What Would You Think If I Sang Out of Tune? By Pete Rosky

When I was in 6th grade, I was in the choir at school. I was a soprano. I had been singing all my life, this was my 3rd year singing in school, and I just loved it. This all changed when my voice changed. I'll never forget the music teacher listening to us all sing, and saying, "Hold it, hold on, what's that?", and walking right towards me. She said everyone else be quiet, you sing. So, I sang. And then I could hear it. The sound of a former soprano whose voice had dropped 3 octaves overnight, and was still changing. I sounded like a wounded wombat calling out for help. She asked me to sing a bit more. I declined.

To say I was embarrassed would be an understatement. If there had been a rock nearby, I would have crawled under it. I was asked to leave. Not that I had to be asked, I wanted to leave. I could hear the other kids whispering and laughing. I can still hear them. To this day, I don't sing in public. The occasional karaoke when drunk, and to my wife, because she loves me unconditionally, and doesn't judge.

I guess the point is, sometimes things change for kids. Sometimes they don't even notice. If you're an adult dealing with kids, don't embarrass them. They never forget that feeling. If you're a kid going through change (how did you wind up reading this?), I hope you're strong enough, and have the support necessary to deal with it.


in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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