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They Said I couldn't Sing

GUEST,leeneia 26 Feb 10 - 10:45 AM
paula t 25 Feb 10 - 12:43 PM
stallion 24 Feb 10 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Gail 24 Feb 10 - 03:47 PM
Don Firth 24 Feb 10 - 03:19 PM
paula t 24 Feb 10 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Richtradition 24 Feb 10 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,Gail 24 Feb 10 - 05:15 AM
ClaireBear 24 Feb 10 - 02:53 AM
ClaireBear 24 Feb 10 - 02:41 AM
Janie 23 Feb 10 - 11:12 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 23 Feb 10 - 10:36 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Feb 10 - 08:46 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Feb 10 - 08:40 PM
Jack Campin 23 Feb 10 - 08:07 PM
paula t 23 Feb 10 - 02:50 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Feb 10 - 11:40 AM
LadyJean 30 Jul 03 - 01:49 AM
Deckman 29 Jul 03 - 05:53 PM
Burke 29 Jul 03 - 05:40 PM
PoppaGator 29 Jul 03 - 05:35 PM
Deckman 29 Jul 03 - 06:10 AM
Wilfried Schaum 29 Jul 03 - 03:04 AM
Melani 29 Jul 03 - 12:16 AM
Don Firth 28 Jul 03 - 07:36 PM
Amergin 28 Jul 03 - 07:03 PM
kendall 28 Jul 03 - 06:06 PM
Deckman 28 Jul 03 - 06:01 PM
Don Firth 28 Jul 03 - 04:38 PM
Catherine Jayne 28 Jul 03 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Wordless Woman 28 Jul 03 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,KingBrilliant 28 Jul 03 - 01:26 PM
Deckman 28 Jul 03 - 12:42 PM
Amos 28 Jul 03 - 11:32 AM
kendall 28 Jul 03 - 11:14 AM
Ferrara 28 Jul 03 - 10:38 AM
Wilfried Schaum 28 Jul 03 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,cittern 28 Jul 03 - 07:13 AM
mooman 28 Jul 03 - 05:20 AM
Hrothgar 28 Jul 03 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,noddy 28 Jul 03 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,KB 28 Jul 03 - 04:46 AM
Roger the Skiffler 28 Jul 03 - 04:03 AM
Amergin 28 Jul 03 - 12:20 AM
JennyO 27 Jul 03 - 11:34 PM
bflat 27 Jul 03 - 11:17 PM
Ferrara 27 Jul 03 - 10:00 PM
kendall 27 Jul 03 - 01:01 PM
JennyO 27 Jul 03 - 10:29 AM
running.hare 27 Jul 03 - 08:32 AM
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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 10:45 AM

That sounds like something the teacher was ordered to do by an official. "Assess the amount of musical talent in your classes and turn in the results by Friday."

Keep in mind that what goes on in a classroom is not just between student and teacher. The bosses and the parents are watching all the time. If there's a music program and a few kids bellow out of tune, the community may think, "That music teacher can't teach! Don't renew her contract."

A friend of mine resigned her music-teaching job at a prestigious school because the principal called her in and told her she was going to put on another music program on such-and-such a date. My friend said, "The math teacher and the science teacher don't have to put on programs."


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: paula t
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 12:43 PM

Sounds like he/she deserved 0/10 for teaching!


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: stallion
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 07:04 PM

what is it about teachers and 9 year olds! When i was 9 the teacher went around the whole class asking each in turn to sing a song and marked us out of 10 for Music, i got 0/10 ! undetered!


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: GUEST,Gail
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:47 PM

Well said Don, and congratulations on what you've achieved.
It all goes to show that a genuine love of music and musicianship can override convention and constraint. Long may you kick doors open.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:19 PM

I noted GUEST,Gail's post with some interest.

