Are we born with musical talent, or do we develop it? How can one explain the vast differences in musical ability? Let’s just dig in to some more realities:
Primitive musicality is, without question, built into our DNA
Two-day old infants show a preference for some music over others
Nearly all infants babble with melody
At 1, children can often match pitch
At 1 1/2, children engage in spontaneous song
At 2 1/2, children show extended awareness of songs by others
While these early developments can be influenced by outside events, they clearly unfold according to a genetic blueprint. However, we cannot say the same for the next phase of development:-
Musical development continues beyond the age of 7
Absolute (“perfect”) pitch is not a genetic accident or random occurrence, but is developed in young childhood under specific external conditions
Then, to take it to the next level, aspiring musicians need true instructions and a working ethics:-
Advanced musicianship requires methodical training and “deliberate practice”
Talent proves of no avail in the absence of thousands of hours of practice
The very best professional musicians practice the most and the smartest Top musicians consistently require time and practice to achieve the height of their virtuoso skill-level
Among student musicians, the best ones also practice more than the next-best
Musical training physically alters the brain. Accomplished musicians have key differences in their brains — not from birth but as a direct result of training.
Can anyone be a great musician? There are all kinds of limitations. Some are severely physically disabled, others intellectually disabled. Others don’t have the childhood resources of encouragement and training. Others never develop the intense desire, for whatever reason. There are lots of obstacles out there. The point that shines through is that we need to sweep aside this old notion that most people simply don’t have IT. The IT — the greatness — is something you acquire, not something you are given or are not given. Some may face too many obstacles to acquire IT but few are born with limitations so severe that the acquisition is inherently impossible.
Do you agree?