Sunday, August 28, 2011

Putting the hours in – are singers born or made?

I had a girlfriend who believed that we are all capable of anything if we just put enough effort in.

singing practice

Photo by _foam

She believed that if you fail at something or are not very good at it, then you just don’t want it that much.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers: The Story of Success claims that there is no such thing as a “self-made man”. Instead, the years spent intensively focused on their area of expertise place the world’s most successful people above their peers.

Gladwell says that if you want to excel at anything, you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice.

Many people think they can’t sing. Often they mean that they can’t sing ‘beautifully’ or as well as a professional or like an opera singer.

But everyone can sing. For some it comes easy, others need to practice and some even take singing lessons.

Not everyone sings in the same way or as well as each other, but they can sing nevertheless.

But do you need to put in 10,000 hours? Depends on what you want out of it I guess.

If you spend 10,000 hours practising, will you be as good as any professional out there? I doubt it.

Are there people who will never be able to hold a tune even if they work at it for 10,000 hours?

Can some people sing well right off the bat, or do they all need to practice for 10,000 hours? Does a ‘natural’ born singer have more talent than someone who’s had to work at it?

What do you think? Do leave a comment.

“For 37 years I’ve practiced 14 hours a day, and now they call me a genius.” – Pablo de Sarasate, Violin Virtuoso


Chris Rowbury's website:

Chris Rowbury


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