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What can you do if you think you can’t sing?

PUBLISHED: 07:36 13 July 2018

Singing on stage as a choir after a couple of voice workshops was brilliant fun; perhaps I can sing after all? Picture: Getty Images

Singing on stage as a choir after a couple of voice workshops was brilliant fun; perhaps I can sing after all? Picture: Getty Images

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I started to think my singing was getting better, but had to think again, writes Jo Malone

Finding a key that suits my voice has never been easy. Picture: Getty ImagesFinding a key that suits my voice has never been easy. Picture: Getty Images

Whether it’s before school plays and assemblies or for sports days and competitions, I always tell the girls they’ll be fine and that nerves are a good thing.

But I had forgotten how scary performing – whether for music or sport - can be.

I can’t even remember ever being on a stage, or even backstage, apart from once or twice at school trillions of years ago and even then I think our recorder group was beside, rather than on, the stage.

But waiting to perform at the World Music Workshop Festival near Bungay last weekend with a Zimbabwean Voice workshop group was pretty jolly terrifying. We’d joined a couple of workshops and suddenly we were about to perform in front of what looked like an audience of hundreds in the Big Top.

Singing in a choir is an absolutely wonderful feeling. Picture: Getty ImagesSinging in a choir is an absolutely wonderful feeling. Picture: Getty Images

I was so nervous my Fitbit heart rate tracker thought I was about to have a heart attack. But as we sang our harmonies and I saw Keola in the audience, looking absolutely delighted and fit to burst with pride, I was so pleased I joined in and began imagining finding a local choir to join.

I do like a good sing, but finding and staying in key isn’t easy.

It could be hereditary. Dad had an interesting singing voice and I remember my brother and I getting a huge fit of the giggles as we stood next to one another at a wedding, both desperately 
trying to stay in some sort of 
tune and both trying to cover up the other’s only very slightly off tone singing. I’m sure the hymn was in an odd key.

There was a little bit of 
wincing from the pew behind and some turning round from the people in front as we gamely carried on attempting to find the key, getting louder and louder. Mum tried to glare, but mostly caught our giggles.

I do like singing though, despite Sunny requesting frequently as a small child: “Can you stop that noise mum”.

This week, once she’d finished laughing after I’d told her 
I’d been on stage, singing, she said: “And they let you?” swiftly followed by:

“And did people move away?”

I admitted that it had been tricky to find the harmony 
section my voice suited, 
everyone seemed too high, or too low or just different. But they hadn’t moved away, if anything they moved closer.

Suddenly I’m wondering if maybe they were trying to cover up my noise?

Perhaps I should spare our 
local choirs...

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