I remember being told that I could not sing. It involved a hairy mat that we children had been told to sit on, and an insensitive teacher telling us we would do other things than sing in the school play. From that moment I believed I could not sing. This translated into a belief among the adults in my life that I was "tone deaf." The music teacher who insisted nobody was tone deaf and then said he had just met the one person who was did not help. Nor did the musical friend who constantly dug me in the ribs telling me I was off key. My salvation came in the form of gospel music. You have to sing loudly and forget yourself as everyone around you is belting out their own noise. People started to tell me that I was in tune. My childhood experiences had knocked not my voice, but my confidence, which in turn had affected my voice. I now am a soprano and can sing in tune. Should a child ever be told they cannot sing? I know my answer to that. I wish the adults around me had.