I cut the video at about 1:02

I love music, but I was afraid to sing in front of others. When I was a primary school student, my singing was out of tune. I was afraid that others would know this embarrassing secret and laugh at me for it. Hence, I only listened to the songs alone, but never tried to sing in front of others.

But sometimes, I had to sing. In the election of the Student Union in senior one, my friend became the Discipline Inspector of the school. To celebrate this, he invited his supporting team to Karaoke, including me. In KTV, I listened to other classmates sing. They were good at singing, but I knew I should hide in the corner to avoid singing in front of them. In the end, they noticed me. “Zhekai, come and sing a song, everyone has already sung.” The new Discipline Inspector of the Student Union said to me. “Sorry, I’d better not. I’ll just listen to you.” “Since you have come here, why not sing a song?” “Yeah, come on.” He invited me sincerely and other classmates echoed. I couldn’t refuse and had to order a song I liked, but I had never sung before. It turned out that my singing had never disappointed me in disappointing me. It was totally out of tune. I even sang the melody of the next sentence for the previous lyrics. The Discipline Inspector noticed my difficulties. He sang in time and helped me to take over the song. After this song, I felt that my disastrous performance made the atmosphere of the party embarrassing. I couldn’t stand it. I said that I had something urgent to leave early. Though I knew my classmates didn’t laugh at me, I couldn’t forget the Discipline Inspection’s question: “Since you have come here, why not sing a song?” I kept asking myself, “Since I cannot sing well, so why do I come to Karaoke?” Indeed, since I sang out of tune, why should I sing? With this idea in mind, I rarely sang in front of others and never went to KTV again after this party.

When I saw the syllabus of CAT 124, I noticed that in project 1, I needed to choose a song to sing and record the experience of singing. I chose the song “Guangdong ten-year love story.” It narrated the Chinese migrant workers’ difficulties in urban lives and their pursuit of happiness. “Even if losing everything, there’s no fear or regret.” As this song tells, even though the migrant workers know that they may fail in the cities, they still choose to try in the hope of changing their lives. The singer’s voice conveyed firm faith. It aroused my sympathy, making me listen to it repeatedly. And it always reminded me of the question “since I sang out of tune, why I should sing?”. Even I knew my singing was out of tune, should I try to make more people hear my voice? I hoped to express my emotions by singing like the singer of this song did, but could I do it? I began to practice singing along with the original song. Every time I practiced, I tried to put each sound in the appropriate note and imitate the author’s emotion in my voice. I hoped this practice could stop me from singing disastrously.

It came to the session on October 19th. Unexpectedly, Professor Sussman asked us to divide into groups. One member of each group had to perform his/her chosen song in the class. I began to feel nervous. Although I had listened to this song for two years and often hummed its melody, I had never sung it to other people. Besides, I was not very familiar with the audiences, my CAT 124 classmates, which made me more nervous. During the intervals of my classmates’ performance, I was still trying to practice silently with the accompaniment, just like preparing the course materials ten minutes before the tests. I was afraid the scene in KTV would stage again.

Soon, there was no time for me to worry. It was my turn. I stood up and turned on the accompaniment. As the accompaniment moved to the first sentence of the lyrics, my heart beat faster and faster. I pinched my chest to calm myself down. Five…Four…Three… Please, withstand this moment, and you can sing out of tune at will later. “An Jing De Li Qu (Leave quietly)” The first sentence was on the tune. But I was still afraid that my voice would betray me in the next sentence, just like what happened in that KTV. However, even though I was so nervous that my hot breath blurred my glasses, my voice didn’t deviate from the tone this time. When the song proceeded to the climax, I felt that the author’s emotions began to converge with mine. I felt as if I was a migrant worker busking in a busy square. The wind blowing around me made me feel cold and hungry. However, to send more money to families at the Spring festival, I raised my voice in the chilly wind. “Even if losing everything, there’s no fear or regret.” I finished the last note with trembling. It seemed that there was no obvious problem with the song. For the first time, I didn’t screw up singing in public. I did it! I can sing a song!  

At this moment, I realized that why I sang terribly before: possibly, lack of practice and emotion. Because I had never practiced the song I sang in KTV, I was not familiar with most sentences’ corresponding melody. I mistakenly believed that I was born to sing out of tune because of this failed singing. And I paid too much attention to other people’s opinions on my singing, making me no longer willing to sing. But through practices, I could sing most notes in tune during the CAT 124 session. More importantly, I could feel the emotion expressed by the singer. I realized that singing is an emotion rather than a technique, and everyone has different emotions. Hence, singing does not have to be pleasing and precise. We can sing aloud whenever we want to express emotions.

A curse that had bound me for many years disappeared. After this public singing in CAT 124, I understood why I used to sing badly and found the meaning of singing. Through this experience, I regained the courage to sing in public. Moreover, the song and my voice told me that I shouldn’t give up trying singing because I was afraid of failure. Just as the song tells: “Even if losing everything, there’s no fear or regret.” I don’t need to hide my voice and emotion anymore. I answered the question I raised at the KTV: Even if I may lose my tune, I will not be afraid of singing anymore.