In 1957, when I had definitely decided that I wanted to change my college major from English to Music, I stopped into the University of Washington School of Music office to register. As the registrar and I began filling out the papers, she asked me if I wanted to be in performance (speaks for itself) or education (become a public school music teacher). Mainly, I was interested in the music theory classes and the discipline of playing and/or singing in ensembles.

I said, "Performance."
She asked, "Voice or instrument?"
Since I already had a good voice teacher (and having interviewed the four voice teachers at the U. of W. and decided that I was better off with Mrs. Bianchi), I said "Instrument."
She asked, "What instrument?"
"Classical guitar," I responded.
Her eyes glazed over. "But—we don't offer that."
"No problem," I said. "I already have a good guitar teacher."
"No," she said. "What I mean is, the guitar is not a legitimate, recognized musical instrument."
This, despite the fact that Andres Segovia had performed in Seattle less than a year before, and John Williams had done a concert at the U. of W,'s Meany Hall auditorium just a few months back.
She folded my application and dropped it into the wastebasket.

Fortunately, one of the more prominent music professors heard about it and went to bat for me. He arranged an audition for me with Dr. Stanley Chappel, the head of the Music School, and that's how I got in as the U. of W. Music School's first classic guitarist.

Now, the U. of W. Music School has a guitar department headed first by Steve Novacek, a concert and recording artist, who recently retired from teaching at the U. of W., and now by Michael Partington, another concertizer and recording artist. They've turned out a number of pretty fine guitarists, including Elizabeth Brown who, in addition to concretizing and recording, heads the new guitar department at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, thirty-some miles south of Seattle. She plays lute, baroque guitar, and modern classic guitar.

I didn't go on to teach at the U. of W., I taught privately. But I do feel like I helped to kick the door open for others to enter.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: paula t
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 12:58 PM

Richtradition,
I agree with you. I don't have a choir as such. When we go to outside performances (such as district carols) my "choir" is made up of anyone who is in the appropriate age group who is available and willing to sing. Everyone's contribution is equally valued.We sing for the joy of it and always sound darned good!

Paula


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: GUEST,Richtradition
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 07:03 AM

I was told at the age of 8 to stand at the back in choir rehearsals and just mime the words. Since then I have learnt songs and sung them to myself and joined in choruses in the pub or folk club. 42 years later I thought that no one winces when I join in, so I went and had 2 singing lessons. The teacher made no comment about me staying in tune or sounding ok. She just said I needed to breath properly and project my voice.

I have since started to sing solos in the pub, joined a community choir and regretting a wasted 40 years when I thought I couldn't sing.

Looking back I never had a boy treble voice I always growled around and I never really noticed my voice breaking. It did mean I got to read the lessons in the Christmas carol concert because people could hear me.

It is far too easy for a teacher to take the easy route out and tell people they can't sing when what it frequently means is you don't fit into my idea of what I want in my choir.

Pete


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: GUEST,Gail
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:15 AM

Not singing but still relevant.

My young brother started playing concertina at a young age and became very good very quickly. When he changed to a new school, the music teacher asked who could play an instrument. My brother mentioned his concertina and was told it was not a real instrument and he was never asked to play it at school.

Chris (my brother) went on to make a living playing concertina and said his music teacher's words were in his mind as he walked on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in 2008 to play his concertina at the BBC Folk Proms.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: ClaireBear
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:53 AM

(not that I'm bitter)


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: ClaireBear
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:41 AM

I was once asked (the night of the performance) to step down from doing the solo in a high-school talent show (we were doing a selection of songs from "Hair") in favor of another soloist because, as music director Mr Bennett told me, I kept going off key. The fact that the other girl was a foot taller than me, popular, a model, thin, and gorgeous while I was none of those things had, I'm sure, nothing to do with his decision, although I assure you I do not now and did not then sing off key.

I had my revenge, though, because the other girl was not expecting to sing the solo and opted to get stoned to keep from being so nervous, as a result of which she forgot the words right in the middle of "Easy to Be Hard" and had to improvise half the song. I merely smiled when Mr Bennett allowed as how I'd been missed. What an utter and complete jerk!


