“A Hairy Christmas”

They say music is good for the soul, and I believe it to be very therapeutic. I love to dance, and as I could hear the beat, and hear the music, it wasn’t difficult to pick up dance moves by watching others. I did find it challenging for the cheerleading competitions, so I opted to not participate on the dance part. School dances were fun for me, and as an adult I went dancing when I could, and enjoy wedding receptions a lot. I’ve even learned Polka, and a little Jive and Salsa, and yes the Macarena. I have forgotten some of it though, because if you don’t use it you lose it. Over the years, I’ve had people tell me I was a good dancer, which is a pretty nice compliment to hear.

I have always enjoyed listening to music and dancing, and yes, singing… Oh stop laughing, everyone sings at some point, we just don’t admit it. Still laughing are you….yes I can hold a tune somewhat, or rather I can harmonize a little. In grade four, my sister and I participated in choir. We had to learn several songs, and we learned two by the group ABBA. I remember the teacher was reluctant to let me participate, but she did.

I still remember going to an ABBA concert in Toronto with Mom and my sister. We were on the grass a ways back but I could still hear the music and words somewhat with my hearing aids. When it came to the two of the songs we had learned, I lipread my sister and we sang along. The first song was Fernando, and the look on Mom’s face when she discovered we knew the words still makes me smile when I think about it. I am not even sure she grasped the fact that I was singing with them..

I am sure you’re wondering, if I was so profoundly deaf, how did I am manage to accomplish such a thing? I can hear the lower frequencies, which generally means the bass. I can learn the words to a song and sing with it, by constantly listening to the song while reading the lyrics. Eventually I have it memorized. Other songs I learned parts of through MTV or MUCHMUSIC. Like anyone else, repetition and practice was key.. Usually the chorus was the easiest part to learn. I have even recently joined in Karaoke at a friend’s this summer, which was a first for me.

I have favourite singers, groups and songs like anyone else. The ones I have memorized are the ones were the voice was clear, and the music did not overwhelm it. I am always delighted when I can recognize a song on the radio and sing along with part or all of it. As we approach Christmas I recall singing in the auditorium, many Christmas carols during a school assembly. Of course, the words were up on an overhead projector, but I wasn’t always near the piano, so it’s a wonder I was able to join in.

(As I write this, I am watching and listening to the CMA Country Christmas special hosted by Jennifer Nettles. I am watching Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty sing with Luke Bryan. I needed the captions to the song “A Hairy Christmas” or I’d never get a word. It is quite silly, and true to Duck Dynasty fashion. )

Christmas is a favourite time of year and I love the music, the songs, and the feelings they evoke. Being able to sing along is so enjoyable to me. Now that I have been implanted, I am enjoying hearing the variety of instruments, and the clarity of the song and music. I am hoping that over time I will improve my singing voice, and ability to follow a song.

I am so happy to resume this part of my life, that I took my iPod Nano out of its retirement, and set it up on the speaker and listened to it most of the day. I identified a number of songs, artists or groups, and even remembered the lyrics to quite a few. A few times my two year old son told me to stop singing, although I don’t know if it was because of my singing or his wanting my attention and he thought I had to stop to give it. He did laugh a little too, which made me smile.

As Jennifer Nettles and Mary J Blige sing “Winter Wonderland”, I am singing along, and thinking back to the years as a child listening to the vinyl albums of the greats. Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Perry Como were some of my favourites to listen to. I always seem to hear their voices singing these songs, even when someone else is.

One of these days, I might work up the nerve to video myself singing to a song and post it. 🙂

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