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    “I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.”

    William James

    When I was a teenager, I was really interested in the performing arts.  I loved music.  I wrote songs, I played guitar, I acted in plays, I danced, but I did not have a very powerful singing voice.  My ever-supportive parents arranged for me to have private vocal instruction with a lady named Joyce Court.  After several rather frustrating singing lessons, dear Mrs. Court said to my mom and I, “Have you thought about modeling, Karen?”  In other words, I was not going to make it as a singer.  I had a good ear, I could read music, and I could definitely carry a tune, but I just didn’t sound that great.

    I moved on.  My experience with Mrs. Court definitely discouraged me from performing songs in a public forum, but it certainly didn’t stop me from singing for pure enjoyment.  I used to sing with my students when I was teaching, and now I literally sing ALL THE TIME with my daughters.  Singing soothes babies and older children alike.  If my daughters are cranky, I can always distract them with a little song.

    The cool thing is, my daughters don’t give a damn whether or not I have a good singing voice, they call for encores all the time!  I sing kids’ songs, current songs, lullabies, Abba, soundtracks from musicals such as The Sound of Music, and I also make-up my own ‘running-commentary’ type songs.  These are the tunes that would probably be most irritating to any other adult within earshot, but they work.  I often pick showtunes like, “New York, New York,” and change up the lyrics… ‘Start getting your shoes,”  (instead of ‘Start spreading the news…’)   “and put on your socks, we’ll get our winter jackets on, and head outside.”   I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.

    I’m reminded of a former colleague of mine, who taught second grade, and used to sing and hum constantly.  Sometimes she’d even sing her responses to her students.  I thought she was rather loopy at the time, but I don’t anymore.  I get it.  Even my mom is a hummer.  I never recognize the songs she hums, and perhaps they are just a random collection of notes.  Maybe she just hums for humming’s sake, but that doesn’t matter, does it?

    I’ve noticed recently that Pip and Fig also launch into operetta-style conversations very naturally, as though it’s just another acceptable form of communicating.  I’m thinking it might make difficult conversations go a lot smoother in the future.  Imagine if Pip confronted me one day and sang, “Mama Mia, Here I go again, My My, Can I get my tongue pierced?”


    1 comment to Singing

    • Sue

      Thanks for the morning chuckle Karen! I still can’t believe that you can’t sing. Maybe your instructor did not like the sound of your voice … maybe that was just her taste in voice. Kind of like how some people like Opera and others find it like finger nails on a chalkboard.

      I did not think that I could sing either (years ago someone had told me that I sounded awful) I had never sung in public again until Musical theatre last year. You should give it a try sometime, it helps to sing in a group of like minded souls! You never know … your voice might be better than Mrs. Court thought.

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