In the next installment of this series, the focus is on the musical intelligence. For most of us, music is an important part of our daily lives. We might wake up to music on our clock/radios, sing in the shower, play music from a cd while driving, hum a song while walking down a hallway at work, or listen to some romantic rhapsodies during a candlelight dinner with our sweetie. Businesses recognize the power of music on our brains too. Most large stores play tunes as you shop, commercials use popular songs to help you remember their product, you hear music on the phone when you are placed on hold, and you probably hear relaxing rhythms while getting a massage.
Music stimulates many parts of the brain including the areas that handle our emotions and memories. It is no wonder that we can remember certain events from our life by recalling the music that was a part of it. We often remember movies by their theme songs. Patients with dementia may not remember their children’s names, but can sing the words to their favorite songs from their teenage years. And music can be a powerful teaching tool as well. I know that if I need to look up the word “ilium” in a dictionary, I need to sing the alphabet song to remember to look after the “h” words. (I always get the order of h, i, j, and k mixed up otherwise.) So teaching by engaging the musical intelligence is a very powerful strategy.
People with strengths in the musical intelligence learn, feel, and think through sounds, rhythms, patterns, chants, and melodies. They may be very good at deciphering codes and identifying patterns in many things including numbers. Additionally, those with a strong musical intelligence will spontaneously hum, tap, clap, dance, or whistle songs.
Toys, materials, and activities to encourage musical intelligence in young children include:
Simple musical and rhythm instruments (purchased or homemade)
Songs on CDs and tapes
Background music on the radio
Audiotapes of children’s nursery rhymes or poetry
Singing with or to your child
Videos of songs or finger plays (like “Five Little Monkeys”)
Musical stuffed animals (for naptime)
Books with rhythmic language patterns (like Dr. Seuss)
Toys that play music or sounds (such as toy telephones)
I hope you are finding this series helpful in planning a multiple intelligence rich environment for the children in your lives. Feel free to comment on materials that you use to encourage the musical intelligence.
In the next installment of this series, I will explain the naturalist intelligence.