“Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, was singing!”
This is what the Grinch hears from the top of Mount Crumpit in Dr. Seuss’ holiday classic. EVERY Who was singing, even though he had stolen everything they had related to Christmas.
Singing, even when things aren’t going your way – what a concept! I’ve written before about the importance of music, and what better time than the Christmas holiday season to reiterate that ideal.
Singing is something almost all of us do at some point. People sing in the shower, in the car on the way to work, and while listening to their iPods. There was a great Saturday Night Live skit years ago of someone driving and singing along with the radio. Then the radio was taken out, and we got to hear what most of us probably really sound like!
It takes a lot to sing in front of a group of people. Just look at all the people on shows like American Idol. They not only have to be good at singing, but also mentally tough to do that in front of a national audience. I always admire our NRHEG students who step up to sing the National Anthem before sporting events. Kids like Alexis Wyatt and Lillie Nielsen really do “The Star-Spangled Banner” proud when they take the microphone.
I wish we had more students who would do that. I wish more people would feel comfortable singing outside the shower, period! I can understand the fear of performing in front of a large group, but what about other places?
I lead my church in song, whether it’s with the keyboard or starting a song acapella and hoping I hit the right opening note. I’m sometimes disappointed in the volume of voices. To me, a vibrant church includes many people singing loudly and to the best of their abilities.
When my father-in-law was alive, he often said, “God gave me this voice; He has to listen to it.” That’s so true! I don’t feel like I have a great voice. However, I know this much: my voice has gotten better with practice and just general use.
I went through a stage in college and beyond a little bit where I didn’t really sing in church. I realized I was drifting away from my faith, and the lack of singing was a big part of that. Our previous pastor, Fr. Swami, said that singing is like praying twice. That makes a lot of sense; I know it helped me get more in touch with my faith when I resumed singing.
When I query some people about a lack of singing, they will say that they’re not very good. Yet last weekend, Matthew Misgen approached me after church and said that he gives it his best, even if he’s not a great singer, and he would like to hear more music. I wish everyone had that attitude; it’s difficult to get into my playing and singing when I can pick out voices instead of hearing a clamorous congregation.
Christmas is a great time of year to renew the spirit of singing. Even if you’re not a church-going person, you will probably engage in some caroling this time of year, maybe just singing some “Jingle Bells.” My Aunt Karen told me how she read that singing is supposed to help keep your brain healthy and ward off dementia and other mental deteriorations. So sing, if for no other reason than it will keep you sharp!
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow. It started in low. Then it started to grow…but the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry! It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! VERY!
I wish all my readers a very merry Christmas! Celebrate it by singing!
Word of the Week: This week’s word is tremulous, which means shaking with fear, as in, “The singer was tremulous as she started the song, but her nerves quickly wore off and she performed well.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!