When I was younger, I enrolled in a professional singing class, thinking I had an untapped talent. I quickly realised, as did all the teachers, that I simply do not know how to sing.
On my very first day, a motherly looking lady who taught us, said to me, “Dear, why don’t you come for an extra class this week, so we can give you some special attention?”
“Oh yes!” I said as I beamed at all the other students, some of whom passed snide comments. I assumed they were jealous of me being singled out because of my talent.
Ah well, as they say, ignorance is bliss. For me, at least for a while, it surely was.
A couple of days later, feeling rather proud of myself, I found that I was the only student in the class room on a late Saturday afternoon.
“Now, sing with me…do re me fa sol la ti do…” my teacher said pleasantly.
“DO RE ME FA…” I started enthusiastically, completely unaware of how I sounded. Maybe I was going to be the next Christina, maybe I was going to be a best selling recording artist, maybe I’d win a Grammy…
“STOP! Please child stop.” interrupted my teacher looking distraught. “Lets do this one again. Try to copy me, come on we can sing together now, do re me…”
“DO RE ME—” I sang, or thought I did.
“Not quite, but much better,” said my poor teacher looking harried. “Lets try again okay?”
“DO RE ME FA SOL—”
“No no!” she exclaimed jumping up with as much agility as though I had thrown cold water on her on a winter morning.
“No?” I asked confusedly.
“Lets try again. Now try to sing exactly as I say.”
She tried to coax out pleasant singing tunes from me but couldn’t. After a good two hours she looked ready to give up.
“One more try,” she said determinedly and I agreed, so as to not hurt her feelings.
I tried to sing with her, but I think bad singing is something that is ingrained in me. I come from a generation of terrible bathroom singers, and I honestly don’t think I have any genes that can help me with my vocal abilities.
“Maybe I should learn something else.” I said when she finally suggested we try another day.
“What? No! You mustn’t give up.” she said shaking her finger vigorously. “If you stop, you will never learn.”
But the next couple of weeks of similar fruitless practise, was enough to convince her that my singing career was a lost cause.
“I’m sorry.” she said looking defeated, but brightened up as she added. “I will recommend you to a better teacher, he is well known abroad and he will certainly help you!”
I shook my head at her words. “No thank you, I think I’ll just move on. Proper singing is just not for me.”
The only reason I gave up was because my four year old niece voice-taped me singing in the shower last weekend and played it aloud during my sister’s anniversary dinner party. It was quite embarrassing to have a table full of people look at me in a peculiar manner, before bursting into, rather rude I might say, laughter.
“I heard you were taking lessons?” inquired my uncle trying to stifle a laugh.
“I am, but as you just heard, its been futile.” I said glumly.
“Oh don’t be fussed.” said my aunt encouragingly. “You sing much better than your father any day.”
That cheered me up quite a bit. Dad good naturedly agreed to sing for us. I joined him in the chorus, and then everyone sang the second stanza together, before the restaurant manager asked us to shut up as we were disturbing the guests.
In all honesty, singing is not one of my strong points, but who cares anyway? When I am with my close friends and family, I can sing as tunelessly as I want, they won’t mind. I will continue to be a bathroom singer, simply because I like singing in the shower.
But I won’t try to learn how to sing again. I am convinced it is a talent you are born with. Instead, I’m going to do something I am actually capable of, such as learning how to paint, write a blog or play a different sport.
We all have something that we are not good at, and unless you see some progress in it, it is sometimes best to shift focus onto something you can achieve. Don’t give it up completely, though, for you will miss it.
Thanks for reading 🙂 You make me so happy.