I grew up in a music-isnt-allowed family because the kids were all boys, and well, Boys Dont Sing. My mother, however, played piano in our local church, and possessed an old upright her grandmother gave her. I occasionally played the old upright when nobody was home, but there would be hell to pay if anyone ever caught me.
I’ll skip the hundreds of really sad stories and jump to the interesting one. Mom had a few favorite records and 8-track tapes, one of which was the Swedish band ABBA and another was a Christmas song album put out by the Vienna Boys Choir, titled, appropriately, Christmas in Vienna. Mom always claimed her ancestry was Swedish, thus her affinity for ABBA, and dad was an investor who wanted to go see a real Swiss bank some day. So the stage was set, and when I was 7 years old the family got on a plane and we spent the month of December in Europe. We saw the windmills in Holland, visited some Swiss banks, and spent several days in Stockholm. And then the last week of December we went to Austria, and spent Christmas in Vienna. The Vienna Boys Choir sang in several venues throughout the week, and we caught one of their concerts on Christmas Eve. They played several songs but the most memorable song to me was Mozart’s Laudate Dominum. I did not know the words but I hummed along, easily matching the soloist’s pitch at every point, but I was too (musically uneducated) to understand that everybody could not sing that way. I thought everyone could, so it was no big deal just “fun”. That was back in the 1970’s and the choir boys were accessible to the public so after the show I actually met a couple of them. They were about my age, but somehow 20 feet taller. They were real-life superheroes. When dad saw me talking to them he told me “Don’t make any friends”. So I didn’t. Long story short I spent my life doing engineering work and never music. I smoked for 35 years which was bad but I still have the voice (although it is the train-wreck version of what I once had) and after my parents died I decided okay, nobody can tell me I can’t sing anymore. I found Chuck’s videos on Youtube and they have been a huge help. I’m never going to sing publicly, I only want to prove that I *could* have sang if I didn’t have idiot parents. My general range currently is from G2-G5 but on a (very) good day I can go from G1-G6. When I was young I was more tilted toward the higher range, perhaps C3-C7 ..not sure.. but my voice was pretty outrageous from what I understand now. Chuck has been immensely helpful teaching me how to use the voicebox I have, and helping me rediscover who I once could have been.
I’ve recently gained weight and I moved to the mountains where the air is thin and dry. All of those things are terrible for one’s voice. So I don’t practice singing at the moment, I’m just hanging out and waiting to see what comes next.
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