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COVER STORY
Learn to sing, dance or play the drums at weekend workshops

Darcy L. Himes
Sun Staff

 

August 1, 2003

 

For 30 years, Ruth King Goddard has taught tone-deaf people how to sing.

 

"It takes work," Goddard says, "but it comes a lot easier than most people think."

 

The Everett-based teacher will bring her skills to this weekend's second annual Kitsap Folk Fest and teach a 40- to 50-minute workshop.

 

She'll tailor the workshop to the day's crowd; adults and children are welcome.

 

Leave embarrassment at home and come ready to get a dose of confidence.

 

"The key to making any kind of music is not our ear," Goddard says. "It's our brain." To that end, she'll be doing some "fun, crazy things" to get the brain stimulated. Children use their singing voices through play. The same concept works for adults.

 

Goddard, who has taught at Seattle's Folklife Festival, will begin by talking about some musical principles, then lead participants through speak-singing and simple songs to help them begin to get the pitch.

 

For those who truly are tone-deaf, Goddard says she can't fix them in one workshop, but she can give them tools.

"Our singing and speaking voice -- it's the same," Goddard says. "We just have to use it differently."

 

People often are afraid in our "talent-means-a-record-deal" culture to use their singing voice. It's an intimate part of ourselves not readily put on display.

 

However, Goddard lends weight to the idea that singing can increase personal expression and enjoyment. "It's just as important as laughter and tears to our emotional well being," she says.

 

Goddard's workshop "Hope for the Tone Deaf: You Can Sing!" will be in the workshop tent at 4 p.m. Her new and recently self-published book "Singing for Non-singers: You Can!" will be available at the festival. Six other free workshops are offered throughout the weekend. See the accompanying schedule for topics and times.

 

Reach reporter Darcy L. Himes at (360) 792-9218 or at dhimes@thesunlink.com.

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