When I was younger, I used to be embarrassed for having a high-pitched voice. I hit puberty very late and I remember people even asking me when my balls would drop.
How fucking sad and hilarious.
I joined choir in elementary school because it seemed fun and everyone else was doing it. I mean seriously? A class that allows you to get out from doing homework to sing in unison? Who wouldn't join choir?
I remember just being very happy and having the best instructor in the world. She encouraged everyone to sing their hearts out and it made feel alive. It sucked standing on the bleachers during most of the class, though. We all sang Beatles songs and would dress up. No one was put down for having a higher voice or singing their souls out.
Then came middle school. I wasn't sure about joining middle school choir because I heard it was a lot more competitive. But I decided to do so because my sister did and she said the instructor was amazing, like our last.
The first day of middle school, we were separated into three groups. Tenor, tenor-bass, and bass. I was so scared. In groups, we went back to sing. Our teacher gave us our label, by listening to the pitch of our voices. I remember secretly trying to sing in a deeper voice to be put into bass. I was put into tenor-bass, I was fine with this because it wasn't tenor.
I had to google what groups males were divided in middle school because I forgot.
But I came across this post. A middle school teacher explains how he calls the boys with high voices "Tenor 1", rather than altos—which is what they are. I came across another study explaining much more about a boy's integration into middle school choir and the struggles of puberty and masculinity. Sad and interesting.
In elementary and middle school, I always hated my high voice. I thought it was the reason boys made fun of me. I thought it made me less attractive and less masculine. I craved to be older and I waited on puberty every day.
In secrecy, I would do things like buy the Ella Enchanted soundtrack on CD and sing my heart out to Anne Hathaway's version of Somebody to Love. I remember feeling so special to sing that long and high note that she did.
I wish I could do that now.