?

Depending how it’s delivered, criticism can be someone’s brave and honest feedback, aimed to help and guide us. Other times it can reflect someone’s own insecurities/failures and their need to put others down to make themselves feel better. We have the choice as the receiver to take it… or leave it. We can let it break us, we can ignore it, or we can use it to help us change for the better. The strange in-between-zone is… what’s real, and who do we believe? Ourselves, our twisted egotistical interpretations, or the opinion of someone else?

In the case of Ms Foster, where she was coming from, and what would jenschoolmotivate her to so righteously crush a vulnerable teenager’s dreams? Was she hoping to inspire and encourage by stopping mid-song to say this song was just as dull as the last? Was my performance actually pretty shoddy (happens), and I was lost in my fantasy world thinking I was Bon Jovi? Do I actually suck and the rest of you have been lying all along? Did it actually have nothing to do with me… was Foster just a bitter unsuccessful musician who’d had someone tell her she’d never make it? Did she have a bad day at work? Or was she going through menopause and hadn’t had some in a while?

talentLater that year I went in the school talent quest, tying first place with the wonderful Tiffany Smith!

15 years and 5 albums later, Hi Ms Foster! Hope you’re well.

Criticism is an interesting one. Had I chosen to believe Foster, I would have had a very different life path. Fortunately I had a lot of teachers, friends and family who have been incredibly supportive along the way!

Tell me your stories. Has someone put your down? What were their intentions? How have you handled criticism? Thoughts?

4 Responses to “Blog: A Teacher once said I had no future in music”

  1. Wendy Cutler August 19, 2016 at 7:19 am #

    Good on you Jen. That school was not good for my daughter. I ‘lost’ my daughter at that school. So much pain and hurt and too many secrets kept from a loving Mother. So glad you are strong and happy now. Love xx

    • jen August 19, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

      🙁 So sorry to hear it. I think it’s a tumultuous time growing up. Hoping you are well Wendy, and enjoying life up north 🙂 xo

  2. Shannae Little August 19, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Love it ! So true Jenny and your doing amazing! So proud of you xx

    • jen August 19, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

      Awww, thanks Shannae 🙂 xo

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