Monday, November 10, 2008

Thankful For The Voice

I'm thankful for my singing voice.

Now, before you think I'm just pridefully boasting, let explain why I'm saying this.

I think there are a lot of people who have natural musical ability and that's why we have so many children who enjoy band and choir in school and love listening to music. It's why we so enjoy singing together at church. It's why communities support orchestras, musical theater, music festivals. Far more people than not love music.

Then, there is the next category up, which I think gets into the nature/nurture debate. These are the many people who love music, have natural ability, and get good at actually producing it in some way. They receive encouragement from their families, take lessons, hear positive feedback from their friends, and have the discipline to really work hard at their practicing. A lot more people could be in this category than there actually are, in my opinion. As a former music educator, it was always my goal to convince children and their families that most people have at least some ability, and, if it is nurtured, they can have a lot of enjoyment from it their whole life long. I wish every child could have the chance to learn to read music, play an instrument, and sing as well as their voice will allow.

But, having been fortunate enough to have been born into a family that gave much encouragement like this, I got to have one more little thing. You see, in our family each generation seems to produce a person or two with The Voice. My great-grandmother was locally famous for her beautiful voice, the sort of voice that was wanted at weddings, funerals, and public events. My grandmother was the same way. I remember her singing solos in church and around town, and, though she was probably past her prime by the time I heard her, she was good! Then, when the DNA scrambled and created little ol' me, I got The Voice, too. And then it manifested itself in my oldest son.

It's a big, rich, rangy voice. And we didn't do a thing to deserve it. It was installed with our larynx in the womb. Having it doesn't make us better than anyone else. We could squander it by not using it, or ruin it by smoking, or look down on it because it's "more opera than pop". We could cave to performance anxiety and never wind up sharing it. We could get big-headed about it and forget that it is a gift.

I feel that it was given to me to worship with, like the crown I will get to throw down at the feet of Jesus when I get to heaven. It makes me happy to the core of my being every time I get to do that.

So, I'm thankful that I have something I didn't deserve at all, but can use in the most satisfying way.

I'm thankful for The Voice.

The November 30 Day Thanksgiving Challenge

3 comments:

CindyW said...

Sigh. It reminds me of my mother.

My mother has a beautiful voice and has always been very proud of that. I on the other hand isn't so lucky.

I was always shy as a child when it came to displaying "The Voice". My mother was immensely disappointed with my voice and let it shown.

When we casually chatted about it a few years ago, she was astonished to realize the power of her approval/disapproval over a child who was not entirely confident with her voice.

I suppose we are all "gifted" in different ways. Still I think nurturing the less than perfect gift (e.g., voice) may not make a star, but it will certain bring a life time of joy.

That is something I am trying to do with my children.

Joyce said...

Oh, Cindy, that's too bad she accidentally communicated that to you. My kids are all musical, but it expressed itself in different ways, and we just let them run with that. Some how I was fortunate that in my family it was just seen as a trait like height or being good at math or something, just part of the mix of who we were, but not anything you could brag about. Maybe I should be thankful about that, as well.

Rose said...

Yes, be thankful! I've always wished I had a beautiful voice. But I am thankful for other traits that God gave me.