Friday, March 25, 2011

More About Music: The Voice

Please note:  I wrote this post long before hearing there is a TV program by the name "The Voice."  I did not intend to refer to that program in this post.

I hate it when people take an ordinary occurrence and spiritualize it with some deeper meaning.  I'm about to do just that.  I embarrass myself.  Don't worry, though.  It's short and won't hurt much.

My husband has a Voice.  When he sings, you know he's singing.  Others sometimes stop singing just to listen to his Voice.  When he leads worship, he truly needs no microphone - his Voice is very present.  His Voice is built for solos.

I have a very plain voice.  Pleasant, but certainly not outstanding.  When I sing, I naturally blend with everyone around me.  If someone happens to hear me (I tend to harmonize), they inevitably think it was someone else.  My voice is built for choir.

Tween and I were driving and he asked me about his voice.  He can carry a tune, and he shows some promise as far as impromptu musicals are concerned, but he's still got a little boy voice.  Tween, however, was under the distinct impression that his was a Voice Like Unto His Father's.

I'm a "burst their bubble" kind of mom.  I don't believe in pumping up my kids about talents they don't have.  Being that this was tween, though, I had to do a slow deflate rather than a rapid pin thrust.  So we talked about the relative merits and drawbacks of solo vs. choir voices.  Here is what we came up with:

Solo:  Can sing a solo.  Can't sing in an ensemble, as the Voice stands out too much.  Can be intimidating to sing with.

Choir:  Can't sing a solo except in unusual circumstances.  Duets, trios, quartets, choirs - all good.  Great background vocalist.  Welcome at sing-alongs.  Fun to sing with.

At this point I waxed spiritual.  Solo voices are wonderful to listen to, but choir voices reflect more of the body of Christ.  Rather than standing out, we are usually called to augment, or blend, or refine a cooperative effort.  The beauty is found in the blend.

Tween rubbed his chin for a moment, then agreed with me that a choir voice is more flexible, and more like the body of Christ.

Then, of course, he wanted reassurance that he wasn't completely out of the running for a Voice.  After all, one day a man's voice would be his.  Perhaps, someday, he, too, will have a Voice!

He's right, of course.  I can't help but wonder, though, if he inherited a pinch of my reckless optimism.

Have you ever seen a sentence with so many commas as the one three sentences ago?


  1. We pretty much come out of the womb "equipped", don't we? We am what we am.

  2. It's funny, Susan. My inlaws are profoundly tone-deaf. My husband didn't even know he had any vocal ability until college! If you heard his parents "sing", you would be shocked that he can even carry a tune. :)

    Have your kids inherited vocal talent from Big Bison?