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The Star-Spangled Banner



Michael Dean, chair of the Department of Music and director of vocal studies at UCLA, has trained various talent on how to sing the national anthem, from opera and pop singers to amateur vocalists.

The song is difficult, even for the most trained singer, he said, because it calls for an enormous vocal range, including the ability to sing a vowel on the highest note of the piece -- on "free" -- which physically strains the throat.

I found this info on ABC News while studying 'The United States' on July 4th. They mentioned the American national anthem, 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'


Being number one has its downsides. Many crave the top spot, and some openly or secretly wish for the downfall of the first-ranked person. There are plenty of onlookers who enjoy seeing performers stumble and make mistakes, finding entertainment in their misfortune. Then there are the ungrateful critics, aiming to tear down the first-ranked individual.


But the biggest tragedy is when the top-ranked individual tears themselves apart with harsh self-judgment, let alone the criticisms from others.


My beloved United States of America,


Let's stop making this tragic mistake! You deserve better!


Think about it: Who discovered electricity? Who invented the telephone? Who influenced global opinion on India's British rule, playing a key role in the country's freedom struggle? Who challenged their own government and succeeded? Whose constitution is still considered the best ever written?


And let's not forget the cultural impact of creations like 'Harry Potter' (the movies) or the importance of Google in our daily lives. The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, hails from a South Indian state, just like me.


In my years of living, working, and traveling across Asia, Europe, and North America, I've only seen someone like Sundar Pichai rise to such heights in the United States. Despite its flaws, the U.S. has been a global thought leader and visionary.


But being self-critical is important, America!


Do we really need to lean on others instead of addressing our own mistakes? Do we need to burden ourselves with guilt instead of joyfully building upon our strengths? Must we join the chorus of thankless critics instead of appreciating our accomplishments?


Let's not forget to be grateful for what our forefathers and foremothers have done to build this nation. Let's stop tearing ourselves down and start building each other up with love and honest effort.


America, recognize your contributions and heed my plea!


The greatest tragedy of all is when the top-ranked soul tears itself apart with self-judgment.

Stop being the one who makes this tragic mistake, my dearest United States of America! You deserve more!


I believe 'The Star-Spangled Banner' is challenging to sing because it symbolizes the hard work it takes to build a nation like ours. So, on this day of your freedom, I wish for your rebirth as a truly free soul.


Yours sincerely,

KAMARAJ KALYANASUNDARAM

July 4, 2020

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