I tested my vocal range today just to see what notes I’m comfortable singing and what notes I’m capable of singing. I focused mainly on the my chest voice since my falsetto hasn’t been practiced in a while. I used a piano, and I don’t know how people normally evaluate their singing range (I’m pretty much an amateur when it comes to this stuff). My comfortable singing range is about G1 to E3, about 13 keys/notes on a keyboard. However, I’m capable of singing from a low Dsharp to a high A above middle C, about 18 1/2 notes/keys.
Honestly, my range hasn’t improved since my high school senior year stint in choir. I remember when this sort of stuff used to be really important to me. In choir, I was a tenor 2, and I always felt like I needed to prove to everyone that I deserved to be in that section. The other 7 tenors had much more refined voices than I did, and they had all been singing for a lot longer than I had been. They also had a slightly higher range than I did and seemed to sing more comfortable in that range around E-G above middle C.
I took it as a huge hit on my pride when the choir direction bumped me down to baritone/Bass1 for one of the songs in our spring concert, not because I thought I would be judged, but because it was a confirmation of my abilities as a singer. My level of self consciousness was also heightened because I was the only senior tenor. I had a few other friends who had also joined choir that year for the first time (also as seniors), but they were all placed as basses. For that entire year, and perhaps even some of my freshman year of college, my identity as a singer consumed me. I constantly felt inadequate and that the ceiling was measured by the performance and abilities of those around me who were much more capable. Around the same time was the birth of the Tim Be Told craze. Tim, the band vocalist, can sing a C or D above middle C (I know this because my college roommate Daniel tried to hit the note all night one random night – Daniel was also a Tenor 1).
I guess I was reflecting today how I shifted away from that identity as a poor singer, and it was due in large part to learning about who God was and how He sees me as a child worth saving. I often forget the impact that He’s had on my life and on things that I have since forgotten or not reflected on. Somehow, in those years of college, I stopped focusing my mind on things of a temporary nature, and I started to understand what we were created for and why we should do it.
We can sing because we yearn to sing praise to our God. We want to sing because there are created to praise Him. Slowly but surely, I felt less shame in my inadequacy as a singer and more pride in being a child of God. I think that’s pretty awesome. I’m not sure God gave me any defining moment where I decided singing didn’t matter much anymore (honestly it still matters a tiny bit), but I was no longer fixated on my abilities, others’ judgement, or improving to a standard set by what I can see around me.
Anyway, merry christmas! Lol