How the Carl Memorial Alzheimer’s Poker Game Led Me to the Path of Singing Outside My Shower
When the pandemic hit, I contacted friends, telling them to stay safe and eat lots of cookies. Little did I know, cookie eating would become a major pandemic activity. But, I digress.
This story is about how the pandemic helped me advance down the path of being able to sing in front of others. That path started at the age of 7, continuing to now, age 70.
In Second Grade, I thought I was great at everything. I auditioned for the school chorus, thinking I would be a shoo-in to make the chorus. Can you hear the sound of screeching brakes? I was told that my singing was so bad, if I ever sang in public, I would be shot. Hey, what’s so bad about a 3 note, monotone range?
In Fifth Grade, circa 1963, I was sent to the Principal’s office; because my singing was so bad, the music teacher thought I was trying to disrupt the class. After that, I could not sing in front of anyone for about 47 years.
Then, about 2010, I started administering a poker game at my mother’s assisted living home, where the players had Alzheimer’s Disease. I threatened that if they argued with me, about whether they anted, or received their new cards, I would start singing. And I did. What the hell, they would not remember five minutes later, anyway.
I progressed in my advancement of singing in front of others, by singing at karaoke, where other singers’ voices were as questionable as mine. Although I couldn’t do much about my three note range, I learned to put more emotion into my singing voice.
The pandemic hit. I started singing in Zoom song circles, with singers of various talents, building my confidence. Finally, I screwed up my nerve to sing, occasionally, in the FAR-West Campfire. For me, this was and is, a great challenge, being able to sing in front of others, all of whom are highly talented, both as singers and songwriters.
So, the pandemic has helped me continue on my path of increasing my confidence in singing in front of others. Splenda in my lemonade.
Being born at the Manhattan intersection where George Gershwin wrote Rhapsody in Blue, Ken was destined to love music. He wrote music and concert reviews for C.S.U.N.’s Daily Sundial. In law school, he won a Nathan Burkan A.S.C.A.P. Copyright Law Competition award for writing a paper on record piracy, and also wrote a paper on combating ticket scalping. He continues with avid music ears.