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To tell my daughter she has a terrible singing voice

(152 Posts)
fudgefeet Thu 03-Nov-16 12:57:46

My daughter (9) came out of school yesterday telling me that they had been learning a new song at school and she realised she is "amazing" at singing it. She then gave me a 3 minute car ride home of what I can only call deep guttural warbling that was supposed to be Mama Mia. She has never had much of an ear for music and struggled to sing nursery rhymes in tune but now she has added what she calls her own style to the mix it really is quite shocking. I did my best to keep a straight face the whole way through as she sung her little heart out.
She is a very loud child and often likes to tell people how brilliant she is at things even when she's not so I don't want to tell her it was great as she will no doubt start sharing her new talent with everyone and probably even ask to sing in assembly. Should I just let her carry on in blissful ignorance or find a way to tell her its awful.

twilightcafe Thu 03-Nov-16 13:02:04

OK. So she enjoys singing? Why not send her to singing lessons so that she can improve, rather than knock her confidence and tell her she's awful?

QueenofallIsee Thu 03-Nov-16 13:03:05

I would perhaps suggest that she records herself singing it, so she can 'hear it as Mum can'. I did that with my sister years ago and she fell about laughing when she realised what she sounded like (that was actually about her 'brilliant' impression but the point stands)

OhNoNotMyBaby Thu 03-Nov-16 13:04:04

Wow. She's 9 FFS and you're her parent. How about a little love and affection?

PotOfYoghurt Thu 03-Nov-16 13:05:16

If she love singing so much can you get her lessons? Then either the singing teacher can help her improve or she'll realise she has better strengths elsewhere.

museumum Thu 03-Nov-16 13:10:03

Don't tell her she's awful. If she likes signing then get her into an 'accepts everyone' choir where she can learn to sing better.

I was told i couldn't sing at a very young age and so wouldn't try, i still can't sing, but i know that i could sign better than now because i have actually managed to sing some things in tune when i've had to and had some coaching (my range is just quite narrow and was always a bit low compared to other little girls).

GreenAndWinter Thu 03-Nov-16 13:10:06

Somebody told me I was terrible at singing when I a child. It knocked my confidence badly. As an adult, I realised that I really want bad, and went on to sing semi-professionally in two successful bands.

Of course, your daughter may be tone-deaf, but nearly everyone can improve with encouragement. Singing lessons are a good idea. She could enjoy them.

blueskyinmarch Thu 03-Nov-16 13:11:00

My DD is a terrible singer. She is truly awful. She has been aware since a very early age because we have gently ribbed her about it. She is a confident 18 year old now. She is still a terrible singer but has other strengths. I don’t really think it helps to pander to children - if they are bad at something then they are bad. But they can be told gently and their better talents celebrated.

museumum Thu 03-Nov-16 13:11:23

Also, In general it might be better for her to focus on a bit of 'growth mindset' rather than 'fixed mindset' so rather than focussing on innate talent and that some people are just naturally good at things, focus on how everyone can be better than they are now with practice.

fudgefeet Thu 03-Nov-16 13:11:40

She does a lot of after school activities so I don't want to add anything else to our schedule. I think its great that she loves singing but what Im asking is should I lie to her? If she was a bit off key I would just say that it was great and let her get on with it but she has come up with this strange new technique and is very serious about it.

Bluntness100 Thu 03-Nov-16 13:12:58

Ah just let her be, I wouldn't encourage her with the lessons though. Only say something if she wants to audition for X factor.

Although to be fair, honey Gs mum shoulda had a word with her a good few years ago, saved us all some misery.

fudgefeet Thu 03-Nov-16 13:13:43

Yes museumum thats a really good point, thank you.

GrinchyMcGrincherson Thu 03-Nov-16 13:14:21

I tell my DD she's trying really hard, I love her enthusiasm and she's improving all the time. I don't want her to think she's amazing because if she starts singing thinking she's great in front of others who take the piss it would destroy her.

She knows she isn't the best singer but she also knows that there's nothing wrong with that and that she shares that with me. We talk about how different people are good at different things.

