—from The Ultimate Guide to Singing: All aspects of a singer’s life are covered in this ultimate companion to your singing with Top Actions for Moving Ahead with Your Singing, Sound and Career. Contributed to by Over 100 professional contributors with 94 Grammys and Grammy nominations, 193 Books, 1,772 Albums and 280 million YouTube hits!
> Can I improve my musical abilities without going to college or university?
Answered by Mary Hammond, leading educator and vocal coach for Coldplay and many other star acts
Yes — by listening carefully to the music around you and opening up your ears to develop your own music sense. This is possible without formal training. In fact, it’s possible for formal education to stultify your musicality and kill your instincts.
Is there anything that can be said for “school”? Well, if you want to look more deeply at the structure of music, understanding chord structure and theory, then school can be a very good place to develop as a musician (though this is possible through self study and private instruction).
The other reason is eminently practical: college or university is a great place to find inspiration as well as other musicians with whom you may want to work. Amy Winehouse and Adele found a great deal of support at The BRIT School and I’ve worked with Coldplay; they met each other at University — though they weren’t undertaking degrees in music (supporting the original point!).
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