What can you do when you can't sing? or don't sing? or wish you didn't have to sing and the text is a musical line.
This - very simply: pay attention to the reciting note and tune your reading voice to the tone of the text. For Isaiah 49, this morning's lesson, it is quite feasible to hear this even if you are tone deaf. I did it this morning. I no longer feel like singing tenor so I simply read the text - and even in a translation I am not very happy with (and I only changed a gloss or two on the fly).
See the music below. The a part of the verse is prior to the // the b is after it - scroll as you read or open the music on a separate page.
Verse - 1a begins with a single upbeat to the high C, the note in the third space counting from the bottom of the staff. High C is a reciting note that can be declarative.
1b begins on the rest note - the A - this is a note that should summon up a calm and secure voice - think Sabbath.
Verse 2a has a declarative beginning similar to verse 1a.
Note where the // is in the music, It appears wherever there is a mid verse rest.
Being set as an arrow, pure and hidden - is lower, again beginning on the rest note.
Verse 3 never reaches higher than the rest note - 3a is matter of fact, 3b is again securely reciting on the rest note.
Verse 4a is again declarative and disturbed, but 4b on the rest note again expresses the confidence of faith.
Verse 5a - change of speaker - recites on the B then the C, then back to B and back to C. I would put this in the confident determination category. And the glorification in verse 5b is again beginning on the rest note.
Verse 6a has a recitation on the low e and f - a subdued voice is suitable in this case. Again verse 6b begins on the secure rest note.
Verse 7a like verse 6a is in the lower register - not raising its voice in the street - but later it declares the despising and the abhorring on the C and the B.
Note that 7b is the only verse to have a very limited recitation after the // on the A, an upbeat only. It concludes the reading.
The reading was successful - several people commented without prodding. The music guides tone of voice if you feel that the actual singing is too complex to execute (and at my age and grogginess, I certainly understand that feeling).