Do you like singing? What kinds of music do you like to sing? Have you ever learnt how to sing? Who do you want to sing for? Is it difficult to sing well?
  • Genre (noun) - a particular subject or style of literature, art, or music.
  • Lyric (plural noun) - the words of a song, especially a pop song.
  • Pop (noun) - modern popular music, usually with a strong beat, created with electrical or electronic equipment, and easy to listen to and remember.
  • In-depth (adj.) - in a serious and detailed way.
  • Folk (noun) - modern music and songs that are written in a style similar to that of traditional music.
  • Tune (noun) - a series of musical notes, especially one that is pleasant and easy to remember.
  • Flow (noun) - the movement of something in one direction.
  • To subject someone/something to something (phrasal verb) - to make someone or something experience an unpleasant or worrying thing.
  • Choir (noun) - a group of people who sing together.
  • Hymn (noun) - a song of praise that Christians sing to God.
  • Chant (noun) - a word or phrase that is repeated many times>
  • Flaw (noun) - a fault, mistake, or weakness, especially one that happens while something is being planned or made, or that causes something not to be perfect.
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Questions and Answers
M: Do you like singing?

R: Listening to it? Yeah. Doing it myself? Only ever in the comfort of my own home. And by myself. I am not good at it. If I sing it's like someone's swinging a bag of cats around. It's a horrible sound.

M: What kinds of music do you like to sing?

R: Oh, anything I know the words or the tune for. I don't think there's a specific genre. Although it's easier for me to remember the lyrics to pop songs, for example.

M: Have you ever learned how to sing?

R: I think we had some lessons in school, but they weren't particularly advanced or in-depth. We learned some hymns and some folk songs to accompany traditional music. Some students had private lessons, of course, but not me.

M: Who do you want to sing for?

R: I mean, ideally, no one. I can't hold a tune or control my breathing to keep a decent flow. And I don't really want to subject anyone to that, to be honest. Maybe if I was part of a choir or singing a hymn or a crowd singing, some kind of chant, then maybe, because then I could hide all of my flaws and disappear in the crowd.

M: Is it difficult to sing well?

R: Well, it's hard for me to do because of all the issues I mentioned before. But if I had appropriate voice coaching, then it might be easier for me.
M: Rory, in which city do people sing a lot of songs?

R: Which one?

M: Singapore.

R: If you're listening to us from Singapore, I apologize. God.

M: Singing, dear listener. So I enjoy singing. Can I say I do singing?

R: You could say I do singing. We definitely don't make it. You make a noise. Or I do. But you do singing or you sing.

M: We sing songs and in the past like, oh, at school I sang songs. If you sing by yourself. So you are alone and you do this don't stop me now. By yourself. Yeah? Alone.

R: Well, you sing by yourself, you sing solo, right?

M: Yes, solo. Yeah. Alone. In the comfort of my own home. So I usually sing by myself alone in the comfort of my own home. So at home.

R: That is not something that is likely to happen.

M: Or I sing while I'm driving a car. Or maybe I enjoy singing while I'm walking in the street. Also, Rory, where do people go to sing? There's a special bar. What do you call this bar?

R: Oh, a karaoke bar.

M: Yeah. How do you pronounce it? Kara what?

R: Karaoke. But I think karaoke is a Japanese word actually.

M: Absolutely. Yeah. Karaoke, dear listener. Sing karaoke. You can say sometimes I enjoy singing karaoke. Karaoke or karaoke. A form of entertainment originally from Japan. Or you can say that I have a poor singing voice. Or I have a beautiful singing voice. Yeah? Rory told us that when he sings, it's like, like what?

R: It's like swinging a bag of cats around and I'm sure I've used this before.

M: Imagine I have like a bag, I put cats in the bag, and then I go like this. So I swing this bag full of cats. And what will cats do? They... They will make horrible sounds. So when Rory sings, it's like someone is swinging a bag of cats. Is it an idiom, Rory?

R: It's a metaphor. Because that's what it sounds like.

M: Could you give us a sentence with a bag of cats?

R: When untrained people sing, sometimes it's like they're swinging a bag of cats around.

M: Yep. Kinds of music or genres. Dear listener, also we call them styles of music. Rory told us about pop songs. So it's easier for me to remember the lyrics. We don't usually say the words, use the word lyrics. So I remember the lyrics of pop songs more easily. Yeah? I can remember the lyrics, and the words of pop songs. What is a tune? So I know the words, I know the lyrics, and I know the tune for a song.

R: So a tune is a sound that, well, I can't think of another word. The tune is a sound that characterizes a piece of music. So it's the music that's playing while a specific song is on. I cannot give an example without breaking copyright. I'm sorry.
M: So I sing anything if I know the lyrics, and if I know the tune for this particular song. In terms of genres, and styles, I prefer pop songs. You can say that, well, dear examiner, I actually enjoy extreme death metal.

R: Do you enjoy extreme death metal?