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Janie
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 11:12 PM

I was lucky. Sort of. Had terrific and inclusive choir directors in both junior high and high school. My junior high choir director figured out I could sing before I did. Moved me from the soprano section, where I had placed myself because I didn't know harmony from shinola, and sat me beside a good, strong 2nd alto I could follow to learn how to sing harmony. did well enough to make the Concert and All-county choirs, but felt inadequate because I still struggled with the higher reaches of the alto.

My voice was closer to 2nd tenor (as I get older, I am closer to a baritone, but am losing range - I don't think I have two octaves now that I can count on any given day.)   Although female, I relate to what you baritones have experienced. I was probably 50 years old before I figured out that I simply can not comfortably sing in the keys most people sing. Singing in groups, always at the screeching top or the gravelly bottom of my range. church choir director tried to get me to sing with the tenors. Were I a better musician I might could have done so, but the timbre of my low female voice was so different from the timbre of the male voices in the same range that I simply could not connect to the 2nd tenor parts.

It seriously undercut my confidence. Had I known when I was younger what I know now, I could have been a very fine singer. Some part of me sensed that, but the more conscious and self-conscious part of me believed I was just not quite good enough.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 10:36 PM

Like Jim Dixon I am baritone as well, and my range is rather limited. I can't sing in a choir because I don't get to pick either the song or the key. I play guitar well enough to accompany myself and folks seem to like what I do, but I consider myself to be a better songwriter than singer.
As a kid in school we had no formal music program, but for a Christmas concert a school choir would be formed. My mother was a very good singer and one teacher knew that. She thought that I should be able to sing like her and told me that I was singing badly on purpose. I could sing in harmony with my mother but that was due to her ability, not mine. Since then I will only sing solo but I don't take myself too serious. I do have a Hell of a lot of fun with it in any case!


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 08:46 PM

""Yet, I occasionally hear her humming, or singing lightly when she thinks she's alone, and I am totally charmed. (did I mention that I'm still in love?) Go figure""

Me too, in every detail Deckman. Only myself, and one fortuitously present friend have any idea of the wonderful voice of which the world at large is totally unaware.

I have failed, in forty five years of trying, to persuade her to let that voice be heard outside of our home.

Sad, because I feel I have failed her, and I too am still madly in love after forty five years of marriage this April 3rd.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 08:40 PM

Mine came a bit later in life.

Having won a sholarship to the CARDINAL VAUGHAN MEMORIAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL, recognised as one of the two best boys' schools in London, I was chosen as lead soprano for the choir.

At age fourteen my voice broke, in the middle of a performance, and I was told "That's it lad, your singing days are over".

Maybe for the school choir, but not for ME.

Sixty nine now, and I can still silence a room if I want to.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 08:07 PM

Indian classical music has the exact opposite attitude to the one people here have run into. It does not recognize the existence of innate vocal talent. ALL vocal artistry is seen as learned, and the quality of the voice you were born with doesn't matter a damn. What the mind behind the voice knows, and what the spirit behind it is expressing, are what count.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: paula t
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 02:50 PM

I tell all my pupils at our primary school to be proud of their voices because they are all different and all at different stages of development. Some of our children are still learning to "pitch match" and some have stunning voices, but they all know they are making progress and they all know they can be even better.It makes me despair when I read that teachers in the past (hopefully a long time ago)have told children they "can't sing". How dare they!


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 11:40 AM

No one exactly told me I couldn't sing. I figured that out myself. That's because in school, my only experience was "choir" singing, and boys (once their voices changed) could be either basses or tenors. I'd try to sing with the tenors and I found I couldn't get the high notes. I'd try to sing with the basses and I couldn't get the low notes. I thought that meant I couldn't sing.

