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I Love Your Terrible Singing

One of the most common responses I get when people learn I’m a singer and a voice teacher is, “Oh, I wish I could sing!” or “You REALLY don’t want to hear ME sing!” My response is almost always, “Why, yes, I really DO want to hear you sing!”

Why on earth would I want to torture my highly trained ears with bad singing? Especially when I could listen to such good singing any time I wanted to.

The reason is very simple: humans sing.

It is a fundamental need to express ourselves in some way, and singing is one of the most natural forms of expression we have. Children sing before anyone ever teaches them how to do it. Singing comes so naturally to us that we have to be taught how to be self-conscious and how to judge our singing and that of others. But what if our judgements are wrong? What if we don’t really know whether we are good singers or not?

Many, many times, if I press the issue with a person, they will tell me that someone in their childhood that they trusted told them they couldn’t sing. Sometimes it’s a parent, a friend, or worst of all, a music teacher. These people who are supposedly experts are perhaps meaning to save children from embarrassment and ridicule, which can come from a place of kindness. However, most often people who have been told they can’t sing will find out that they really can! Sometimes it just takes a little bit of help to get all the pieces coordinated, and some encouragement to keep trying.

There’s a huge difference between “You can’t sing” and “You don’t know how to sing yet.”

It might take a bit of time to learn how to get your voice to do what you want it to do. That’s fine! After all, we don’t tell babies to give up when they stand up and then immediately fall down. We encourage them to keep trying, and cheer them on with every attempt. What if we did that for every singer? Would you feel differently about your voice if you had cheerleaders encouraging you as you learned?

This is why I am co-leading Tone Deaf Choir in July. I believe so strongly that every person is a singer, and every voice is worthy enough to be heard, that I wanted to create a safe space to join together with no judgement, tons of encouragement, and real practical teaching to help anyone who was brave enough to try singing in a group. This workshop is designed to give us plenty of rehearsal time, some teaching time with games (I love games!), and a chance to make new friends. Of course, it would also be a great way for friends to spend a weekend together doing something new and different. Singing is more fun with others!

Please visit the Tone Deaf Choir page for more information, and if you have any questions, please contact me. I love to help break down the barriers that keep people from expressing themselves, and if I can do that for you, let’s set up a time to meet and see if private or group instruction is right for you.

Your voice is unique and deserves to be heard. I hope today you find a way enjoy the expression and joy that can come from singing. And I hope to see you at Tone Deaf Choir in July!

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