Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life” as Want to Read:
Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  327 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
“My mother prophesied years ago that my voice would take me places. She was certain that there was a reason I was able to sing. I am still discovering what that reason is, what it is that God wants to happen.”
–CLAY AIKEN, from Learning to Sing

When he was a kid singing in his church choir, Clay Aiken never dreamed of becoming a pop music star. His ambition was to be a teach
Audio, 0 pages
Published November 8th 2004 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Learning to Sing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Learning to Sing

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Christine Antonios
As everyone knows I have been a, what I’d call, committed Claymate for over a year and a half now and there are very few facts out there about Clay that I do not know. I would go so far as to tell you that I could have written that book for him with all of the facts in place, but I could never have imagined the reality behind it the way Clay portrays it.

Clay Aiken: American Idol Runner-up, multi-platinum artist, former teacher and counselor of autistic students, rough childhood, and dorky appea
Mar 12, 2010 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis: This book is about American Idol’s Season 2 runner-up, Clay Aiken. This is an “inspirational memoir” in which he talks about growing up in South Carolina, his friends back home, and what it was like to be on American Idol.

Audience: Teen+ (mainly females) and woman age 30-40
Purpose: Inform/Entertain
Medium: Book
Genre of setting: Nonfiction
Genre of style: Tragedy/Idealism
Genre of plot: Memoir

Criticism: I rated this book the way I did because I don’t think many young chi
Apr 08, 2009 Emily rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't think of many positive things to say about this book. It really seemed like an outlet for Clay to trash anyone who he had ever felt wronged by-pretty immature, to say the least. While airing his family's and friends' dirty laundry made for some interesting and juicy tidbits, it felt like reading petty gossip most of the time.

I was especially disturbed by the way he discussed some members of his family. Case in point, the aunt who made some comment about him becoming gay by being on Elle
Ellen Cohen
Mar 20, 2013 Ellen Cohen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this book should put the naysayers of Clay Aiken at rest unless that is, they have no soul because to read this book is to read the life of a man who has been through hard times (the teasing I can relate to, I too was a "geek"), has had anything and everything thrown at him and perservered despite all of that. He shows us that with extreme devotion to everything that is important to him and also being accountable for his flaws and faults he can still rise up and be the man that God intende ...more
Greg Z
May 03, 2016 Greg Z rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Why would an American Idol runner-up feel he had the qualifications to run for a political office (which he lost)? Wrong question, as it turns out. The right one: Why would a young man, right out of high school and enjoying his teaching job with special needs students, try out for American Idol? True, he had a lifetime of performing/singing, and seems to have gone after A.I. on a lark, a dare from a friend. So he spent five years in L.A. and then moved back to the Raleigh, NC area. I accidently ...more
Jan 12, 2012 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We all know Clay Aiken from Season 2 of the American Idol. That was the first season of American Idol that I had the pleasure of watching, I was a fan and was rooting for him to win. Though he didn't, I was glad to know he would release an album (I loved Measure of A Man) and so when I saw this book, I was pretty excited to get into it as soon as I got home. He spoke a lot about his family in this one, about his faith in Jesus and his views on his life after much fame from his success. Clay stri ...more
Although I would have liked many more details about the American Idol experience, I enjoyed this inspirational memoir. I appreciate Clay's passion for teaching and everything he essays to do. This book was published in 2004 so I'm looking forward to his account of the last 10 years and his entry into politics.
I had to read this because I like him so much, but after learning about his life, I really like him. You might too.
This book is everything you would think it would be; it's awfully written but a masterpiece, a relic of its time. It has picture portions, Clay's favorite recipes, and a wonderful ending that states Clay is the most successful person from Idol. Amazing and wonderful.
Nancy Zorn
Jul 10, 2014 Nancy Zorn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I don't have television now; but when Season 2 of American Idol was on the air, I did. My husband and I watched clear through the finale with Clay Aiken and the Velvet Teddybear. I wasn't a Clay Aiken "fan", "Claymate", or anything else for that matter. In fact, I forgot about the guy until Season 5 of The Celebrity Apprentice. He earned my respect by being on that show and making it to the finals. He struck me as a person who did his best to hang tight to his moral compass. I was impressed.

Maggie Burgess
Apr 16, 2013 Maggie Burgess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book! I picked it up, even though I was not a Clay Aiken fan, just because I love reading people's memoirs and stories. I figured as someone who started as a "real" person and found his fame on a reality show, he had to have a decent story. I had never listened to a single one of his songs before this book, but by the time I was done reading, I was probably one of his biggest fans.