It wasn't until many years later that I discovered there's a word for what I am: I'm a baritone. I can sing nearly any song once it's transposed into the right key for me. (But then it won't be in the right key for anyone else, apparently.) I just couldn't sing the music as it was written for choirs. And since I never got any individual attention, no one ever explained that to me.

Here's what I still don't understand: From what I know of biology, attributes are usually distributed along a Bell curve. It's unusual for any attribute to be "bimodal." Since baritones are right in the middle between basses and tenors, you would expect there to be more baritones than anything else, and mine should be a common problem. But it apparently isn't. Why not?


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: LadyJean
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 01:49 AM

I wasn't allowed to sing as a child! I endured Delcato therapy, a splendid way to torture children! I was expected to crawl for 45 minutes a day. (Not all at once, fortunately.) Walk like a chorus girl pretending to be a tin soldier, and NOT sing.
Blessedly I only endured a year and a half of Delcato torture. In high school, I took voice lessons. They were one of the few bright spots in a wretched adolesence. I loved them passionately. I reccomend the experience. I LOVED singing in Italian. (I don't speak Italian, I just sang in it once.)
With regards to lousy voices, have you ever heard of Edity Piaf. Her voice was anything but great, but oh how that sparrow could sing! (Piaf is French for sparrow.)


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 05:53 PM

PoppaGator ... I know exactly what you mean. Of all my three children, keepers every one, only my youngest is serious about his music. They all were seriously exposed to music whilst growing up, but Chris did take to the guitar. But alas, he ALSO took to the electric bass. And even worse than that, he's darned good at it. Good enough that he's frequantly pursued by some of the NorthWests better rock bands. But, and here's the good part of the story, he got totally disgusted with the scene: the drugs, the groupies, and whatever, that he won't perform with them anymnore, though he likes to jam occasionally. He lives a couple of hours North of me, so we don't get to hang out as much as I would like. And yet, whenever he is here, he usually grabs one of my Martins, starts a few riffs, and asks me to show him him something. I actually once had the GREAT PLEASURE of overhearing him brag to one of his friends about me and my music. Now, that's a special thrill that every olde fart folksinger Dad should have. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Burke
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 05:40 PM

It was my sister who shut me up. I'd sing along with the radio or record player & she'd complain about my interference with the songs.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 05:35 PM

Deckman, my kids shut me up for a while (like yours did to your bride). When they were very young they enjoyed hearing me sing, but later they got jaded and ultracool and gave me so much crap about my taste in music that I just stopped rather than put up with their abuse.

Now that they're semi-grown-up and "out the way" as we say in New Orleans, I'm up to my old tricks again.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 06:10 AM

Very well said Wilfried!


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 03:04 AM

Don - just what I wanted to add to my first post you have written so well about your handicap and the way to master it.
I consider it a crime to discourage a child from what it wants so hard to do, and often there is a way to fulfil its wishes with the right support, as you did with the help of your wonderful trainer.
In my scout troop we had a boy slightly disabled: he could walk tiptoes only. We had to walk a little bit slower as usual, but he qualified with all other drills a scout has to undergo. I told him that in camp we needed a cook, so he could stay and prepare the meals while we others were out in the woods. He asked his mother for some recipes and started cooking. While the other troops ate their usual grub and stew they looked enviously at our meals with 2 or 3 plates, all prepared in 1 big pot, its lid used as a pan. He improved his skills and after some years he was a praised hobby cook. Besides he had a wonderful voice.
When my scouts grew older, I started a new troop from the local school for the blind. I never saw a troop so eager to do what everyone thought they could not do; some of them had a little bit of their eye sight left. At first I was timid to let them chop their fire wood, but they managed it, and no one hurt himself. Erecting a tent with a fireplace in it? No problem - we others were drilled to do it in dark night, so it was no problem for them. An older one was incorporated in my old troop, and when he jumped short over a creek he was the first to laugh loudest when standing in the water. Oh those happy days!

