Found a notice in the Resident Associate catalogue for the Encore Chorale for Older Adults. Ordinarily I would have immediately passed over this simply because I am not “older.” But what caught my eye was the billing “for people who cannot sing”. At that point, I inwardly raised my hand, because it was acknowledging my place in the singing world. I CANNOT SING. I don’t even sing in the shower because I don’t want to hear my own voice.
But, since this is the year I continue to challenge myself… I figured WTF, and immediately paid up. The first session was fun. The warmup exercises were fun and it’s a very interesting and excited group of “older folks”, who describe themselves as young, older folks. They certainly have a zest for life and appear to be really, really enjoying retirement with singing just one of their many activities. So, I walked away from the first session with joy in my heart. As I sat next to people who could “really sing”, I received immediate feedback when my voice did not match theirs… at all, but I was not daunted.
Not only can I not sing, I also cannot read music. Now, that was not a prerequisite, but it would help and many of the others can play by ear, read music, have taken music lessons, and/or can sing. I, on the other hand, have none of these qualities.
But since I’m challenging myself, I went to the second session. By the end of that session, I had tears in my heart. I so desperately want to sing, and I think I had hoped to discover that I had a secret talent for singing, but the reality is that this will be a long, hard struggle for me.
I took the recorded music home to practice, and the more I listened and sang, the clearer it became that this may be more challenge than I’m prepared for, especially at this time when I’ve taken on other challenges such as training for a “possible” mini-triathlon. (That’s entirely different story to be told later.)
So, I’m battling with hanging in there to see if I can gain some improvement or giving up now before I totally destroy my self esteem. I try to think about what I would advise one of our children or grandchildren when faced with a similar situation. In fact, I had already looked forward to having them attend my recital. So they could see their mother/grandmother was still taking on challenges, which might encourage them in their life pursuits.
I’ve never been a quitter, but sometimes we have to face realities, and this mountain might be too steep.