Monday, November 27, 2006

Voice Lesson Day

Mondays are special days because that is the day I have my voice lesson. You see, since I was a very small child, I always wanted to sing. Because I wasn’t very good, I was discouraged from singing by my teachers, parents, relatives…well, I guess about anybody who heard me sing.

After I became a Christian and the subject of spiritual gifts came up, I always wished that I had been gifted as a singer. I even silently prayed that God would give me my desire to be able to sing.

Finally, after fifty years of quietly wishing I had the ability to sing, I decided to start singing. I am not sure why I started, other than just fifty years of desire finally broke through.

At first, I was pretty tentative, but eventually I gained confidence. My wife suggested that I take singing lessons. I decided to take that as encouragement rather than discouragement. This summer I began taking voice lessons from Ronni Ward. I now singing regularly with my band and at church.

I have been getting a lot of compliments, most of which start with the phrase, “I didn’t know you could sing.”

Here are the questions: Did God answer my prayer and suddenly give me a singing voice? Did I always have the ability and just needed to develop it? Or is singing a learned skill that just about anybody can learn with enough desire and a good teacher?

The fact that music is never mentioned in the Bible in the context of giftedness, leads me to believe that singing or playing an instrument, are skills, a craft if you will, that just about anybody can learn, given enough time, motivation, and teaching. If there is giftedness involved, the gift is the desire to spend the time and energy required to develop the skill.

Let me know what you think.

Ronni Ward's response...

Thank you Jim. I think your'e onto something there about developing and learning. I would have to disagree about giftedness. There are some people who have a certain amount of ability and can work at it and increase their skill. These people may not be especially "gifted" in that particular area; whatever it may be, but there is value and purpose in it. For instance, take my guitar playing ability. I have to work extremely hard just to accompany myself to an acceptable level. Then there are guitarists like David George, Brian Ruskin, David Smart or Bonnie Raitte (not your cat). While it's true that becoming that good is a lot of disipline and hard work, I would say they are "gifted" in that area. Bob Dylan is known more for his songs than for his voice. His voice is important, but his songwriting is his gifting and he will never be what Elvis or Reba are (or were) to the world... vocally speaking. Musical giftings are never more important than the gift of being an encourager or a leader or a manager etc., only more coveted and perhaps more noticed.

I just wanted to get in my two cents. I would have responded with a blog message if I knew how to set up an account. I guess blogging's not my "gifting" I may have to work at it.
Feel free to share this with whomever you wish.