I'll never forget my cousin Lauri telling about a time that she, her parents, and siblings sang in Church. Apparently they hadn't practiced all that much and the parts were a bit complicated, and it was a struggling performance. In fact, in the middle of the sloppy note-finding nightmare, one of them muttered "This is Brutal!" As she recounts, after the meeting few people made eye contact with her, and the ones who did had looks of sympathy on their faces!
I had a "brutal" moment today in Sacrament Meeting myself! Let's face it: I love to sing, but I know I'm not a great soloist. I prefer to melt into a nice alto part, finding harmony. So I was fine when the music director asked me to sing a duet. Give me an alto part and I'll be okay. Only problem: the other person she asked me to sing with is also an alto with an even lower voice than my own. Yikes! We compromised on a song where there were two solos and then a duet at the end.
As I sang my too-high-for-me melody solo, I looked at our ward choir director in the audience--also a vocal coach--and wanted to hide. Only you can't hide when you're singing a solo. I ran out of breath before the end of the phrase and everyone could hear it. I sang the wrong word on one part, and I couldn't even really hit the C nicely. I felt naked. It was brutal. After the meeting I tried to leave as soon as I could to avoid the "pity" compliments.
Thankfully, there is one fact I know to be a Universal Truth: people don't think about you as much as you think about yourself. In other words, I am not the center of the world. While I may analyze every note and breath, most everyone else has already forgotten all about it. So I didn't sing so well. So what? I can still sing my alto part and enjoy how music makes me feel.
But please don't be asking me to sing another solo any time soon!