Many people – I’m one of them – don’t like to hear themselves in video or audio recordings. There are all kinds of possible reasons for this; one popular theory states that our voice sounds very different to us when it’s not carried to our ears through bone conduction. Whatever the reason, I usually cringe when I hear myself speaking or singing on a recording, even though I’ve gotten used to it over the years.
But some people rarely or never get the chance to hear themselves like this. That’s one of the things that makes us so excited about the recording projects we’re working on this year.
The children’s choir from the Galakticka Roma School in Kosice (see photo above) is participating in the project with us. During the first recording session, the children were visibly nervous in front of the microphones. After a full hour of hard work, they needed a break. Their pent-up energy exploded in childish laughter, horseplay and silliness.
The director asked to hear what we’d recorded, so I quickly balanced the voices and instruments so she could get a rough idea of how the song sounded. She listened with a critical ear, and immediately started pointing out the problems – a missed entrance here, a wrong note there.
But after the first few measures I realized how quiet the room had gotten… the children, who’d been playing and “getting the wiggles out” so loudly just a few moments before, were suddenly standing in a crowd around us, wide-eyed and listening.
“Is that really us?” one of the boys asked. I nodded and smiled.
“It’s pretty good, huh?” he asked.
“It sounds awesome!” I told him.
After that quick listening session, we noticed the kids stood a little straighter and sang a little more confidently. They were excited about being able, someday soon, to let their parents and friends hear the recordings too.
It’s amazing to see the confidence and energy that can come from knowing we’ve done something we can be proud of. From time to time we all find ourselves doing important work that few people will notice. Our voices go unheard by many, and we wonder if anyone is listening. But God hears, and one day we will hear his loving, “well done.”
In the meantime, let’s you and I find those unheard voices around us – let’s encourage and lift up those who need to know just how loved and talented they are!