In many cultures around the world, everyone sings. The children are brought up singing.
It is a part of their culture. In these cultures, the idea of tone deafness doesn't
exist. It is a common misconception here in the United States that not everyone can
learn to sing. I'm not sure where this fallacy first started, but it is absolutely
All you need is the proper training and a desire. Time and time again, I have seen
a student who has a strong desire to learn to sing pass up a student who has a natural
gift for singing. I have even witnessed students with disabilities (both mental and
physical) who have learned to sing. Granted, some disabilities are severe enough
to prevent a student from learning to sing, but for everyone else it is simply a
matter of training and desire. (A great example is Jamie Gibson. Visit http://www.jamiehartley.net
for an inspiring story about overcoming a disability to be able to sing. I have one
of her CDs and have heard her sing. She is truly inspirational.)
If you think you can't, you're right. It's called "self-fulfilling prophecy." A positive
attitude is important for learning any new skill. Singing is no different. You have
to believe you can and have the humility to learn. Not everyone will learn at the
same speed. Patience is also necessary. Adults who come to voice may be ahead in
some areas, but have to unlearn bad habits. That's why it is important to start when
you are young.
That doesn't mean you should give up if you are an adult. I came to voice as an adult.
I had an average range and an average voice. I had been told once at an audition
for a musical that I was off key the entire song. Within four years of private voice
lessons, I had a singer's voice, a five octave range, and a trained ear that heard
things I had never heard.
Dr. Jean Houston of the Foundation For Mind Research says that children without access to an arts program are actually damaging their brain because they are not using non-verbal modalities which help them learn skills like reading, writing, and math much more easily [Roehmann, Franz L. & Wilson, Frank R (1988). The Biology of Music Making: Proceedings of The 1984 Denver conference. St. Louis; MMD Music Inc.] Neurologist Amit Ray of Max Healthcare says, music “helps neurons communicate better, enhances motor skills and reduces hyperactivity,” (IBNLive: For kids, music is therapy. www.ibnlive.com). To learn more about how music develops your brain click here.