Even my teddies couldn't stand my singing voice.
I loved to sing and I enjoyed listening to music. I could never understand why my parents would ask me to sing in my bedroom with the door closed.
When I was seven I first realised that other people also did not appreciate my singing.
My teacher divided the class into three groups: the good, the medium and the poor singers. She explained that as I had the worst and loudest voice in the class, I would have to sit outside during singing lessons.
Back then teachers had apparently not heard of the phrase self-esteem, or cared about the effect of isolating a seven-year-old during her favourite lesson.
At a residential school as part of my Graduate Diploma in Education I listened to the music lecturer say that everyone was musical and that he believed that there was no such thing as being tone deaf. After patiently listening to me attempt to sing a simple song in tune for half an hour, he was wondering if he had met his first tone deaf person.
My son wanted to learn the guitar at age ten, so I decided I would try to learn as well so I could play songs for the special needs children I worked with. I noticed how the children loved the weekly lesson with the music teacher.
I had read how incorporating music during the day would promote learning and a calmer environment, and so I was prepared to try to forget years of ridicule to learn the guitar.
After a few weeks, the teacher explained I would improve with personal instruction. She meant my son was being held back by his mum. She had learnt about self-esteem and knew how fragile mine was.
I really wanted to play in front of my students but the patient guitar teacher thought I should wait until I improved playing the basic guitar chords. She was patient and realistic.
Finally one week, when the music teacher was away, the students were disappointed so I decided to play my guitar and sing a few songs. The children seemed to like it and I felt good I finally had found an appreciative audience.
However one teacher told me that the words coming out of my mouth and the music I played on the guitar were totally different. Another told my singing was like a cat in pain and that I was torturing the guitar.
Those teachers had no respect for my self esteem but believed in tough love!
So you may think I sold the guitar and never sung in public again.
Not me. Since the children enjoyed my playing, I would play with no adults around. I did that until the guitar 'disappeared' never to be found!
Have you ever taken a risk and tried something you were not skilled at?
Is there something you would like to try but are worried what other people may say or think?
A Moodscope member.
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