Until today, I had no idea there was such a thing as National Karaoke Week…

If you’ve been reading my posts here on PopRockNation, you might know that I really enjoy karaoke. It’s not just because I enjoy singing, though. It’s because when it’s done right, karaoke can be a lot of fun and a great way to meet people who love music. Sure, people tend to do karaoke in bars, where there’s a lot of drinking and, depending on the place, things can get kind of sketchy. But karaoke can also be a fun, wholesome activity. Why, minus the booze, even kids can do it!

Karaoke can be a fun way to be exposed to new music and bond with friends. It can also make for a great dare. It’s said that many people have a fear of public speaking. I’m willing to bet that even more people are afraid to sing in public. But if you manage to do it and the crowd is friendly and encouraging, it can be an excellent way to get a totally natural adrenaline rush. My poor husband, Bill, is not a singer, but I managed to get him to perform “Detachable Penis” by King Missile in front of a bunch of his peers. He still loves me, anyway! That song, by the way, is perfect for people who don’t sing and have no issues saying the word “penis” in public.

The first time I ever sang karaoke was when I was in college. It was sometime in the early 1990s, when a good friend and I stumbled into Sunny’s Cafe and Bar in Farmville, Virginia. They had karaoke every Thursday night. There was a one dollar cover charge. I was too young to drink alcohol. That didn’t stop me, of course. I just imbibed before my arrival. My friend Chris and I sort of became regulars and it was a fun way to blow off steam on Thursday nights. To this day, Thursday still has sort of a party mystique at my house. It’s probably a good thing I don’t have any kids.

These days, I don’t get to do much karaoke in bars anymore. But I can still celebrate National Karaoke Week this fourth week of April, 2013. In fact, I can celebrate all month, since SingSnap.com just announced a contest they’re having to celebrate National Karaoke Week for the rest of April.

They’re throwing a contest that anyone who is a member of SingSnap can enter. There are several prizes; the grand prize is a lifetime gold membership to SingSnap.com. Given that SingSnap currently charges $80 per year and $15 per month of unlimited storage of recordings and unlimited access to its song catalog, a lifetime gold membership is a pretty good deal. You don’t have to be a great singer to enter, either. They’re looking for creativity and people who can make a song their very own.

I’m not sure if I will take part in this particular contest. I’m a bit camera shy, and I have a feeling SingSnap’s contest will require that I make a video that actually shows me singing on camera! That will require me to get dressed up and– horrors!– wear makeup! And God forbid if I have to dance, too! I don’t mind singing in public if I don’t have to watch the end result on camera. But if you’re a karaoke fan and feel like celebrating, by all means join in the fun! SingSnap.com is free to join, though if you want access to all the songs on the site, you’ll want to get a gold membership.

As for me, all this karaoke on SingSnap has inspired me to experiment with Garage Band, an Apple program I’ve had on my Mac since I bought it in October 2010, but have only just now started to play with. I recorded a couple of songs yesterday and made videos to go with them… neither of which show me on camera! I don’t know if I’ll ever use these new media skills for anything but personal enjoyment, but it’s always fun to learn new things!