M: Oh my gosh, no. Yesterday, I listened to a couple of, no, seconds of extreme death metal. And...

R: I think most people like pop songs. In fact, I think that might be why they're called pop songs, to be honest with you.

M: Yeah, jazz music, for example. Rock is pretty popular.

R: Yeah, R&B, rhythm and blues.

M: I learned how to sing at school. You can say I had singing training, or I had musical training at school or I didn't. Yeah? Rory told us about music lessons at school or singing lessons, which were not advanced and they were not in-depth.

R: That just means that they did not cover a lot in the lessons. It was just like, this is how you play this note, or this is how you do this thing. It is possible that they did more, but I was a child. And it's a long time ago. So I don't remember that much.

M: I sang hymns.

R: Hymns are religious songs, usually Christian ones, although there are other religions that have hymns as well.

M: Ooh, what about like every country has its own...

R: Oh, yes, a national anthem. We don't have a national anthem in our country. So we didn't learn that.

M: So you can say that at school I learned hymns, and anthems, and I sang folk songs. Folk is something traditional. How is it going to be in Scotland?

R: Well, that's a good question. Because in different parts of the country, there's different folk culture. So in northern parts of the country, those songs would be Gallic, in other parts it would be traditional Scots music. It really depends on where you are. And probably that's the same in most countries. Folk music tends to change based on the region of the country that you're in.

M: We can sing for other people. And the question is, who do you want to sing for? So I want to sing for my family. Rory doesn't want to sing for anybody, because he can't hold a tune. So to hold a tune.

R: Yes. So to hold a tune is to sing the correct sounds of a piece of music. You can hold a tune or you can carry a tune.

M: Carry a tune. So I can't carry a tune. Or I'm good at singing, dear listener if you're good. I can't control my breathing. Because breathing is important when you sing. And you have to breathe from the diaphragm.

R: Diaphragm. God, there's a fun word to spell.

M: Diaphragm is this thing?

R: Well, you won't be able to see a diaphragm. It's the muscle inside you that... I think it's under your lungs, and it's part of your breathing. So as you breathe in the diaphragm, well, goes down. I think it can tract or expand depending. And then when you breathe out, it forces the air out of your lungs.
M: And I can't keep a decent flow. The flow of, you know, sounds of, I don't know, music, of breath. I can't keep a decent flow. So I don't want anybody to hear my singing So I say, I don't want to subject anyone to my singing. Subject somebody to something. What's a choir?

R: I think a choir is just a group of people that sing songs together. I'm sure it's usually religious songs, but there are nonreligious versions of these kinds of groups.

M: Yeah. Like to sing in a choir, a group of people sing at the same time. You can also say I can't reproduce a note. A note is a certain sound. Yeah? You can also say like I'm tone-deaf. Deaf? I can't kind of distinguish music.

R: Well, a lot of people think that they're tone-deaf, but apparently they're not. They just don't, well, they're just not very good at singing songs. Those are two different things. Tone deafness is a really specific thing, actually. But lots of people say that they have it.

M: Exactly. Yeah, only like it's a rare occasion that a person has this tone-deafness. Yeah, only 5% of people around the world have it. You sing well or you sing badly. Or your singing is horrendous or horrible. But you can have voice coaching, okay? So voice lessons or voice coaching, you can have a voice coach or a voice teacher, right? Or sometimes this person is called a vocal coach.

R: Or you could teach yourself.

M: Also, dear listener, you can mention the technical aspects of singing. Like vocal production. So technical aspects are difficult. Also, body movements to support your singing.

R: What are the technical aspects of vocal production? I don't know any of these.

M: I think technical aspects kind of about the organs, that what do you have to do and how do you have to breathe to produce sounds correctly? Dear listener, if you're interested, could you let us know in the comments? Okay? Like the technique. How to breathe, how to kind of posture your position. Right? How to position your body. And also like what organs inside your throat you need to relax.

R: It's not just your tongue in your vocal cords?

M: Yeah, maybe there are some other organs you have to...

R: I don't know, I'm not a scientist.

M: Your brain.

R: Well, I would have to relax my brain.

M: Also, dear listener, here, the examiner can ask you questions about live concerts. Rory, have you ever been to a live concert?

R: I have, but not for a very long time.

M: So you stayed there for five minutes and then you left?

R: No, no, I haven't been there for a very long time. Although, there are some terrible bands I've seen in bars, so I've just left after that.

M: Dear listener singing is as natural to us as speaking. Okay? Rory is too shy to sing.

R: I'm too terrible to sing.

M: So remember that singing is our universal language. And now the joke. Rory, are you ready?

R: As ready as I will ever be.

M: Okay, brace yourself, brace yourself. Okay, okay. What do cats sing? Music.

R: Oh, wow.

M: Okay. I'm floating around in ecstasy. Don't stop me now.

R: Oh, I'm gonna have to stop you know. Bye!

M: Bye!
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