The Top 6 Books On Talent – Can Music Talent Be Learned By Anyone?

According to these books on talent, it’s not something you’re born with. Music talent can be learned by anyone.

Most people just assume musical talent is something you are born with. What if you are not born with talent? Can it be developed? Is there any hope for those who want to learn how to play an instrument?

More importantly, is it possible for you to learn anything at any age, regardless of your memory, experience, or intelligence level?

These questions and more are all answered in the following list of books on talent taken right from my bookshelf.

Top 6 Books on Talent

If you want to learn how to play a musical instrument, build up your music reading skills, and live up to your full potential, then you need to check out these 6 books on talent. Here’s why…

More studies are discovering that musical talent may not be completely inherited. It can be learned. Enough research has been done to crack the code on high-achievers and what makes them so great. Anyone has the ability to learn music with a high level of proficiency at any age.

Let’s take a look at all 6 books and examine how it applies to music.

books on talent

1. Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin

Innate talent is fiction. You are not born knowing how to play the piano or read music. Those skills are acquired through deep practice. That is what truly separates high-achievers from the rest of the world.

The gifts possessed by the best performers are not at all what we think they are. They are certainly not enough to explain the achievements of such people – and that’s if these gifts exist at all. Some researchers now argue that specifically targeted innate abilities are simply fiction. That is, you are not a natural-born clarinet virtuoso or car salesman or bond trader or brain surgeon – because no one is.

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2. The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. by Daniel Coyle

You can crack the talent code. The author draws on cutting-edge research which shows that anyone can take major leaps forward using the right learning methods. Anyone can achieve their full potential by understanding how to train their brain.

This book is about a simple idea: Clarissa and the talent hotbeds are doing the same thing. They have tapped into a neurological mechanism in which certain patterns of targeted practice build skill. Without realizing it, they have entered a zone of accelerated learning that, while it can’t quite be bottled, can be accessed by those who know how. In short, they’ve cracked the talent code.

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3. The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills by Daniel Coyle

You can improve your skills by at least 1% using any of the 52 tiny tips. This is an essential handbook for anyone that wants to achieve greatness, backed by science. Try any of these proven techniques to develop excellence.

We are often taught that talent begins with genetic gifts – that the talented are able to effortlessly perform feats the rest of us can only dream about. This is false. Talent begins with brief, powerful encounters that spark motivation by linking your identity to a high-performing person or group. This is called ignition, and it consists of a tiny, world-shifting thought lighting up your unconscious mind: I could be them.

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4. Beyond Talent: Become Someone Who Gets Extraordinary Results by John C. Maxwell

Don’t let mediocrity hold you back. It is possible to achieve very remarkable results with hard work and dedication. Whatever inborn gifts you have are not enough. What matters most are the skills you develop.

Talent is often overrated and frequently misunderstood. French poet and dramatist Edoubard Pailleron pointed out, ‘Have success and there will always be fools to say that you have talent.’ When people achieve great things, others often explain their accomplishments by simply attributing everything to talent. But that is a false and misleading way of looking at success. If talent alone is enough, then why do you and I know highly talented people who are not highly successful?

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5. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Anyone can become a high-achiever. Talent is developed from at least 10,000 hours of practice, according to research the author shares. This is doable by anyone.

Their research suggests that once a musician has enough ability to get into the top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.

This means if you are willing to work hard, YOU have the advantage. It is a thought-provoking and inspiring read featuring examples of successful people.

Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.

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6. Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success by Matthew Syed

Innate talent is a myth. Believing that people are born with natural talent might actually prevent you from pursuing excellence. Written by an Olympian, the author delves into the real reasons behind our successes and failures.

The aim of the first part of this book is to convince you that Ericsson is right; that talent is not what you think it is; that you can accomplish all manner of things that seem so far beyond your current capabilities as to occupy a different universe. But this will not be a wishy-washy exercise in the power of positive thinking. Rather, the arguments will be grounded in recent findings in cognitive neuroscience that attest to the way the body and mind can be transformed with specialized practice.

What all of these books have in common is the answer to this one little question. Of course, they use research to back up their claims.

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Can Music Talent Be Learned By Anyone?

Music talent can be learned by anyone. There is growing evidence to believe musical talent is not inherited, but obtained through hard work. What was formerly thought to be innate talent is really the product of years of intense practice.

The key to gaining superior performance in any realm is through deliberate practice. Here is an abstract of a study on deliberate practice referenced in the books listed above.

This research paper by K. Anders Ericsson, Roy W. Roring and Kiruthiga
published in 2007 concludes that “We found no rigorous reproducible evidence that innate abilities, excepting height and body size, prevent healthy individuals from attaining expert levels of performance.”

Ericcson and other researchers are critical of giftedness theories that focus only on intelligence, creativity, and motivation. Those areas are hard to clearly define and adequately measure.

What does this mean for you? Talent is not something you are born with. It is created. This is available to anyone, at any age, regardless of circumstances.

Instead of relying on genetics, success is the result of cultivating the correct mindset and being ready to put in significant time and effort. As long as you are prepared to invest the time and effort required, you can create your own talent too.

Books on Talent Summary

No one is born with innate talent, according to research cited in these talent books. Anyone can learn how to play and read music at a very high level. It turns out the secret of talent is really deep practice.

Personally, these 6 books on talent confirmed something I have already experienced. My family is not musical. There are regular people. Yet, somehow my skill sets have developed to an exceptional level. What is my secret? I have learned everything through dedicated practice.

When I first discovered this research, I began to put the principles of deliberate practice into motion and experienced great results. I have since used the same techniques for years with private students and coaching clients with even better results.

If you want faster improvement in musical skill development, then I highly recommend you read these 6 books. The principles you discover can be applied to anything you want to master, not just music.

Here is a quick recap of the 6 recommended books on talent why you should read them.

1. Read Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, so you can become world-class at what you’re passionate about which means you can get started now.

2. Read The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, so you can grow your greatness and finally reach your dreams.

3. Read The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle, so you can build your skills with 52 techniques that work, which means you know exactly how to get started.

4. Read Beyond Talent by John C. Maxwell, so you can become extraordinary, which means you will finally get the results you want.

5. Read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, so you can become a high-achiever, which means you don’t have to settle for a life of mediocrity.

6. Read Bounce by Matthew Syed, so you can dispel myths in your mind, which means you can finally become the person you want to be.

This is a great list to help you step into greatness. Invest in yourself. You are closer than you think to becoming exceptional.

What is your perspective? Do you think talent is something you are born with? Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “The Top 6 Books On Talent – Can Music Talent Be Learned By Anyone?”

  1. Talent is a natural aptitude which makes doing something easier and effortless by someone who has talent in something. If you lack this natural aptitude, you’ll find it difficult and it’ll take you more time and work doing same thing that seems easy for someone with talent. If you have no singing talent, you can only learn how to sing after a very hard work and long time of training and rehearsal. Compared to someone gifted naturally with singing talent, you can never be as good. Someone gifted naturally with singing talent will not need to work so hard as you, and doesn’t need too long a time to master the singing skills. The difference is always clear.
    So it is with other fields of talents…

  2. Talent is inborn, but must be developed through hard work. Just having talent is not enough. It’s hard work that separates between two equally talented individuals.
    Many a time, Talent is confused for Skill. Both are not the same. Whereas Talent is innate, Skill is acquired. Skill can be regarded as acquired talent.

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