This is a question that plagues many people: musicians and non-musicians alike!

It only takes one comment from a teacher or a parent to make a young musical-wannabe have doubts for years to come as to whether they really are “musical” or not.

Am I musical?

Did someone ever tell you you “can’t sing”? Or that you’re “tone deaf“? If so, you may be left feeling like the world of music is off limits to you.

(Spoiler alert: It isn’t!)

Or perhaps you are a musician, learning an instrument or writing songs, but you look at other musicians and wonder why it all comes so easily to them, while you’re left working hard to achieve any improvement…

Either way, many people wonder whether they truly are “musical” or if they’re just fooling themselves.

The truth is this: we are all musical.

And that’s not just feel-good reassurance: it’s a biological fact.Our musical skills may come out more naturally for some of us than others, and you may not have had as much musical training as you need to truly feel like a musician yet… but that can be fixed!

Are musicians born or made?

We are all born with some natural instinct for musical. From a baby’s heartbeat and response to their mother’s voice, our senses of pitch and rhythm are core to what makes us human. Developing these senses to be able to express ourselves through music is just a process of refining what’s already within us.

Ear training is a powerful way to develop these natural talents. By putting to one side the physical mastery of an instrument and focusing solely on our ears and our understanding of what we hear, we can hone these inner musical senses and become more “naturally musical” – even without touching an instrument or playing a note!

How you can become more musical

In fact, strange as it may sound, it is these listening skills which can most effectively make you feel more “musical”. It’s impressive to play scales at break-neck speed, and run through a piano concerto note-perfect. But these kinds of physical skill can actually be very un-musical when they’re not backed by the inner musicianship developed through ear training.

You would be astonished just how many apparently proficient musicians (with all the exam certificates to prove it) still feel unmusical, and lack the confidence to really enjoy playing music. It’s because they have neglected the listening side of learning music, and so don’t truly understand what they play. And without understanding it, they can’t hope to adjust it or make it their own.

So how can you become more musical? It’s not down to endless repetition of scales and repertoire. And it isn’t by studying pure music theory. It’s by developing your musical instinct and understanding, through ear training.

Of course, at its best, ear training integrates with music theory and instrument practice, and that’s how you can become a truly well-rounded musician.

But if you’re feel unmusical, and wishing you could be a “natural”… the chances are it’s the ear training side of things which you’re missing out on. And it’s never too late to fix that!

Similar questions answered on this page:

  • How can you tell if you’re musical?
  • Can you learn to be more musical?
  • Does ear training make you a natural musician?

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