Singer offers tips on big dreams

If Sydney Rose, 20, could talk to the young contestants who wowing audiences on shows like “The Voice” and “The X-Factor,” she’d tell them: Even if you don’t make it to the end of this contest, if you have a vision and a talent, don’t ever give up.

The singer/songwriter whose debut pop single, “Breaking Rules,” hit No. 15 on the national radio Top 40 chart earlier this fall, says she tried to put her dream on hold – and couldn’t.

“I’ve been in love with music all my life,” says Rose ( “I’ve learned it’s an important part of who I am and you can’t ignore that, no matter what your age.”

Rose says her parents and other adults in her life were instrumental in helping her develop her talents. Her father recognized her ear for music when she was just 2 and immediately recognized a classical composition as a song from “The Little Mermaid.”

She started with singing, then learned guitar, “first chord was D,” and, at age 13, took dance lessons. She overcame any lingering shyness about performing before audiences by joining two other girls in a pop/dance group called Rosemadayne.

She put together her first album at 16, but it’s her newest album, “Rise,” an up-tempo celebration of life, that made the breakthrough on radio. It’s getting airplay on stations across the country, a development that never ceases to amaze and delight the rising star.

“Listening to myself on the planet 96.7 right at this moment!!!” she posted recently on Twitter (@itssydneyrose). “This is surreal!!!! #bestdayeverever.”

Rose shares how the adults in her life that helped her nurture her potential and stay focused on her dream:

• A strong support team: Rose had help from her parents, friends, teachers and a manager who encouraged and helped guide her. Coaches, mentors and instructors helped her polish her raw talent and develop new skills, such as dance. That required financial and logistical support from her parents, a sacrifice they happily made. “I started voice lessons when I was a tween, and to this day I get intensive voice training,” Rose says. “But the more skills you have, the better, so I also started working on dance when I was 13 years old. No matter what type of creative talent your child has – singing, acting, writing or painting – if they want to become a professional, they need training.” The encouragement and support of  friends, other family members and teachers also show a child that their dreams matter.

• Set realistic goals: Your child may dream of being in the movies or on TV, but don’t expect to start there! “I happily performed at bar and bat mitzvahs (bonus! – I met my manager through those), book stores, Best Buy stores, and at my vocal school,” Rose says. “These were great opportunities to get used to being in front of live audiences and learning how to interact with the audience.” The smaller goals are steppingstones to the bigger goals – a point to occasionally remind your child of..

• Even kids with big dreams get scared: Doing something for the first time can be frightening, and your child might get anxious and nervous. It doesn’t mean he or she has lost interest in her dream – in fact, even veteran performers admit to getting a case of the nerves. Encourage them to get out there and try! “From experience, I know that almost anything that seems scary the first time gets much easier, and less scary, every time you do it,” Rose says. “Help your child understand how important it is to face your fear so he can take the next step.”

• Have fun! “With ‘Rise,’ I wrote songs that are fun and upbeat. I thought, ‘If I’m going to do this for the rest of my life, I have to have an amazing time. Right?’ Rose says. Part of what has helped the album’s success is that she was genuinely happy and having a good time when she recorded it. No matter what your child is doing, his true emotions will color his work – they’re hard to hide, so help your child work with them.

Sydney Rose is a 20-year-old recording artist who has worked toward her success the old-fashioned way – through training, practice and dedication. She credits great coaches for helping her develop her talent for singing, dancing and songwriting, and she has become a rising star on the pop music circuit. Her new album, “Rise,” is now available on iTunes.