Can ANYONE Learn to Sing?
When I tell a person that I teach singing for a living, invariably the question that gets asked most often is, “Can ANYONE be taught to sing even if they don’t have a lot of talent?”
In reality. the only thing that can be taught is skill, not talent. If a person is predisposed to a specific talent in life, then any coaching they receive in that field will serve to give them the skills they require to realize that talent to its full potential. If they have little natural talent in their chosen field however, they can still build their skills and improve a great deal.
I have noticed that people who have a large, natural capacity for singing often exhibit a laziness when it comes to training. This laziness invariably proves detrimental to them as they age and their poor singing habits begin to reveal themselves more. People who have a great deal of natural talent often believe that they are “beyond the need for training.” Often these are the singers you will hear about getting surgery to “fix” their vocal damage, or have people asking, “what happened to them, they used to be so good?”
I have seen people who exhibit little natural talent to begin with who work very hard for years building their technique and actually build quite respectable voices for themselves. The industry is actually filled with singers with very successful careers who sing on skill and style, rather than natural vocal talent. I have a great deal of admiration for these singers. They don’t skate through life, they pave their own way and earn everything they achieve.
There are, however, amazing singers that have immense natural talent in addition to a strong work ethic, who train daily and diligently. These are the artists who are truly untouchable. These are the singers that are the legends of the stage and studio.
Regardless of their degree of natural talent, anyone can improve their skills a great deal with hard work, diligence and a good teacher. I had a professor who taught his students that it takes 2% talent and 98% hard work to be a great artist. I don’t know if that is the actual ratio, but I do agree with the sentiment.
So to answer the age old question, “Can ANYONE be taught to sing even if they don’t have a lot of talent?” The answer is, “It depends on how hard you are willing to work.”