Thursday, August 6, 2009


Once upon a time, a verrrrry long time ago, I used to be a singer. And by that I mean my choir toured the world, made recordings, and performed with world-renowned symphonies. We were arguably one of the top choirs in the world, if competing against the Manchester Boy's Choir and Vienna Boy's Choir is any indication.

The choir was all my mother the Music Teacher's idea. Because as much as I loved singing, she's the one who decided to "channel" my enthusiasm in the appropriate direction. At least my singing endeavours proved more fruitful than my piano lessons. (Sorry Mom). And like the piano lessons, when I became older, the singing in public went away. You have to do what's tznius after all.

Years of yelling "Sound Speed" in my film production days, not to mention teaching, have left their mark on my current singing ability. My voice is no longer pure as crystal, and my range has shrunk by a few octaves. No longer would anyone be able to proclaim as they used to that I could sing anything. Heck, one recent Shabbos, I even managed to croak when I initially began a song (it was women-only, of course). Yet I still carry my love of music, and go around my house most days singing to myself (quietly, lest the neighbours hear). And I'll admit, I have at least one album of songs in me, if not more. Granted, I wonder how original they might be; they could wind up just being a hodge podge of all the songs I've listened to throughout the years. From time to time, I contemplate recording. At this point, the recording would be to simply give pleasure to my mother, aka my one and only fan. But it would be fun to do.

Then last night, while researching music resources online to make that recording for my mom, I stumbled upon the online karaoke community. I must admit, the thought of karaoke sends me into fits of laughter. I remember when I was lived in Korea how it was a major pastime, along with drinking soju. Let's be honest, for most people, karaoke is equivalent to a bunch of drunkards singing loudly and tonelessly through song after song, unaware of their complete lack of musicality. The whole point of karaoke is not to sing well but to show that you can follow the song in question.

Yet on these online sites, you find quite a few good singers. And given that some of the women post audio-only, versus video, it raises any interesting question about whether recording yourself and putting it up on such sites would be considered tznius. You even have a comment for each recording you upload, so I would think that if a woman wrote "For women only", that might be deemed "kosher".

Now, I am NOT planning on becoming Queen of the Online Karaoke community. Even if I wanted to, my singing just isn't up to snuff to do so. Still, it raised an interesting question for any frummies out there who love to sing and seek an outlet. Maybe the internet isn't so bad after all? :)


  1. "Heck, one recent Shabbos, I even managed to croak when I initially began a song (it was women-only, of course)."
    Aren't you a yekki? Yekkis for sure allow women singing at shabbat table as long as it's in a group and not one woman singing by herself.

    Bla, bla, bla. Just post your stuff and it'll make you feel good.

  2. Aren't you a yekki?

    I'm not saying that I or my family had a problem with women singing in mixed company. How else would've I been allowed in the choir to begin with, LOL.

    The problem is the non-yekkis who judge. You know what I mean...

    I of course agree with you on your last para. But you knew that already.

  3. Next time you're over, feel free to sing. ;-)