Musical Intelligence “Music Smarts”


Musical Intelligence is associated with pattern, sound, and sensitivity to beat and rhythm.

People talented in this area are sensitive to sound’s quality, pitch, strength and source. They have a good feel for the structure of music and for creating melody. Being “music smart” doesn’t mean a person talented in music can sing well. Someone can have a great musical talent and still sing off key. He or she will just notice it right away.

Of all the forms of intelligence, the effect of music on the brain is the greatest for altering the way a person feels. It can express joy and loss, inspire national loyalty as well as religious beliefs.

Parents can influence their children’s “music smarts” by using the following eleven home activities (not in order of importance), developed by Connie Hine and Margaret Lewis Crosby, experts in child development.

  1. While cooking and baking, listen to music. Notice the additional sounds of chopping, spoons clanging, and doors opening.
  2. When cleaning a room, make up a clean-up song with each task being a different verse.
  3. While reading a story, play background music. Make up sounds to go with the words in a story.
  4. At bedtime, sing lullabies together. Play relaxing music. Invent a get ready for bed song.
  5. When grocery shopping, sing the list. Sing a song about the items in the shopping cart. Listen and sing along with the music played in the store.
  6. During family game time, play Name That Tune (listen to part of a song and compete – who can guess the song’s title first). Talk about your favorite kind of music and say why it is a favorite.
  7. While traveling, make up a song about the trip, adding verses everyday about traveling activities. If possible, record the song as you travel. Listen to music in the car.
  8. During homework, experiment with different background music for studying. Make up songs or raps to help memorize facts.
  9. For the news, retell the story using sounds to enhance it.
  10. For family, talk about everyone’s favorite musical artist. Sing a song that describes each family member.
  11. To get out of the house on time, give ten and five minute warning sounds. Use music with a steady beat to keep the pace.



Adults who have strong musical intelligences may find success as: advertiser, performance musician, composer, music critic, music teacher, sound engineer, film-maker, musical theater actor, in television or other media.

To spark this intelligence in adults:

  • Use music to change your mood. For example, play relaxing music before an anxiety-producing activity.
  • Express an idea in song. Use a known song and add lyrics about the family.
  • Hum to create different vibrations in your head using varying volumes and sounds.
  • Play music that includes sounds from nature, like those of water, wind, and animal.


Next week there will be a performance by Sock Puppet Tim. Here’s the link Come and cheer him on! Let Tim know how he’s doing in the comment section of You Tube.


Join me the following week for the next installment of Multiple Intelligences, a closer look at Visual/Spatial Intelligence; how to help strengthen it in children and spark it in adults.

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