All through elementary school, I inevitably ended up to the same guy for assemblies that required the singing of “O Canada” and “God Save the Queen.” While many of us just mouthed the words, he belted them out like Celine Dion. And he was completely, utterly tone-deaf. We called him on it, of course, but he didn’t understand what he was talking about. He thought his singing was just fine. We just learned to put up with it.
If this were today, though, science might be able to come to the rescue. New research indicates that it might be possible to fix the part of the brain that involves understanding music. The key is a class of drugs called HDAC inhibitors, a drug that can help stabilize mood and make life easier for epileptics. For some reason, it helps certain people identify tones and pitches that they otherwise couldn’t.
This doesn’t mean a drug can give you perfect pitch, but it could make those school assemblies a little more bearable.