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Melani
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 12:16 AM

When I was a kid, my mother told me I couldn't carry a tune. Can too.

I know at least two people who have improved a lot just with practice. One went from being mediocre to pretty good, and one has gone from being about the worst singer I ever heard to quite decent, and improving all the time.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 07:36 PM

Amergin, I would love to, but I kinda have my doubts. Thirteen and a half years ago I took a tumble and learned that I don't bounce like I used to. I broke my "good" leg, and that took me off the crutches and put me in a wheelchair. Then about three years ago, I brilliantly and gracefully did it again. Same #$%!@# leg! In the wheelchair, my left leg tends to stick out in front of me like a bowsprit, which is pretty awkward sometimes. Getting in an out of a car is a bearcat (although I grit my teeth and do it), and I can't afford a van with the necessary lift or ramp. But trying to use public rest rooms is a real bitch. So these days I don't travel very easily.

I'll give it some serious thought, though.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Amergin
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 07:03 PM

wow, Don, you're story gives me shivers....any chance of you making Camp Runamuck this year? (you too Bob)


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: kendall
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 06:06 PM

I believe in singing lessons. If you want to do something, and you don't know how, you find out, yes?


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 06:01 PM

I have to add something about Don's quite wonderful story. I know that everything he said here is true. The SECOND time I ever met Don was at a swimming pool. In those days he swam daily for health and excersise. I still remember watching him storm across the pool, without the use of his legs ... all butterfly strokes! Simply amazing to see. (the FIRST time I ever met him, we ended up singing on stage together). CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 04:38 PM

I never did much singing as a kid, other than at Scout camp and such things, although in high school, I hung out with the music and drama crowd. There were some really talented kids in that crew, some of whom went on to fame and fortune. When I was a senior in high school, a somewhat older friend got interested in opera, went to a voice teacher and discovered that he had a fairly good tenor voice, and became so enthusiastic about it that I wound up going to the same teacher. Turned out I am a bass-baritone. I had no idea what I was going to do with my voice, but I went around blatting tenor arias—an octave down—for awhile. Then, at the University in the early Fifties, I fell in with a small klatch of folk singers and got permanently hooked on folk music.

What practically shut me down shortly after I started was the first time I heard my own voice on tape. "Gawdawful!" I thought, but others assured me that I sounded fine, and everybody reacts that way the first time they hear themselves. So when I had initial doubts, other people actually encouraged me to keep at it. Thanks, folks! Thanks a million!!

Probably one of the reasons that I never actually joined in the musical and dramatic activities in high school was that, due to polio at the age of two, I walked with a leg brace and a pair of crutches. It didn't seem likely to me that there were many parts for someone to galumph around on stage with crutches, so I never tried. One of the teachers involved in the next year's senior play, which was to be "You Can't Take it With You," liked my speaking voice and asked me if I would like to take the role of Grandfather. I raised the question about my crutches, and he told me that, in the movie, Lionel Barrymore played the role while sitting in a wheelchair. No big deal! But unfortunately I was graduating that June, so there went my acting career.

Picking up on "Feel free to share any experiences you've had when people told you you'd never be able to do something, and you proved them wrong." if I may:—

One thing I did do that surprised even me was to take up fencing. At about fourteen or so, I had become addicted to Sabatini's historical novels (Scaramouche, Captain Blood, Master-at-Arms, etc.) and swashbuckler movies, such some of the Errol Flynn epics, and "The Mark of Zorro" with Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone. I wanted to learn to fence so bad I could taste it. I knew it was impossible. But I also knew they had a fencing class at the YMCA, so I went there one evening to watch, and I met Katherine Modrell, a local champion who taught the class. I told her that I would really like to learn to fence, but I figured that there wasn't much chance. Was there?

