Most music teachers and coaches avoid taking up students who are tone deaf. But what does being Tone Deaf actually mean?
So here's the answer: The inability of the mind to recognise a particular sound's frequency, which in turn may result in the person imitating the sound at a completely different pitch.
Now the fact remains that most people who come to learn to play an instrument and have had almost no musical experience besides just listening to songs now and then are ALMOST ALWAYS TONE DEAF IN THE BEGINNING. It's only through continuous and sustained efforts, exercises, proper guidance and active participation, that a student slowly begins to recognise sound as it is and is able to imitate it by singing or vocalising it almost perfectly.
This is a good start in itself!
The ability to recognise sound and sing is literally a gene that is present in absolutely everyone. The only difference is that some people choose to keep it activated, while some ignore it, thus making it dormant. The longer you keep that gene dormant, the longer it will take for you to literally Wake It Up!
The best way to do this is by just singing! Singing is a personal experience, it is produced by one's own vocal tones hence is in almost complete command of the person. Moreover, singing a song always evokes some kind of emotion, and as we all know, what better way to remember something than to just attach some basic human feeling to it.
A good way to understand how pitch works is to imitate the take off of an aeroplane. Notice how it starts at a low pitch and how it keeps rising as it begins its take off and finally lift-off. Practicing how to do that is a good exercise for a tone deaf person to start understanding how pitching your vocals from a low pitch to a high pitch, and back down again, works.
The article is contributed by Luke Macedo, faculty artist for guitars at Muziclub.