Thought this would make decent fuel for discussion.
'We know too many kids in these schools that give up on the quirly little things they are passionate about so they can add their resume to the pile of "4.5 GPA, violin playing, president of the Key club." It's our quirky differences and how we develop them than make us interesting isn't it?'
Hmmm....I wish my students had heard that playing violin makes them academically desirable in an ordinary sort of way...I can't say how many I have lost (just as they were getting to the point where they were getting pretty competent) to "rigorous academics" in the 8th or 9tyh grade. Math Olympiad, Odyssey of the Mind, and the like are the bane of my existence! ("I can't practice on school nights. I have to do do my homework and build my robot.")
In our community, the pressure cooker schools push violin from an early age. These schools fill the uber-competitive junior symphony and the supposedly more community oriented civic youth orchestra. These schools dominate the honor orchestra every year too. They have parents who want the to achieve high in music but actively discourage them from being musicians for a living. No, around here, violin is considered an acceptable "extra-curricular" to pad out the college application.
But yes, I'm used that as an example of what seems widely considered an acceptable extra-curricular for a college transcript wheras something like being involved in the model railroad club from an early age and eventually volunteering hours at the model train museum is looked down upon in the elite high schools in our area.
My response was a bit tongue in cheek as well...
No, (where I used to live) I don't think I had any students quit lessons because they weren't going to be concert violinists. In fact, some students quit lessons even though their parents encouraged them to continue (in fact, one had just bought the kid a $1,400 violin package...the local violin shop had perfectly acceptable instruments for a lot less)...it really did seem that there wasn't much time left over for music. My violin students were almost all involved in one or more academically oriented clubs, in the orchestra for the musical (or performing in the musical), learning to drive, going to sports events and dances, dual enrolled in college...and some had jobs.