Can you do what you love if you suck at it?

I grew up singing and loved every minute of it. Sure I sang in the shower like everyone else but most of my singing was actually done in public, right next to other people. I even sang in a couple of acapella type groups and toured around singing for strangers. I know, crazy right? For someone whose a few bars above tone-deaf, it’s a pretty shocking admission. You probably have just so many questions, haha.  🙂

I should start by saying that most, if not all, of my singing, was done in the church and for other churches. My particular church didn’t allow us to sing with instruments because 2000 years ago someone said, “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” For decades, I didn’t really question this “command” and besides, Acappella singing can be a transcendent experience when the harmonies are just right. That’s right, I learned how to sing harmonies. Bass, tenor, you name it. I can even read music. And as long as I’m standing next to someone who has a great ear for music, I can get by.

I haven’t really sung much since I left the Church. Sure there’s that time I had a couple drinks and sang Karaoke with my daughter on a cruise. And I do tend to try and harmonize with nearly everything including commercial jingles and whatever song happens to be playing in the car. But as far as singing with and for others, I’ve stayed away.  If I’m honest, I’ve stayed away because of fear of rejection. What others might think. Or say. I love to sing but I’m not good at singing, so what’s one to do?

In her excellent book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown talks about how she loves to dance but didn’t for years because she’s not particularly good at dancing. The problem with this is dancing gives her joy. In saying no to dancing, she was saying no to joy. And when we say no to joy, we say no to life. Gulp. Brene now dances with abandon and doesn’t give a shit what others say. Joy is too important.

What are you saying no to?

My Dad loved to sing. I can still hear his beautiful tenor voice effortlessly harmonizing with ‘Just As I am’ and other classic church hymns. Singing was worship for him because in doing it, he felt he touched the face of God.

Religion and spiritual woo woo aside, I think this is what joy is. Making contact with our higher self and that Spirit that unites us all. Singing transports us to a higher plane where all that matters is nothing else matters. We simply close our eyes, feel the music, and sing.

I’m going to start singing again. Starting with this. You might know Choir Choir Choir from such YouTube videos as this. And this. They take people like you and me and over the course of an evening teach us to sing again. This is their pitch. “No auditions or reading music required. All you have to do prior to coming is: LISTEN TO THE FUCKING SONGS!™ haha. Perfect. More importantly, though, they teach us to forget ourselves and in doing so, we experience joy.

If only for a moment.

 

 

 

 

 

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