I know not everyone has a story like mine, but I found myself completely able to relate to him. He used
It is refreshing to read an autobiographical book that isn't filled with bragging and ego. "Learning to Sing" covers his childhood through two tours.
He was lucky to be born not just with that special, wonderful voice, but to have a mother who loved him, guided him, and supported his dreams.
This book is about their relationship as much as it is about this American Idol.
I like the book's openness, its candor and its lack of Hollywood scandal. It is proof that one can survive fame without alcohol
Oct 05, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not normally into biographies but this was quick and easy to read. I was crying in the first few chapters. It's written like Clay is sitting and talking to you which I enjoyed. If you think you know Clay from don't...but you will learn a lot about him reading this book. If you like him or even if you want you will relate. We are so much alike which is kind of weird because I never thought we would be. Life happens to all of us and makes us who we are. I'm glad I picked this one up.
Jun 04, 2012 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As corny as this seems, I really enjoyed this book. At the time I read it, I was a huge "Claymate", and I remember reading it in a day or so. Clay had such a way of speaking that I could feel all of emotions he felt. It was nice to see a "normal guy" make his way through some crappiness and succeed. I honestly don't know if I read it as a non-fan if I would still like it, but I definitely loved it then.
Nov 01, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Claymates of course
Also was a major Claymate a few years back and loved reading about Clay's life. I was actually was reading this book and had in with me when I went to the Rose Parade the year Clay was in it. I didn't know he was going to be in it, and when I saw him ride by on the Ronald McDonald House float, I chased him down the street and actually jumped up next to him on the float! Needless to say I was instructed to get down immediately, but I got a nice picture of him anyway!
Jan 27, 2011 Primadonna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, so I'm a Clay fan. I could identify with him many years ago when he said he was a nerd and some bullied him. Things like that.

He had a rough childhood, but his voice (and his mom) kept him steady. This book is full of gems and inspirations, and I wish to Clay, wherever he is right now, tremendous happiness. May he never lose his faith to help others.
Keli Wright
This book was written back before Clay came out of the that is why I gave it two stars. Clay was a grown adult and talking all about being a role model.. yet he was in the closet... I am glad that he is out now.. I read this while on vacation and left it in Nashville for someone else to read.
Dec 25, 2007 Sahar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to be a hardcore "Claymate," so naturally, I love this book. It's an autobiography and what a life Clay had. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you love love love him.
Oct 11, 2012 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall the book was alright. It gave some interesting information on Clay Aiken but, as with most "autobiographical" books on individuals far too young to pen an autobiography, it was deep in all the wrong places. I'm glad that I've read the book because I enjoy the performer.
May 07, 2008 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone.
This book is amazing! Clay has overcome so much in his life and everything has made him who he is. He has such a great outlook on life and never thinks negitive. This book is a great uplift and everyone should read it.
Feb 17, 2009 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written before he came out as gay. Small amt of American Idol references, book was really about his early life. Very frank, a little choppy, but easy to read. I'm not that familiar with his singing but would like to hear more after reading his book.
Jul 28, 2008 shalla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fantastic! Clay shows us into his life, and what brought him to where he is today, and the lessons that he has learned.
Aug 03, 2007 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hey! What's not to like about Clay Aiken?
Oct 01, 2009 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in like two days. I love Clay, and I loved hearing his story even more.
Jun 29, 2012 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have loved Clay Aiken since he was on IDOL a few years back! This books is really great if you want to learn about him....I recently re-read it again and enjoyed it.
Aug 08, 2014 Carrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Enjoyed learning about one of my favorite American Idol contestants.
Justin Castillo
Mar 22, 2015 Justin Castillo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pleasant, pure and heartfelt.
Jan 19, 2016 SouthWestZippy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and easy to read book.
Mar 08, 2008 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a big Clay fan. Even bigger after I read the book.
Apr 25, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definite read for any Clay Aiken fan.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Out of Sync: A Memoir
  • Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson
  • Last Flight Out: True Tales of Adventure, Travel, and Fishing
  • Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power
  • Welcome Home: Travels in Smalltown Canada
  • Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care
  • James Dean: Little Boy Lost - An Intimate Biography
  • How I Got This Way
  • Chicken Soup for the Nature Lover's Soul: Inspiring Stories of Joy, Insight and Adventure in the Great Outdoors
  • Running for My Life: My Journey in the Game of Football and Beyond
  • Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! A Hot Lap Around America with Nascar
  • Miss Manners' Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding
  • In the Heights: The Complete Book and Lyrics
  • On Good Land: The Autobiography of an Urban Farm
  • Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South
  • The Right Words at the Right Time
  • His Name is Ron: Our Search for Justice
  • The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath
Clayton Holmes "Clay" Aiken, né Grissom, is an American pop singer who began his rise to fame on the second season of the television program American Idol in 2003. RCA Records offered him a recording contract, and his multi-platinum debut album Measure of a Man was released in October 2003. He released four more albums on the RCA label: Merry Christmas with Love, A Thousand Different Ways, and the ...more
More about Clay Aiken...

Share This Book

“The only reason people go to bars is to get drunk and have sex. To me, bars are what hell is like.” 6 likes
“I never want to produce anything that a family could not enjoy together. I never want to create art that would embarrass my own children later.” 4 likes
More quotes…