I hear it ALL the time - "I don't have a good voice." "You don't want to hear me sing." "My kids run away screaming if I sing to them." "I've never been able to sing." "I am scared to sing in front of people." "I always sing when I'm alone, but never where anyone can hear me." "I love singing loud... as long as I'm in my car." "My parents told me I was too loud when I was a kid." "My parents tell me to be quiet." "My family thinks I have a terrible voice." "I WISH I could sing." "I WISH I was a singer." "I WISH I had a good voice... but I don't." And the one that drives me the most insane... "I CAN'T SING"
If you know me, then you know that I believe that ANYONE and EVERYONE can and should sing. I didn't start singing until I was in my early 20's. I had no idea what I was doing. My mom also told me that I had a terrible voice and I should stick to dancing. She didn't mean to be horrible, but when you tell someone that they can't and shouldn't sing, that's what you are doing - you're being horrible, and insecure, and worried, and uneducated. I heard "you have a terrible voice" my whole childhood. But guess what? I don't. I have made a pretty decent career with my voice. And I actually have a solid instrument as a singer.
The difference between you and me is I went for it in spite of hearing that I shouldn't. When I started singing I knew I had a lot to learn and I kept trying and eventually I learned enough that I was a "good singer." Now I teach people that they are also "good singers." Everyone can be a good singer. It's mostly about having the confidence to try. The rest is simply physical logistics.
There is no really mystery to it - if you can talk, you can sing. It's plain and simple. There are things to learn about it that help you have control, help you relax, help you figure out what you are doing that makes this sound or that sound... it's like ANYTHING. If you decided to learn Spanish, would you just start speaking Spanish? No. You would have to start slow and figure out the details along the way. Singing is just like that.
So come sing with us. Try our Public (Rock) Choir out. You won't die. We already love your voice, no matter HOW much you think we don't - we even have a "Cat Scratch Alto Section" for those singers who want to try high harmonies but are worried that they will sound screechy. How will you learn if you never open your mouth and try? Sometimes they get it right and sound awesome, sometimes they sound like cats. It's all good. We have fun and we laugh a lot. That's the end goal. Singing feels good and it serves a fundamental biological purpose. Life is too short to worry about being perfect all time. Don't deny yourself of the joy of your own voice because someone, sometime, somewhere, for some reason told you that you sounded bad. They were wrong. You're awesome.
I encourage you to sing your face off - everyday. Let the world know you are a singer... because I said so, and because you are.