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Wednesday, July 06, 2005 

Ignorance is Music to My Ears

When I was in Young Women's, I got involved with the Stake Youth Choir. It was an interesting move on my part because I'm not tone deaf, but I can't exactly carry a tune, either. That's the worst because that's when you KNOW you don't sing too well.

But I didn't want to give up... it was a great reason to hang out on Sunday nights and possibly meet new boys. This was actually a key component.

See, unlike most young ladies who sing in the alto or soprano ranges, I sang tenor. I enjoyed the benefits of sitting with the young men, but kept glancing to my right the whole time, intercepting evil glances (or were they mocking?) from the ladies' side of the choir.

I decided that the benefits of hanging out with the boys outweighed whatever embarrassment I felt... but I should probably state that I would never have stayed in the choir if I was singing with the girls. It was never about the singing.

In fact, for a while, I gave up singing in church altogether. If I couldn't figure out what scale to sing a song on and I ended up jumping between the tenor notes and the melody, and sometimes singing the melody an octive lower and not being able to hit low enough or high enough... well... eventually, it was just too much.

My personal experiences have led me to a few conclusions. I think that everyone should sing in church. But I also think it is probably better that they don't learn how so that they become self-conscious about it.

I think that the time you spend singing is a wonderful opportunity for reflection and pondering of the words and spirit of the song. However, it is nearly impossible to do this when thinking about technique, (being off an octive) etc. When it comes to Joe and Jane Average in the LDS Church, lessons on singing should be avoided at all costs to avoid this type of confusion. Maybe Joe or Jane won't ever be the soloist on Fast Sunday, but at least they won't be thinking about how they sound and whether they're in harmony instead of thinking about the words of a song.

Everyone should sing and they shouldn't worry about learning how to do it right.

There is no shame in using the choir to meet people. Isn't that the whole reason we "play" church at college?

I was briefly in a ward choir once. The term is briefly because the ward choir director intimidated me right out of choir. She would do things under the assumption that we knew something about music and I didn't (I was there because I didn't mind going (initially) and my girlfriend was there). One day the director taught us the melody of a song and then said, "Okay everybody, harmonize the song". All the other members of the choir (presumably music majors at the Lord's university) dutifully figured out possible harmonies; I sat there horrified that they weren't going to just teach me what to sing like they had in the MTC choir. I don't think I went back after that.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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