I personally think it's ok for your child to know that not everyone can be great at everything. I always knew I was a terrible singer. I tried and my mum tried to teach me but I was rubbish at it. We talked about how my mum was a great singer and my dad is terrible and I just happen to take after my dad. We talked about how that's ok. We talked about how I could get better if I wanted to.

Knowing it was a weakness of mine really helped me when they made us all sing a short solo in front of the class at high school. They put me in a group of 3 "needs a lot of improvement" people. The other 2 thought they were awesome and they were mortified. I just made a joke about it before we even started to my mates and then got on with it because I knew it didn't matter.

OlennasWimple Thu 03-Nov-16 13:14:30

Please don't tell her she is awful! My DM did this to me, and although I love singing at weddings and carol services, I feel so incredibly self-conscious about it.

Perhaps you could say something like "that's an interesting style you have picked up - what effect are you trying to get?" and guide her away from whatever it is she is doing? <imagines Mongolian throat-singing style>

GreenAndWinter Thu 03-Nov-16 13:15:27

Maybe you could tell her that you love how enthusiastically she is singing, but that before adding any special effects to her voice it would a good idea to concentrate on getting each and every note perfect and in tune - because that's what professional singers do. You could help her practice one phrase at a time, and be ever so positive about it.

fudgefeet Thu 03-Nov-16 13:17:14

She does have quite a deep voice so I think she has been experimenting a bit with her range.

EdmundCleverClogs Thu 03-Nov-16 13:21:52

I'm in two minds, I don't think it's great to lie and say 'yes your fantastic at that', it could lead to embarrassing situations later on. I think it's far better to say 'you're so talented at a,b and c' and not mention singing. It's ok not to be good at things! However, I also wouldn't straight out say 'you call that singing, oh dear, you're not at all good at it'. It's finding the balance between honest but without destroying self esteem (difficult I know!).

As for people suggesting lesson - a bad singer will never be great, so isn't it better to focus energies on things she is good at? It's not like singing is the be all of talents!

fudgefeet Thu 03-Nov-16 13:23:48

She would be quite offended if I suggested she work on getting each note perfect or even having singing lessons as that would suggest she needs more practice which she doesn't in her opinion.

DesignedForLife Thu 03-Nov-16 13:25:44

Rather than telling her she's bad I'd personally try an focus on praising her in areas where she's good, theatrics and voice projection perhaps?

ReallyTired Thu 03-Nov-16 13:26:47

Telling a nine year old that they can't sing is as stupid. I expect she never had the chance to learn. No nine year can sing like a pop star and the ones who do often wreck thrive voices.

I suggest you get her to join a nice children's choir. Singing is great for confidence but it has to be a song a child has some chance of singing. Pop ballads see meant to be sung by grown adults.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 03-Nov-16 13:27:35

Let her be, mabey if she likes singing, send her to singing classes to improve.

donajimena Thu 03-Nov-16 13:29:32

Its a tough one. I can't see either. My dad used to say has someone trod on the cat?
But he was quite humorous. However I knew I couldn't sing wheras your daughter thinks she can.
My best friend in school was like this she couldn't hear what everyone else heard.
Completely tone deaf. But I never said a word.
So I would just leave it be and as a PP suggested only mention it if she wants to try x factor!

donajimena Thu 03-Nov-16 13:29:53

See - sing!

fudgefeet Thu 03-Nov-16 13:29:56

OlennasWimple, I think Mongolian throat singing is probably quite close to describing what she is doing.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Thu 03-Nov-16 13:30:16

I agree with museumum too about the growth mindset.

There is a Kate bush documentary on BBC iplayer atm where she says she was a pretty bad singer to start with but wanted to write songs, so her singing style came from just warbling away while she wrote.

A tale of growth of ever I heard one!

Plus, singing is enjoyable whether you're good at it or not (my OH can testify! He's tone deaf but doesn't care grin)

I know what you mean about her being disillusioned though. Maybe give it some time, might blow over.

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