When I speak with those around me there seems to be this understanding that one “is musical” or one is “not musical”, as though there is an innate difference between one to another as it relates to something we all have access to. 

I think what someone means when they say they are “not musical” is related to an insecurity about music – something like “I am not a very good musician in comparison to you” or “I tried and failed at music” or “I have never tried and never thought to try music”. 

Perhaps to be musical or not then is to say I have music in my life – or not. Amateur musicians are still musicians and professional musicians will struggle with inadequacy around other musicians who they deem “better” than them.

Or perhaps to be musical is something like, “someone who has a capacity to make music”, which is in essence all of us. The quality of that music will obviously be determined by a myriad of factors but ultimately doesn’t matter, it’s music all the same. Again this is inadequacy, the idea that one cannot make music, or use their bodies in a creative way.

To be musical is to have a realistic and positive relationship to one’s capacity to create and engage in music making. To put oneself out there creatively. It is a beautiful thing that is there for all of us should we only push through inadequacy.