Singing to myself

♪♫♪ Let it go, let it go, I am one with the wind and sky…

Lately it feels like I am one of the few people who still hasn’t seen Frozen…but that doesn’t mean I haven’t listened to the soundtrack already…dozens of times. I pretty much love all Disney music, so it’s frequently what I have playing in the background while I try to get some work done. One of my secret talents is knowing the lyrics to pretty much every classic Disney song.  It’s a little silly that I know the words to almost all of the Frozen songs but I still haven’t seen the movie! (But I hear the sing-along version is being released in theaters…this may be my chance.) Although it’s been out a long time, I’m still trying to avoid spoilers on the Internet, which is a real challenge.

So on the topic of great music and soundtracks, I have a confession: I absolutely love singing. It’s doubtful that many people know this at all, because I could probably count on one hand the number of people who have ever heard me sing outside a middle school choir setting. And there’s good reason for that too, seeing how I have a very weak and pitchy voice. As a result, I only sing when I’m completely alone or with close friends. When I am alone, however,  it’s almost a constant behavior. I don’t just in the shower, I sing while cleaning, laying in bed trying to fall asleep, doing homework…but I’m afraid years of this kind of practice has never improved my voice. When it comes to performing for others, I stick to just playing the piano, where I’m much more confident. I’m so incredibly jealous of singers I hear, especially those with powerhouse voices that sound amazing. I think one of the reasons I adore showtunes so much (I fall in love with musicals easily) is that a lot of the singers belt out their notes so passionately. As childish as it may seem, listening to Let It Go or Defying Gravity makes me feel as if I can sing vicariously through Idina Menzel. If I could really be anything at all in the world, I would choose to be a Broadway actress, hands down.

(But alas, I seem to be lacking in the whole singing, acting, and dancing requirements…so it’s the medical life for me.)

When I was in Japan this past Christmas, my mom, brother, and I had the awesome chance to go karaoke with my aunt and cousin on our last night in Tokyo. It’s crazy how many karaoke places there are in Japan! This is especially true in a large city like Tokyo, where there’s at least a few on every street. The later it gets in the evening, the more popular karaoke becomes; after a certain time, they even have one hour time limits on the rooms! Even though it was around 10 PM and we had an early flight the next morning to Taiwan, my mom treated us all to karaoke that night.

It was such a cool experience! We were all in a small room with just couches and a TV, and we could pick any song we wanted while ordering drinks throughout the hour. It was really typical to my aunt and cousin, Yoshihiro, but my brother and I were excited and kept picking songs on this seemingly magic karaoke machine that had thousands and thousands of Japanese, English, and Chinese songs. My brother Bob shocked us all by being able to sing a great number of Japanese songs! He took Japanese in high school, and so he was able to read the lyrics pretty easily, and he picked many of his favorite songs from anime.

Another confession of mine to share this week: when I was really small, perhaps 3 or 4 years old, I sang to the karaoke of “My Heart Will Go On,” and apparently toddler Sarah was not shy about her voice at all, because my mom loves telling the story of how I stood on a table with a microphone and sang Celine Dion to my parents and all their friends. (While I’m sure I was adorable then, I think a few things have changed haha…) So since then, whenever karaoke is made available, it’s an on-running joke in my family that I should give another fabulous encore of the song. That night, I decided to let loose and finally do it! I sang with my mom and had a fantastic time. I can really see why people in Japan must love karaoke so much—everyone is able to let loose and enjoy themselves in such a warm and fun environment. It doesn’t really matter if you sing well or not since you’re with all of your friends just having a great time! I wish places designated just for karaoke like that were a lot more common here in the states!

Even though I have no desire to sing on a stage, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying it on my own. I’ve never been a big performer, and I’m fine with that. Music keeps me sane and happy, which is all I need.


Here I stand, in the light of day / Let the storm rage on / The cold never bothered me anyway ♪♫♪

(Let It Go – Idina Menzel)

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About Sarah Lee

Hi, I'm Sarah! I am a junior Neuroscience student in GPPA Medicine who is still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do in my life. One day I want to be fluent in Russian and explore Eastern Europe. In my free time, I love running, playing piano and guitar, and reading. I currently live in Courtyard residence hall as a Peer Mentor but my home is in Naperville.

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