There are probably some people reading this who remember being four years old and singing dramatically into a hairbrush “microphone”. Or better yet, you might have had access to a “singing machine” where you practiced your dream of making the songs you loved come out of your own mouth.
Karaoke is what it’s called now and it’s come a long way, technically speaking. The words and music to thousands of songs are available through apps on the web. With very little trouble, anyone can have a fun night of singing in their own home, with their favorite people.
Because both the husband and I were musicians, our girls were always involved in singing and as karaoke became a thing, we often had our own singing events at family gatherings. I will give my brother Gary credit for starting it. He brought his machine to a reunion and had everyone wanting to join in before the night was over. Music in general is a great relationship builder (letter M is coming up) but I think there are special things about karaoke that give it a different twist. We all have ears, and voices, so the chance to pick up a mic and sing is a very accessible tool.
The goal at our family sings is never to be just like a particular artist. We don’t kid ourselves about perfect pitch and tone, or knowing a song perfectly – we know we don’t. We applaud those brave enough to risk looking a little silly. Even before a very friendly audience, it is sometimes scary to do challenging things that are as personal as singing. Sometimes we sit waiting for the next volunteer singer, someone who is brave enough to mentor the rest.
This is what I’ve noticed. The bravery is contagious. We have a lot of younger family members, including my daughters, who willingly (I might even say eagerly) plan what they will sing for the next get together. Having fun and participating are both the goals and the rewards, and as the young ones get better and better from practice, we, the older, get more humble – as it should be.
The bottom line is that there is fun to be had. Not everyone sings but we all love to be entertained. We enjoy relationships built around fun, and we can acquire a reputation for being fun people, even if we do sing a bit funny.