Updated: Oct 5, 2018
Have you ever heard someone say, "I am not musically talented at all and what's worse is that I am TONE DEAF!" Let me propose another perspective!
Sensitivity to Pitch
There are two elements that makes music, music - Pitch and Rhythm. Pitch is the quality used to describe a sound as 'higher' or 'lower'. There is a difference in pitch between a baby screaming and a lawn mower in operation. If one can tell the difference between the baby and a lawn mower, you wouldn't be tone-deaf. In music, pitches of musical notes are sounds produced at fixed frequencies and with anything that is fixed, we are required to calibrate ourselves accurately towards the fixed element.
Some people have heightened sensitivity in pitch that leads them to calibrate their hearing towards a fixed frequency easily. Others, takes a little more time to become sensitive to the different pitches in music. Taking more time doesn't mean that your tone sensitivity is dead, you just need a little more.. training and education!
Listening to more music helps you to become more sensitive to the intricacy of pitch changes. Intricacy? Yes, Musical pitch changes are relatively small. For example, Middle 'C' has the frequency of 261hz and 'D' next to it has the frequency of 293hz. The difference in 32 hz is relatively small compared to our baby and lawn mower.
The next time you're in your car on the way to work, tune in to classic fm radio. It works even if you are planning your to-do list after making that coffee at work!