Karaoke is for singers of songs. I’ve been a singer of one kind or another my whole life. Long multi-state car trips on the way to Dog Shows ensured that a shared “fun” family trip included singing in the car…at the destination…on command for the entertainment of others and for the joy of singing.
Musical theater roles…singing with live bands…singing for small and large circles…singing in community nearly every day when I was an exchange student to Brasil…singing in a “Women’s Acoustic Singing Group” for several years where a potluck, talking and singing about life and revolutionary ideas sustained our very SOULS during the challenges we faced as individuals. I’ve sung at weddings…funerals…the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame unexpectedly…! Singing can happen anywhere.
Even though I love singing, mostly I love the fact that music is unifying…we experience it with all of our senses if we allow ourselves to become enraptured by the sound, meaning and vibration…a combination of culture, poetry and sound. Maybe I’m just a Mystic. Music is a part of the Art of my Life.
I love the accessibility of karaoke as an entertainment and community building activity. Karaoke provides those who enjoy singing an opportunity to simply use their voice to tell a story and convey an emotional state. It encourages those who are equipped with no other instruments than themselves to sing their song.
In essence, I view karaoke as the most expeditious route to people singing a song openly and in public for the joy of the singer and hopefully, the audience. Even poor singing skills don’t matter…everyone has a chance to express an idea to the group. It’s easy to encourage participation from the audience and for the audience when the music has been provided via a predictable recording. Not everyone is comfortable or encouraged by the improvisation that can occur in “real” time with a band.
I completely understand that live music played by musicians is competing with karaoke at the typical bars, saloons, and other life events where music is needed. I also understand that karaoke provides people a format to express themselves as music-makers. Karaoke is active entertainment…everyone who signs up becomes part of the “show”. Karaoke unlocks the primal musician in all of us…one song at a time.