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In this installment of my series on Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, we’re going to explore the musical intelligence and how to identify it in yourself and others.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it easier for you or your child to remember things when they are sung to a tune?
  • Is it easier to concentrate when there’s music on in the background?
  • Does anyone in your family have a sharp ear for the multitude of sounds in any given environment?
  • Are rhythms and melodies something you pick up easily?
  • Is there any interest in learning to play an instrument?

As you might imagine, music-smart learners are particularly attuned to patterns, rhythms, melodies and song. This has broad implications, and goes far beyond playing a musical instrument.

Having a strong musical intelligence does not necessarily mean becoming a musician. This intelligence also extends to the melodies of words, or having a keen ear for the patterns and sounds of an environment (for example, people who enjoy identifying birds and other animals based on their sounds!). Poets and writers love the rhythm and song of well-crafted sentences, and experience how the musical elements of great writing influence the nuanced meanings of poems and stories.

Music-smart learners often retain new information more easily by turning facts into songs — an extremely powerful mnemonic device. Many people find it more natural to study and/or concentrate when there is music on in the background. (I recommend giving it a try – it’s particularly helpful when there are no lyrics!)

*Parts of this post are taken from The Everything Parent’s Guide to Raising Mindful Children (Adams Media), a book I authored along with partner Jeremy Wardle. Order your copy here!

Want to learn activities you can do at home to strengthen your child’s musical intelligence?

Stay tuned for the next post in this series! 

Want to catch up? Read these earlier posts from the Multiple Intelligence series:

  1. Multiple Intelligences: An Overview For Parents (p.1)
  2. Multiple Intelligences: An Overview For Parents (p.2)
  3. The Linguistic Intelligence: How to Identify Word-Smart Learners
  4. Cultivate Your Linguistic Intelligence: Activities for Word-Smart Learners
  5. The Logical-Mathematical Intelligence: What Is A Logic-Smart Learner?
  6. Activities to Strengthen Your Child’s Logic-Smarts
  7. What is the Naturalist Intelligence?
  8. 6 Activities to Strengthen Your Child’s Nature-Smarts
  9. The Spatial Intelligence: How to Identify Picture-Smart Learners
  10. 5 Activities to Strengthen Your Child’s Spatial Intelligence
  11. The Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: How to Identify Body-Smart Learners
  12. 5 Activities that Strengthen Children’s Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
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