She looked at this fourteen-year-old kid standing on crutches, and instead of quite reasonable telling me that I was right, there was no chance, she said, "Okay, let's see what you can do." She asked me questions and made suggestions. It turned out I could stand with the support of one crutch and assume a straight-legged approximation of the guard position. I couldn't lunge at all, but I could step fairly briskly back and forth (advance and retreat). Once she determined that I could stand and move with some stability, she handed me a foil and mask and we started in on bladework. She reasoned that if my opponent was close enough to land touches on me, I was close enough to land touches on them. In the lessons, we worked especially hard on defensive offense: parry-ripostes and counter-attacks. After several weeks, she let me squared off with other students. I was actually doing it, and I was having a ball!! This was long before anything like Special Olympics or wheelchair fencing came along, so it was assumed that I would never participate in any fencing tournament activity; certainly not any of the regular tournaments that were going on.

But—when I was about nineteen, I took some fencing lessons from Hans Halberstadt in San Francisco. I was looking forward to a competition that was coming up, because it would give me a chance to see some of the best fencers in the country in action. Fred Linkmeyer, three times national épée champion would be there, along with Salvatore Giambra and Gerry Biagini, both of whom were on the U. S. Olympic team. I stood there with my mouth opened when Maestro Halberstadt insisted that I enter! After I digested the idea, I figured, "Okay. I'll get creamed, puréed, and spread on toast, but at least it will give me a chance to actually play with The Big Kids." There were twelve entrants, including the Linkmeyer, Giambra, and Biagini. To the surprise of almost everybody, my own most of all, I finished in fourth place!

Halberstadt, though, looked smug. He had fenced in the Olympics when he was young, but now he was seventy years old, built like a beer barrel, and his legs were shot. His footwork was not much more extensive than mine was. "Fencing is in the hand and in the brain," he said. "It's not all fast lunges and fancy footwork." Gerry Biagini was terrific: twenty-three years old, tall and slender, fast as greased lightning, and beautiful to watch. Yet, when he and Halberstadt fenced seriously, Halberstadt could land three touches on Gerry for each touch Gerry landed on him. Hand and brains, both of which Gerry had, but he didn't have Halberstadt's experience and cunning. Good fencing can be like high-speed chess.

When I returned to Seattle, people, including Bill Modrell, Katherine's husband and one of the best fencers in Seattle, thought I had lost my mind when I said I was going to enter the next Pacific International Tournament. But I wound up making it all the way to the finals. In subsequent tournaments over the next five or six years, I actually beat Bill a couple of times, and on one occasion, I defeated the then Canadian National Champion, George Braund, five to two. I never won a championship, but I amassed a satisfying collection of second and third place medals and trophies.

I eventually dropped out of fencing when I became deeply involved with folk music. But it occurred to me that a crucial moment was when Hans Halberstadt pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of. But ever that wouldn't have happened were it not for Katherine Modrell who looked me over, saw beyond the crutches, and said, "Okay, let's see what you can do."

Thank you, Maestro. And especially, thank you, Katherine.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 02:18 PM

I have never been told that I can't sing. I was encouraged from an early age to sing. I was pushed forward to sing when I was at school and I was in an Abbey Choir for many years. I love to sing but for some reason I am lacking confidence to sing solo which is strange as it never used to bother me before!

Liz has an amazing vocal range and yes it is loud! morty has a lovely voice and I like to hear them both sing! I've heard Pixie sing and she has a lovely voice too....would like to hear you sing again at some point!!!

Khatt


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: GUEST,Wordless Woman
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 02:08 PM

No fear you people with itching teeth and bleeding nerves. My singing may be tuneless and rackety but I've the common sense to limit it to the shower so settle down and stop wincing. Still would like to take lessons, though. Maybe then I would expand to the rest of the house. Could the garden be far behind?

All of you good singers make the world a bit more golden.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: GUEST,KingBrilliant
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 01:26 PM

Yes, some people can be "difficult" to listen to :>)
I find that on those occasions you can still enjoy their performance by listening to the song rather than the singing. At the very least you can appreciate their intentions - and they are likely to get better with experience rather than worse, so that can be very nice to hear as well.
The above comments are made with an informal singaround type situation in mind - other situations may be different.
Plus I'm in a nice mellow mood whilst writing it...... I expect I am sometimes guilty of dismissing someone's singing.....

