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To tell ds1 he can't go to choir?

(74 Posts)
SummerNights1986 Fri 23-Oct-15 19:01:50

Ds1 is nearly 8 and came out of school this week clutching a consent form for the school choir, which meets twice a week after school. They take dc from Year 3 so this is a new opportunity for him.

He's really excited, really, really wants to sign up.

BUT he is tone deaf. Completely. He is good at plenty of other things and has no lack of activities he does already...but there's no nice way to say it, I have never heard any child with such a truly awful singing voice. He even loses the tune singing simple nursery rhymes, and always has since a toddler.

It's kind of never been brought up. I'm not in the habit of telling the dc they're fabulous at everything (you know the type). But I mean, when your 3/4/5 year old sings the songs they're learning at school for you, you automatically go 'Oh that was lovely, well done for remembering it all' or similar. Which is just what I've done with ds, whilst gritting my teeth. So he doesn't know or realise he can't sing as far as I can tell. He's mentioned asking the teacher if he can sing a song he's learnt recently to see if the other kids know it (old school, unusual song). He seems quite keen to do a solo confused

I'm genuinely worried he'll be made fun of and laughed at, and I don't want him to go and be brought crashing down by the other kids sad

Do I:
A. Make up an excuse as to why he can't go (such as I have to do X on those nights, maybe next year, and hope he loses interest)
B. Tell him he can't sing and can't go (gently)
C. Let him go and hope for the best.

PotteringAlong Fri 23-Oct-15 19:03:47

C - let him go and see what happens. He might surprise you or just stand at the back and be drowned out by everyone else

GabiSolis Fri 23-Oct-15 19:04:14

Oh dear. I would make up an excuse personally. Anything else seems a bit on the cruel side.

Slutbucket Fri 23-Oct-15 19:04:34

I would say let him go. Choirs are just good fun.

earlyriser Fri 23-Oct-15 19:05:53

Please don't tell him he can't sing. He will never get any enjoyment from singing again (voice of bitter experience). A good music teacher will let him down gently- mine told me my voice was too deep- and he will be none the wiser and you won't have shattered his dream!

EvilTwins Fri 23-Oct-15 19:05:55


I am a performing arts teacher and I cast tone deaf kids in the school show every year. Performing is about more than being the best at it. Let him do it. I'd be amazed if anyone teased him.

Incidentally, my girls sing in a choir and if they're just singing in the house or in the car it does sometimes sound crap, but they manage to sing in tune with the rest of the choir and the piano.

Axekick Fri 23-Oct-15 19:06:50

You should go for option C.

Why does he have to be good at it to enjoy something. It's a school choir.

School clubs are a mix of abilities. I am sure he will be fine. It may even help him improve his singing while having fun.

Unreasonablebetty Fri 23-Oct-15 19:07:03

Let him enjoy himself. Don't make him conscious of it....
Kids these days are taught that it's the taking part that counts, not the winning, so I doubt that his ability is of much consequence to the people holding the club.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Fri 23-Oct-15 19:08:01

Let him do it!

SummerNights1986 Fri 23-Oct-15 19:08:32

Pottering - I really don't think there's any chance he'll surprise me tbh.

A few weeks back there was a thread on here about a mum wanting to pull her 4 year old out of ballet (I think it was) because she was awful and un-coordinated etc. I commented with a fair amount of disgust that she was willing to write off her child and not give her the chance, she may turn out to be brilliant in 5 years etc.

But this seems different to me...I don't think singing is necessarily something you can 'learn' unless you have a decent voice to begin with iyswim? Maybe you could improve an average voice into a good one...but a completely tuneless voice I don't think there's much chance for tbh.

Clobbered Fri 23-Oct-15 19:09:29

He's 8. He hasn't learned to control his voice yet - so what? If he's keen and wants to join in, let him - maybe the choir will enable him to find his voice. He could turn out to be a brilliant singer - don't condemn him just yet!

Janeymoo50 Fri 23-Oct-15 19:10:22

He might actually improve, I love school choirs, it's widely regarded as a really brilliant thing for kids to do (plus it's the only time I watch Songs of Praise when they have their wonderful choir competition). Give it a go, see how it goes.

SummerNights1986 Fri 23-Oct-15 19:12:14

Just to clarify, I don't want him not to go because he won't excel or be really good. If he was average - less than average then fine, go for the fun. But his voice is actually a room-stopper, bless him. We even took him for a hearing test at 2.5 because of his singing voice (which was recommended by a HV after she noted he was having trouble in picking up music or being able to sing baa baa black sheep and the like)

CoraPirbright Fri 23-Oct-15 19:12:19

My dd is tone deaf when singing unaccompanied but when she has a strong accompaniment eg piano/other singers, she can hold a tune surprisingly well. Could your ds be similar?

multivac Fri 23-Oct-15 19:12:22

Another vote for C here. You can teach pretty much anyone to sing. Truly.

NerrSnerr Fri 23-Oct-15 19:12:21

I can't sing to save my life but I was in the school choir until I was about 14. I knew I wasn't the best but it was fun. I even got a small duet in a primary school play which made me very proud.

ooerrmissus Fri 23-Oct-15 19:12:34

C. Neither of mine can sing for toffee, both are in the school choir and they absolutely adore learning the songs and performing them. They have learnt that whilst they may never get s solo there is a value in taking part.
Incidentally the choir has won awards so they aren't all crap. Probably my two get drowned out. smile

gingerdad Fri 23-Oct-15 19:12:43

C. Let him have fun. I've run camp fires for several thousand scouts and I can't sing.

missymayhemsmum Fri 23-Oct-15 19:18:27

He is only 8. Doing more singing may help him to control his voice an develop an ear for music, even if he won't be choirboy of the year.
DD can't carry a tune in a bucket but improved noticeably when she joined the choir. (Unfortunately her friends opted out after a term and so did she)

Castrovalva Fri 23-Oct-15 19:18:43

Another vote for C here. You can teach pretty much anyone to sing. Truly

Almost but not quite, I've had 3 singing teachers give up. After having pooh-pood me saying I thought I was untraceable grin

multivac Fri 23-Oct-15 19:23:52

There's always an exception Castro! Although, had you been in a choir aged eight.....

Damselindestress Fri 23-Oct-15 19:27:40

C. Let him have a bash at it. He might learn something or lose interest but at least he will have had the opportunity so won't regret missing out. But maybe I'm still bitter because my dad wouldn't let me join the choir as it was associated with a church so "against our religious beliefs" (atheist).

Auroborea Fri 23-Oct-15 19:29:24

Let him go. I was recently talking to someone who had done quite a lot of research into the development of pitch - and apparently it's definitely a matter of nurture rather than nature. Plus singing is great for emotional and physical wellbeing, and also helps with mental activity and learning. smile

Axekick Fri 23-Oct-15 19:29:57

Actually I don't think it's any different to the ballet thread. My view was that it didn't matter how good she became. She was enjoying and loved doing. It doesn't matter if your son gets any better, even if he just let a a bit more control.

Kids should be allowed to do stuff they enjoy, because they enjoy it.

ipsos Fri 23-Oct-15 19:37:17

I know someone who was tone deaf after having meningitis as a small child, and ten years later he got a real determination to learn to sing. It took about 6 months of amazingly tuneless singing, but he did it. After six months work it all just clicked into place and now he has one of the nicest singing voices I've ever heard. I wonder if it might be an idea to ask the person who runs the choir how you could help your dc to learn a bit faster?

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