Nancy Flanagan, a long-time music teacher, hates American Idol.
What bothers me is that children watch American Idol, and children are now developing this idea that singing is something that should be attempted only by the â€œtalented.â€ Some children now believe that judging singers is an amusing spectator activity, and making fun of imperfect singers is perfectly OK. Hilarious and justified, in fact: anyone who dares to sing in front of a camera deserves our scrutiny and scorn. None of this encourages children â€” or their families â€” to participate joyfully in group or individual singing. In the American Idol paradigm, singing is now reserved for those who have a â€œgoodâ€ voice.
I am an imperfect singer who enjoys singing — in a group. For years I was the least talented member of a just-for-fun acappella group. I worked a bit harder than the others to keep up and even took a university extension class called “Singing in Tune for People Who Can’t Sing.” I do not sing solo.