Absolute Pitch Myths
Steer clear of anyone who tells you this...
Myth 1: You must be born with absolute pitch.
How did this myth develop? No one knows for sure but if you ask someone with absolute pitch how or when they learned it, they'll probably tell you, “I don't remember. I've just always had it.” But this doesn't mean they were born with it. They probably just learned it at a very early age, before they were conscious of such things. I mean, I definitely don't remember learning my colors and most people that I ask say the same thing. And, of course, we will never know the names of pitches unless we eventually learn them.
Research by Dr. Ernst Terhardt supports the idea that everybody is born with absolute pitch:
“So it appears that, in a sense, the ability of AP in principle is implanted in every human, but is easily lost in infancy and/or childhood when it is not maintained and developed by training in naming musical tones.”
Which brings us to...
Myth 2: Absolute pitch cannot be developed.
Even the German composer and music theorist, Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), believed that absolute pitch could be developed. Dr. Terhardt also writes that, “AP can be learned - or one should rather say, developed or activated.” He also states, “...it seems fairly safe to suppose that AP development in “genuine” AP possessors may be not fundamentally different from that in adults, and that the relative stability of the faculty in genuine AP possessors is explained by the early age of development.”
But the research seems to say that absolute pitch won't be as stable if you're an adult, right? Not exactly...
Myth 3: Adults cannot develop absolute pitch.
Dr. Terhardt mentions the “relative stability” of absolute pitch learned at an early age. Well, this make a lot of sense. If you've been playing basketball longer than me, then you probably have a better grasp of the game. But if I learn the game well enough, there will come a point at which we can agree that we're both playing the game of basketball. It's the same with absolute pitch.
The main difference is in the way that adults learn. A child can learn absolute pitch by simple repetition. They're like sponges. Children hardly require any effort. They have yet to learn that learning is hard.
Paul R. Scheele, creator of PhotoReading and adult learning expert, has taught thousands of people how to read at astronomical rates of 25,000+ words a minute! He does this by teaching people how to pre-consciously perceive an entire page at once. It's truly amazing. But the reason I bring this up is because he, like myself and many other accelerated learning specialists, understands how to tap into this sponge-like accelerated learning state.