Gardner, a Harvard professor, researcher, and author, proposes that there are
eight main areas in which all people have special skills; he calls them
intelligences. Every one of us possesses all the intelligences to various
degrees of development, from highly developed to fairly underdeveloped.
Schools and standardized testing typically teach to and
test for only two of the intelligences: linguistic and logical-mathematical.
This is a shortcoming of the educational system, as many children with other
abilities are overlooked in the process.
In this series, I give some information about each
intelligence, with the hopes that parents will recognize themselves and their
- Musical Intelligence: relating in a wide range of ways to
music. This can take many forms, as a performer, composer, critic, and
music-lover are all making use of this intelligence.
These questions can determine if an adult has a highly
developed Musical Intelligence:
- Do you have a pleasant singing voice?
- Can you tell when a musician plays a note off-key?
- Do you frequently listen to music?
- Do you play a musical instrument?
- Was it easy for you to learn to play a musical instrument?
- Do you think your life would not be as rewarding without
- Do you usually have music going through your mind?
- Can you keep time to music?
- Do you know the tunes to many different songs or musical
- Can you usually sing back a melody accurately after you
hear a new selection only once or twice?
These are some questions to determine if children may
be exhibiting a well-developing Musical Intelligence. Does your child:
- tell you when she recognizes that music is off-key?
- easily remember song melodies and sing them?
- have a pleasant singing voice, either alone or in a chorus?
- play a musical instrument?
- speak or move in a rhythmical way?
- hum or whistle to himself?
- tap on the tabletop or desktop while working?
- show sensitivity to noises in the environment?
- respond emotionally to music she hears?
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