I believe that singing is the key to a long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence, new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness and a better sense of humor.
British composer, artist and activist Brian Eno
Here's what Eno had to say about singing in his This I Believe essay on NPR last November:
Back in September, I decided I really wanted to sing more--and since I'm cursed with an awful voice--I can only sing under the cover of large crowds, or in the privacy of my home. Here's what I wrote back in September.
And in our younger days my husband & I spent hours singing with the help of songbooks and an inexpensive guitar. When I read Megan McCafferty's story in the September 2008 issue of Health, "Love (and Karaoke) Will Keep Us Together", I was intrigued. Who gets to sing anymore? Megan's brother-in-law bought her & her husband a karaoke video game a few months ago, just for "the fun of it", and she says
"Karaoke has inspired my husband and me to be unself-conscious dorks together, in a way we hadn't been in years!"
They've got their own American Idol thing going, with Elvis, Christina Aguilera, and Pat Benetar songs. When I mentioned this to my husband, (who wouldn't do Karaoke in public in a million years) he was game. Yeah, he's a secret singer, too. I can't wait to find this video game.
I hadn't a clue what sort of karaoke video game McCafferty was writing about or where to find it--but my research was pointing to a Sony Playstation game call SingStar--and that sounded like way too much of an investment for a grown-up like me!
So, I did what any self-respecting medical librarian would do--I contacted McCafferty via email & asked her what her karaoke game was called & if I really needed the Sony Playstation to play it. And of course, she answered right away. Yes, I need the Sony Playstation 2 & her karaoke games were called: SingStar 80s & the American Idol Karaoke Revolution.
Two weeks ago my husband surprised me with the Sony Playstation 2 for my birthday. 2 microphones and a SingStar 80s karaoke game. My kids didn't even have a Playstation--and now that they're all grown-up we go buy one? Crazy!
I completely missed the 80s music scene & MTV--never watched it. I was busy with babies-toddlers-little kids--and Raffi. So I'm traveling back in time with my new Karaoke song machine. SingStar is meant for teen-agers--I'm sure--but I LOVE IT! WE LOVE IT! And guess what? Not only is Karaoke fun--it demands total concentration--and it is totally addictive.
My husband & I are equally off-key, so finally we have a fair playing field in which to compete. We can sing duets along with the MTV original stars, like Billy Joel, Blondie, and Tina Turner--and compete against each other to see who is hitting the most right (or off-key) notes. The words, of course, are on the TV, as well as the notes--and you keep getting instant feedback for how you're doing. Good! OK! Bad!
I can't wait to invite friends over for our own karaoke-for-grown-ups-sing-along. You can play with up to 8!
Here's how I look at it: We sing with joy & abandon as children, but if you have a not-so-good-voice, you pretty much lose the opportunity to sing out loud once you grow-up.
Sitting in our family room, singing along to Billy Joel's "Up Town Girl" and Madonna's "Material Girl" I feel like a kid again. The time just flies by and we keep saying, "Just one more song--Just one more song!" Believe me, it's hard to stop.
I can't wait to get the SingStar Legends! The 80s I missed out on--but the Legends--Marvin Gaye, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Elton John, Sam Cooke & John Lennon--now those are my boys!