Thursday, June 2, 2011

The voice of an angel and a voice that is not.

My daughter has the voice of an angel. Of course I say that because she is my daughter. However, she is two years old and any two year old singing, “Jesus Loves Me”, sounds like an angel. She sings all the time and when she doesn’t know a song, she makes up her own. She seems to be developing into a little song bird. I believe she gets this skill and interest from my wife. My wife also has a beautiful voice. Now I know what you are thinking, “Matt, you have to say that because she is your wife.” True. However, others have confirmed this fact as she has been in church choirs for many years, so half of our family of four is musically gifted.

The other half of the family . . . well, let’s just say we have “other” gifts. In fairness, my son doesn’t have a bad singing voice, he just seems disinterested. Every night, we read a book, sing a song, and say our prayers and he seems least interested in singing a song. My hope is that he did not receive the ear for music that his father has. You see, I am not a good singer. To be completely candid, that statement is not completely accurate, it is actually an overstatement of my skills.

To show you just how bad I am, I’ll share a story. When I was in high school, I tried out for the school choir. I was a senior and had enough credits to graduate and I didn’t want to take an additional study hall, so I signed up. Although, deep in the recesses of my mind I believed that it was possible I had some untapped talent that could be released in this class. Once I joined the class, I sang my heart out, I held nothing back. Apparently, holding back is exactly what I should have been doing.

After about three days in the choir, the instructor asked me to stay after class. I thought for certain she was going to offer me my first breakout role and give me a solo in the upcoming school musical. So you can imagine my surprise when she said, “Matt, we are glad you joined choir, but we are going to ask you to . . . well . . . we’d prefer it if you didn’t sing.”

“But this is choir, that’s what you do in choir, SING!” I said in astonishment.

“Yes, that is what makes this so hard,” the instructor responded sheepishly, and she walked away.

I remember storming out of the choir loft believing that she was nuts. I even went home and tape recorded myself and played it back to hear what she was listening to in order to confirm my beliefs. However, after some time I started to realize, wow, I am really not a very good singer. In fact, the more I listened, the worse it got. How had I become so disillusioned?

As you might imagine, I have become hypersensitive to this issue and probably fall on the Simon Cowell side of critical when listening to those around me. So rest assured, if you have the opportunity to hear my wife or daughter sing, you will be blessed, they have voices of angels. On the flip side, don’t sit in front of me at church, praise and worship might just be painful.

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