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What is Karaoke?   

Karaoke has become a favorite amongst all age groups ,although the ones that may know the least about it are the seniors. Yet in a sense they know more about it then the younger ones. Years ago this golden age group, were in the habit of getting to together at a party or a club and singing all the old war songs and songs they grew up with. The only thing really missing was the machine.

With the birth of karaoke came the birth of a lot of self confidence. People that normally would be too shy to get up and sing before a crowd, seem to find it much easier if others are going to do it as well.

Karaoke was founded in Japan. There's a story going around that a bar owner had hired some entertainment that didn't show us. So out of desperation he put on some tapes and asked in anyone wanted to sing. As the story goes, the night was a great success and thus the birth of this great pass time. The people of Japan particularly enjoy doing hit songs from the Beatles and Elvis. They have adapted quite a liking for western music. This is a real bonus for foreign exchange students. In addition it is a wonderful aid for brushing up the English skills.

In the very beginning it was rather a simple system. One would simply put a tape on and someone would sing along with it. Then it moved up onto videos with graphics. Finally now the more sophisticated version is the karaoke machine that consists of a mike and a television screen to follow along the song with. Much like when we were kids and would see a song on television and sing along by following the bouncing ball.

An interesting problem that had to be worked out in Japan was the noise factor. The houses are situated very close together in that country, so an individual singing at the top of his lungs could be quite a distraction for the neighbors, no matter how good the singer was. To solve that problem they invented the karaoke box. In fact the first boxes were railway cars that manage to contain the music quite nicely.

Karaoke seems to be a real ice breaker. Where people may not normally socialize with each other. it appears an individual getting up and singing opens the way to conversation. Often a person is congratulated on how well they done when they come off stage, and a conversation may begin.

Its is an excellent tool to build confidence in children. Most children love to sing and will express themselves through song. Some are quite shy however. Having the music to follow seems to give them confidence, as though they are not alone when they are before the audience.