What's YOUR story?

What’s your story?

What was the moment or incident that turned you away from singing or playing in public?

I’ve heard countless renditions of the same two stories. 

Story 1 When you were a kid somebody told you you couldn’t sing, had a bad voice, or you got a critical look from someone so you got embarrassed and never sang in front of others again. They were wrong and it robbed you of the joy of singing.

Most of you still sing when you know no-one can hear you.

Story 2  You loved music as a young child and wanted to learn to play it so you got a teacher who sat with you and forced you to read notes. (usually melodies by old dead European guys) That analytical process was frustrating and you really just wanted to play a song you loved. You felt it was too hard so you turned away feeling inadequate and/or disappointed.

The truth is you were being taught the wrong way. We don’t all learn things the same way.

I grew up singing with my sisters and father especially at Holiday times. I remember my dad at the piano playing the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel and saying “don’t sing the same parts”. So to please my father, my sisters and I would struggle to find the harmonies and we all learned how to harmonize that way. Through the years our family gatherings were filled with making music…except for my mother.

Many years later when my dad passed we gathered at my folks’ house and had some friends over and we played music together and it dawned on me that moment that my mother never sang with us.  I asked her later that evening why she never joined in and this is what she said to me.  “When I was a little girl I was in church and I was singing a hymn that I really loved and someone from the next pew over gave me a dirty look so I never sang again”.

My mother was 82 years old.

So, what’s your story?