Ignorance is Music to My Ears
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.