Another point I would like to make is that sometimes its not so much that someone has said that one can't sing, as that no-one has said that one can. I didn't realise I could sing worth listening to until I was 34 - before that I knew I loved to sing, but just never realised anyone might like to hear it! So now I've turned into this monster woman who nags at her friends & family to just come along & have a go - and then I get all the fun of saying "I told you so"!


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 12:42 PM

Kendall ... I'll jump in here with you. If it's a stranger who's singing makes my teeth itch, and I can make it to the door, I just absent myself. However, there is one person who is in our circle of long time friends that I always encourage, even though her sense of pitch is fuzzy. The reason is that this person simply LOVES the music so very much that I (we) can't do anything else. Our hoots would not be complete without this person's contributions. Does that make any sense to you! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 11:32 AM

I have heard Amergin sing, and it sounds fine to me.

Kendall -- I sympathize, but I always opt for kindly tolerance when I can stand it. As someone mentioned above, it's a hard thing to persuade someone they cannot sing, even if true. Much preferable to persuade them they can sing better!!

A


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: kendall
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 11:14 AM

I'm going to stick my neck out and state that people who sing off key make my nerves bleed. So often I see little kids forced to sing when they have no clue about timing or key, and it's painful to listen to.My ex wife couldn't carry a note with a co signer, and, what was worse, I was unable to explain the difference between being on key and off key.Usually, I can leave, but when I can't it's hell. Anyone else brave enough to speak up?


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Ferrara
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 10:38 AM

Wilfried ... LOL again.

I wonder if there should be a new thread about "Who encouraged you to sing?" ...

One of the greatest moments for me, in terms of developing confidence, came in around 1978, at the FSGW Getaway. Up until that time I hung back whenever I was in a group, figuring people would rather hear the "good" singers than be bored by me.

That year, a wonderful singer named Janice Cole (she of the blues/torch version of Rubber Ducky) asked me to join her in singing Mary Hamilton at the Sunday evening concert. I said Sure! -- knowing that with Janice singing, it could hardly go wrong. So, we signed up on the concert list.

All weekend I nagged Janice to practice the song with me and she kept putting me off. Finally about 5 pm on Sunday she said, "Oh, I don't intend to sing it with you! You sound just fine by yourself. I like the way you sing Mary Hamilton and I think other people should get to hear it, but I knew you'd never go up there and sing it unless you thought I was going to sing too." I didn't know whether to kiss her or kill her.

But after that I was a bit less shy after singing in public. I figured that if Janice went to that much trouble to get me to sing out, there must be at least a few people who wouldn't mind if I sang oftener.... Have often blessed her for that.

What about other people? Who encouraged you and helped you get over the hump? A number of people have already mentioned someone or some incident that has helped them keep singing in spite of it all....


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 10:14 AM

There are people who cannot sing. A dear friend of mine liked singing very much but could not keep the tune. I tried to train him, but in vain. So I told him to sing with the crew, but only piano to pianissimo. It worked well.
The same happened to me. When I lost my singing capacities due to an accident (even the vocal chords know the parting trauma) I followed this advice, too. When we meet with other friends and sing jolly drinking songs we do it also in fear that we have to do it as duo, the others turned over by our voices and rolling around with lots of laughter. But we enjoy it.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: GUEST,cittern
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 07:13 AM

"Feel free to share any experiences you've had when people told you you'd never be able to do something, and you proved them wrong."

When I was in junior school a teacher told my mother:

"Your son will never be any use to anyone as long as he lives".

