Saturday, March 29, 2008

Growing Up Singing

When I was 2 or 3 years old, my big brother joined the Sunday School choir at church. He would be learning new songs and sang them proudly in front of my mom and my dad. Every Mother's Day and Father's Day, my bro would sing a song to our parents first.

I looked up to my big bro and wanted to join choir. The teachers were firm when they refused to let me in. It made sense. I was too small and I couldn't read. I couldn't even pronounce the words right. I would need a private tutor to teach me a song.

Luckily for me, my mom was patient enough to be my tutor. I might not be in the choir, but I sure learnt all the songs my bro was learning. I could sing (or mumble in trembling notes, anyway).

Growing up, I was always in a church choir. But when I hit my teen years, I also joined a vocal group. In my church, every grade has its own vocal group. My grade had 3 good singers and additional 3 willing hearts (who were deaf-tone). I was one of the "more experienced" ones, so I got to teach others who never sang before.

It was disheartening. At times, I almost gave up and thought that we could never sing properly. I felt like crying. If I could choose to be in another vocal group, I would have done so. But I didn't have that choice, and so I persevere. I did end up joining an additional VG though, which became my fuel and motivator to do better in my grade VG.

Two years since we started, one of the tone-deaf people could sing solo beautifully, and another could create her own alto part without needing any more help. I was so proud of them! My VG was finally shaping up.

But there was a riot in my city and I had to move. This time, I joined a VG of people who mostly can sing, with only one or two people that can't. After a year or two, everyone can sing wonderfully.

Then I moved to Canada. My church was "famous" (among people who knew of its existence) for its choir. The choir memorized all the lyrics and movements! I felt so happy. "Finally," I thought, "a choir where I can grow and learn lots of things." Of course, as it turned out, the choir director left the country, and the responsibility for the choir was thrust upon me and a friend.

Asking people to join the choir was not really hard. Mostly because the choir members were really enthusiastic about singing in a choir. I "nudged" all my friends to join the choir at one point or another. And as it happened, not everyone can sing.

This time, though, since I had had this experience before, I was not very worried. Everyone who joined had a heart to please the Lord. That reason alone calmed me down. And it came to pass... Show after show, the little things that usually went wrong just went right during the performance. And those who didn't know how to sing to start with.. they ended up being great singers.

I believe in depending on the Lord. I believe in work. And I believe in a serving heart. As long as the choir has that, we'll be okay.

Tomorrow, we will perform the song "Watching Over Me", which we just practiced today. It's not a hard song. A year or two ago, I wouldn't dream of asking the choir to sing a song they practiced only once. But today, I felt very confident. I guess I am an optimist after all.

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