Menu Close

If you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right

I’m listening to The Life Scientific on Radio 4.  They are talking to a Genetic Psychologist who has concluded that intelligence is at least half, if not two thirds inherited.  The nurture section is a very, very small part of how intelligence develops.

It got me thinking.  It’s true everybody finds certain things easier. It’s double edged sword.  Yes some things are easier for some people but also if you believe you can do a thing then you approach it with an attitude of play.  If you think you can’t then you approach it with fear.

I had better relate this to singing, because I could really go on.

I have seen naturally phenomenal singers who can’t be bothered to practice, or simply have no interest in being better.  They just don’t practice.  They will not put themselves out there to perform and don’t do their homework exercises, the targeting practice I have set for them.

On the other hand I have seen singers who really struggle, with free tone or being in tune but who believe in the process and  trust me.  They learn so well and make brilliant and incredibly fast progress.

One student very much followed the principle of my previous blog, put in the work and the body will learn.  This student was very musical but he couldn’t sing high at all.  He worked out that he needed to get stronger in his body so he could belt higher.  He worked up to a G and then a B.  He just kept trying things and being positive. I remember when I told him to try to whine and he was very dubious.  However he emailed me a day or so after the lesson to tell me I was right and that it did indeed work.

Inspirational.  To learn and keep learning.  To be positive.

If you have a natural aptitude things are easier.  The steps are easier and each stage is so much more impressive.  But if you just treat every step as a part of the process to get where you want to go, even if the genetics are not in your favour then you will get there.

Is it different academically?  Maybe you are either good or not?  But maybe it’s not.  Maybe we just hold up academia as something that is special.  But isn’t it just another set of skills?  Eventually in academia you usually specialise to one particular field.  If you can get that concept then you can do it.


You can work the muscle, follow the process.  Can we be good at anything we set our minds to?