Music is a widely appreciated artform, and an important feature in many of our daily lives. It can connect people to themselves and others, provides the perfect soundtrack for any situation, while also providing an emotional outlet for listeners and creators alike. Through music, we encounter a wide spectrum of different feelings and experiences, which can help us process our own.
Many music lovers have a deep enough interest to make the leap from listener to musician. But there are others who, though they would love to make music, hold themselves back. They might say: “I would love to learn an instrument, but I’m just not musical,” or “I want to write songs, but I just don’t have what it takes.”
I believe we are all capable of making music. As Christopher Small writes in his book Musicking: “...I am certain, first, that to take part in a music act is of central importance to our very humanness, as important as taking part in the act of speech… and second, that everyone, every normally endowed human being, is born with the gift of music no less than with the gift of speech.”
Though different people do have varying degrees of natural musicality—meaning some will take to it quicker than others—where we fall on the musical spectrum shouldn’t be what determines whether or not we make music. Having genuine appreciation for it and wanting to be an active participant is enough reason to make it a part of our lives.
What matters more than any inborn talent is a person’s level of curiosity and commitment. Music is a discipline, an art, and a craft, just like any other. The skills needed to make music don’t develop out of thin air; they have to be developed. Anyone willing to put in the time and effort to cultivate their musicianship and artistry will be able to create their own musical life.
Music is a beautiful and enriching part of the human experience. By learning an instrument, or how to sing, or by writing songs, you connect to music on a deeper level. If you’re interested in music, but have doubts about whether or not you’ll be able to do it, remember there is nothing inherent in you preventing you from making it happen. If you’re curious, patient, and do the work, it can become a meaningful part of your life.