This is an extremely subtle, yet incredibly damaging thing that happens to many, many children.
When this comes up amongst teachers we are working with, it often brings tears and real pain and much time to resolve and rediscover a new truth.
What are we talking about?
“Oh his brother’s the musical one” “You inherited your dad’s terrible sense of timing!” “The drones sit in the back at choir please” “At least you’re enthusiastic!” “She didn’t get the family music genes” “Best stick to sports”
Does anybody this sound familiar at all?
We tell many children, from a young age, that they don’t have this elusive “musicality”.
We make it clear to them that others are more talented, more “musical” and it deeply affects some.
Believing oneself not to be “musical” is how many lose the ability to keep time and sing in tune. If we genuinely believe we can’t – we lose the ability to tune in, to try, to know some music is hard and takes practise. That doesn’t mean we can’t do it. We stop allowing ourselves to join in and get a better ear for it, because it isn’t a space that belongs to us.
Music belongs to everyone.
It is part of being human and our job as parents who want to nurture this in them is to let them know – YES you ARE musical, YES you can sing no matter how it might sound (sometimes it takes practise!) YES you have potential and YES you belong here.
And for anyone who’s been told they aren’t musical – it’s in you, it can be reclaimed and you belong.