Score card so far:

* two university degrees (including a doctorate)
* a successful computer software consultancy practice (18 years old)
* a 13 year amateur motor racing career (including many pole positions, fastest laps, class wins and one championship win)

Still on the to-do list:

* become a better sound engineer for my partner
* become a better musician (a task which will never end)

The singing voice isn't there, the confidence in performance isn't there, but maybe, just maybe, this will come. The main thing is that I will try. No matter what anyone says!


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: mooman
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 05:20 AM

I was also very unkindly told I couldn't sing and school and was prevented from doing any music at school as a result of it. The upshot of this was I immediately ran out, purchased my first guitar and got infected with GAS at the age of 11.

Sadly, the statement was correct but, nevertheless, I have overcome the stigma and do make public noises that purport to be singing now!

moo


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Hrothgar
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 05:07 AM

There is no corner of hell hot enough for somebody who tells a child that he or she cannot sing.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 04:52 AM

I can sing ..its just that the notes I chose are different from everyone else. And of course it always sounds best when no-one is listening.


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 04:46 AM

Try here for a link to information about ME, which is a horrible debilitating condition that makes people feel like wet dishrags, but which is one of those things that is not very well understood & people tend to think that sufferers should just pull themselves together. A friend's wife suffers with it, and it sounds just aweful - everyone that has it has my sympathy.
here


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 04:03 AM

They said I couldn't sing at school as well, they're still saying it, 50+ years on. I still can't but I DO!!! (My Greek friend says "Roger sings not good but with feeling".)

RtS


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Amergin
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 12:20 AM

i grea up listening to my mom go on about how i cannot sing because I cannot hear real well...whether that is true or not I leave to those who I suffer through my singing... ;)


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: JennyO
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 11:34 PM

Yes Ferrara, you've hit the nail on the head - I do feel valued for my unusual qualities. I think there are a lot of people like me in the folk community, who have been through some hard times, and have learned and grown from their experiences, and these are the kind of thinking people who can see past conventional standards to what is really important. I love 'em and I value them very much as friends.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: bflat
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 11:17 PM

Everybody has a voice in the choir. Sing if you love it and the heck with the naysayers.

Ellen


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: Ferrara
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 10:00 PM

Even more important that being accepted, I think, is the fact that people in the folk community are likely to value, appreciate and even admire many of the very qualities that may make another person seem "unconventional."

Lizabee, I was also wondering about ME.... Didn't recognize the term.

Rita F


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 01:01 PM

What is ME,? Lizabee


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: JennyO
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 10:29 AM

Ferrara, what you said about the folk music community rings very true for me, too. It means a lot for me to feel accepted for who I am, even though I am not exactly conventional. I have a wonderful support network of folkie friends who nourish my soul every day.

I grew up in a very religious, judgmental family which had pretty rigid ideas about what my life should look like. There was a lot of music, but it was church music and went hand in hand with all the guilt and alienation that I felt from the church. I was not just encouraged to sing, I was ordered to sing - at eisteddfods and in front of my mother's friends, even though I was shy and didn't want to. I also sang in church choirs and but fortunately I liked that.

Thanks to my mother's pushiness, it was a long time before I managed to get past feelings of embarrassment to be comfortable singing solo. When I finally found enough courage to stand up to my family, I lost contact with most of them, and have no desire to ever place myself within striking distance again. My brother stuck by me however, and I have my two wonderful children and now a grandson.

Very importantly, I have found my folk family. I finally am able to get up and perform - sing, MC a folk club, recite poetry, and laugh if I make a mistake, and not wish the ground would swallow me up. I am free now to present a song for the sake of the song - get lost in it - instead of always having to worry whether I am good enough. I know others have better voices than me, but that doesn't matter so much now. The main thing is I am enjoying singing!

Jenny


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Subject: RE: They Said I couldn't Sing
From: running.hare
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 08:32 AM

Rita has a good point. Through out my teen years I suffered from ME. Was hard enough to get people to except it, and me, once I knew thats what the probem was, before it was imposible!!!!


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