|In elementary school, we used to go to music class once a week. Typical classes consisted of playing strange instruments like zils and glockenspiels, and group singing led by a tape or record (I still don't know why records were around as late as 1990; was my school waiting for a personal invitation to throw them out?). After the group singing, our teacher would go around the room and ask each person to sing a single line or phrase from the song, encouraging us and helping us along the way.
I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I have an unimaginable fear of singing in front of people (more so then; less so now). If I had to choose between eating a hundred spiders, laying in a pile of spitting cobras, or singing in front of people, I'd choose the spiders and the cobras just so I wouldn't have to endure the trauma of singing in front of judging, criticizing, taunting people.
Each week, one person would receive the ever-so-coveted award of Super Singer. It was obvious that the award was simply handed out to people in a rotation, but the point was that it came with a certificate. Nothing says "I'm better than you, jerks" than a certificate. My mom probably saved them, and they're probably sitting in a box in my attic. Someday I'll frame them and decorate an entire room with them.
Because of my hatred of singing in front of people, music class was really stressful. It would get towards the end of class, and I'd always have an ounce of hope that we wouldn't do Super Singers, but we inevitably almost always did. The worst was when I sat in the back of the room. I'd have to listen to each and every person sing their little solo, all the while feeling my lunch in my throat and my heartbeat in my head. If I was fatter, I probably could've had a heart attack.
When kids don't like things, adults usually rationalize by saying things like, "Oh, you'll turn out ok," or "Someday you'll look back on this and laugh," or "It builds character." Well, Mrs. Mello, you're only partially right. Sure, I turned out ok (relatively), but I certainly don't look back and laugh. I still look back at Super Singers as one of the most traumatic and damaging experiences of my life, tantamount to child abuse. You're a great lady and a great teacher, but please end the torture that is Super Singers. #education