All about musical intelligence and ways to improve it

May 24, 2019 by

The theory put forth by Howard Gardner in his book “Frames of Mind” suggests that people have multiple ways of thinking and learning as opposed to the IQ tests that seem to measure intelligence assuming that the mind possesses only a single CPU that determines how people perform in all aspects of life. Gardner ‘s conception of multiple intelligences claims that the mind was made up of a number of computers that work independent of each other and contribute in their own way in varying degrees towards different mental abilities. In this light, he proposed that there were at least 9 types of intelligence and musical intelligence is one of them.

Musical intelligence- what does it mean?

Musical intelligence refers to aspects relating to how skillful an individual is in performing, appreciating and composing music. A person who is believed to possess musical intelligence would be quite adept in using rhythms and patterns to assist learning. Music is one of the art forms that require special skills. It is also a skill that requires a lot of sensitivity. It goes without saying that it should be followed up with rhythm, tone, pacing, pitch and much more of which one must gain mastery. Musical expression is considered as a pathway for expressing yourself emotionally. However, you need not consider that only an expert musician possesses musical intelligence.

Features of musical intelligence

Musical intelligence refers to the capacity to differentiate or decipher

  • Pitch
  • Rhythm
  • Tone
  • Timbre

Likewise, musical intelligence in a person would enable a person to reflect, recognize, create and reproduce and appreciate music. That is why the musical intelligence of a higher degree is what is being demonstrated by

  • Composers of music
  • Conductors of music
  • Singers or vocalists
  • Sensitive listeners of music

Most often than not, you will find adults with musical intelligence usually singing or drumming on their own. They would indeed be aware of sounds that other people might generally not pay attention to.

Characteristics of a person with musical intelligence

A person with musical intelligence is

  • Drawn to sound
  • Seeks patterns that exist in the environment
  • Sensitive to rhythm
  • Capable of remembering songs easily
  • Able to understand the notes, musical structure, rhythm and tones
  • Able to play musical instruments and several instruments in them quite successfully
  • Able to enjoy music and have an inclination for dancing as well.

Last but not the least musical intelligence seems to be helpful in memorizing phrases as well as words in foreign languages as well.

Skills that would help improve musical intelligence

Musical intelligence is very important for fostering creativity, attention span, and social interactions. It would reduce anxiety and improve reflection. In this light, it would indeed be great if you could introduce youngsters to the world of music. You can do this by focusing on skills like

  • Helping them learn to identify music produced from different instruments
  • Introducing them to different musical genres
  • Helping them identify the rhythm, melody, and tone of the musical piece.
  • Improving their ability to emotionally connect with a song
  • Encourage and develop their ability to play a song or even modify it
  • Encourage them to develop the ability to compose music

The musical abilities are believed to be concentrated in the right hemisphere. Though it is considered to be associated with a genetic predisposition, it is not intelligence that cannot be assimilated with a little focus if you do possess logical-mathematical thought or linguistic skills.

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