O.K., these kindergartners at Sts. Leo-Seton in Lafayette think they know how to sing Christmas carols, they haven’t seen anything yet.
“All I want for Christmas is you and you and you,” I sang. My daughter, Sophia---a Musical Theatre major at LSU---offered moral support. “Hey, let’s give him a round of applause.”
So, I told the kindergartners, “I’m gonna’ sing a song, and feel free to let me know what you think, right when you feel it ok? But again, I think I’m the best singer ever.” One of the girls anticipated the questionable performance she was about to witness. “No you’re not!! Boo!!!” I was stunned. “Don’t boo me yet! You haven’t heard me sing!”
I began with my version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. “Santa Claus is coming to your town, your town, your town, your town, too!! How was that?” The reaction from Carley, Carson, Bella, Austin, Karley and Olivia? “Horrible!!” Then came my 20-year old daughter and her angelic voice. “You better watch out, you better not cry. You’d better not pout I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town.” There were cheers, applause. A humbling moment for yours truly.
Then came the first review, this one from Karley. “She was singing better than you because you kept singing other songs because you were combining them and you put ‘em together, and you made a whole different song.”
Next, I felt Jingle Bells should be mixed with the tune to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. A perfect marriage, right? “Jingle bells…had a very shiny nose. Jingle, jingle, jingle.” The critics disagreed with my artistic choice. “Boo… boo !!!” They changed their minds when Sophia reappeared. “Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh.” Another hit. “Yeh, yeh,” the kids said. Bella was even more enthusiastic. “That’s good.”
Carley provided analysis, and was initially kind to me. “It was kinda close but she was really better than you.” Austin agreed. “You’re doing all the parts wrong and also you’re distracting her.”
My next choice was sure to be a hit. No one sings We Wish You A Merry Christmas like I do. “We wish you A Merry, merry Christmas…” Boos. Hisses. But not for Sophia, of course. “We wish you a merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.”
Bella made me feel a bit better. “The middle and the ending part was bad, but the beginning was good.” Well, that gave me hope, at least until Olivia put hammer down. “You’re singing it wrong and you’ve been copying your daughter ‘cuz I see you copying your daughter.”
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer sung to the tune of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town struck out, too. But not, of course, for Miss Musical Theatre. “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, had a very shiny nose. And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows.” Carson said what we all knew. Carson, you see, spoke the cold, hard truth. “She sang all the songs right and you sang all the songs wrong.”
Still, thank you to Ms. Theriot’s class at Sts. Leo-Seton School in Lafayette. We all need constructive criticism, even if it comes from five-and-six year olds. And even if it comes… at Christmas.
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