I can’t sing. Never could. Never will. Won’t try. Pathetic voice. I rasp away, but it’s okay. It is a skill I somehow manage to do without. I do not resent the Maker over it, because to balance this omission, he gave me some other skills. Or so I tell myself.
But it is atrociously dreadful. The sole reason I will sing in a shower is if it’s in a third world country and I want to make the cockroaches disappear into their watery hiding spots. The sound attracts nothing, not even Boss.
Every ten years or so, I get up enough bravado to attempt to remedy the situation. In about grade 8 at a compulsory concert I opened my mouth while hiding in my usual spot in the back row. All my classmates turned around in shocked dismay, abruptly ending the song and ruining the audience’s evening.
Then, somewhere near the beginning of teacherhood, I asked my colleague, the spry but joyous mentor to prove to me I could sing. I’d let it slip that I was tone deaf. She declared with perfect intentions, “No you’re not. You’ve never been trained.”
After five minutes of her enthusiastic tutorial in the music room, hiding amidst band instruments, we strolled casually back to the staffroom. Upon our arrival other colleagues beseeched her for an answer. The forlorn shaking of her bowed head let it be known, “He’s hopeless.”
Ten years later I attended a professional development session for non-musicians who have to teach music. I thought that might help. It didn’t. The valuable outcome was that my ineptitude provided entertainment value for the others. Many years later they would retrieve their enjoyable experience. “Hey, there goes that guy from that wonderful music session in 1990.”
One positive aspect within many negative ones was disciplining the kids on a long car ride. “We’ll behave, Dad. Just don’t sing. Please!”