Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Whistling Works

                                                                                                 Julie Kemp Pick

 A student from North Carolina Wesleyan College  just became The 2011 World Whistling Grand Champion. Damariscotta Helm is "the only whistler in the world who performs the 'double whistle' where she is able to whistle 2 different notes simultaneously," according to Wikipedia.

Luke Janssen is a controversial whistling champion who strives "to make whistling cool."  Erik Olsen of The New York Times, reported on Luke's unique style, "Palate whistling involves blowing air over the tongue and below the roof of the mouth to produce a note. In the more conventional style, called pucker whistling, the whistler blows air through his lips to produce sound."  Luke's powerful rendition of Stairway to Heaven  was the only performance that earned a standing ovation.

Another World Whistling Champion is Carole Anne Kaufman. An article from the Monrovia Patch, highlights some of  'The Whistling Diva's' accomplishments. She won first place at the 2008  International Whistling Championship in Japan, and the following year in North Carolina. She spoke about other girls whose relatives discouraged them, "Whistling women and crowing hens always come to some bad ends."  Fortunately, her parents didn't believe in old wives tales. She owns her own hair salon and often whistles while she works on clients.

As a frustrated whistler who could warble everything from The Andy Griffith theme, to a Phantom Of The Opera medley, I would love to go to the convention in Louisburg, NC; home of the International Whistlers Museum. Maybe there's a special senior section that I could aspire to participate in one day. At least, I wouldn't have to worry about remembering the words.       

A to Z Blogging Challenge


  1. A good W word alas I can't whistle, bur enjoyed your post.


  2. Great post...I am a BIG whistling fan.

  3. It didn't figure out how to whistle until college. Now I do it all the time.

  4. My baby loves track two on Billy Joel's The Stranger CD. He calls it the whistling song - we put it on repeat and he listens to it infinitely until he falls asleep. Too bad I can't whistle him to sleep.

  5. Now I'm totally intrigued by the challenge of the "double whistle"... LOL Thank you for sharing. :)

  6. I have been trying to master the two finger loud whistle for most of my adlt life, but only end up drooling and spitting. It's messy.

  7. I'm rubbish at whistling, so I admire anyone who can do it functionally!

  8. @Yvonne - You have other musical talents!

    @mybabyjohn - Thanks, I like how your grandad taught you how to whistle!

    @Angela - I wish they had a whistling major!

    @Tonja - I'll have to listen to that one again. It's cute that your baby already has good taste in music!

    @Jeffrey - You could google Damariscotta & Luke to hear it for yourself when you finally have some free time!

    @Sara - That's something you should probably practice in the shower!

    @Talli - I tried whistling in the mirror once, and it wasn't my best look.

  9. i too am a frustrated whistler. I can't whistle to save my life. To be able to whistle 2 notes is just incredible!

  10. That's awesome! I had no idea whistling was so intense :) Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  11. Neat post. I can't imagine whistling two notes at the same time. Used to try to do "Moonlight Sonata" though, by whistling one part and humming the other. Let's just say I made a joyful noise.

  12. @Nutschell - Thanks, I thought it was pretty amazing too!

    @Sarah Allen - Thanks for visiting me and I will do the same!

    @Susan - We seem to be talking a lot about joyful noises lately!

  13. Wow, 2 different notes at the same time. My whistling consists of one note period. That's it just the one sound, I'm not even sure it counts as whistling. Your whistling skills also sound pretty impressive.

  14. Spenc, I'm sure you have many other skills. It was fun finding female world champion whistlers, because most people think of guys whistling around the fishing hole. My whistling expressions might scare the fish away.

  15. Who knew there were whistling championships. And two notes at the same time - that is pretty amazing. Great W.