Multiple Intelligences

Musical Intelligence

This is the first of nine posts addressing multiple intelligences and how we can support our little thinkers.

music graphic

Musical Intelligence involves the capacity to perceive and express musical forms, including understanding rhythm and patterns. People who demonstrate a high degree of musical intelligence may be ideally suited for musical professions, such as composing or playing an instrument. Christopher Pappas suggests multimedia presentations and use of music that emphasizes the subject matter. He suggests that it creates a more immersive experience for the learner.

Also consider:

  • A lesson that includes music or sound, and attaching meaning to music
  • The use of background music during homework or independent work within the classroom.

Our students with language delays and/or learning challenges have a less efficient left hemisphere, where language is importantly involved.


  • Tapping out patterns for words, sentences and memorization tasks (like spelling words and learning their phone number), so processing is simplified and information is more likely to ‘stick’.
  • Providing visuals paired with songs and chants to attach ‘meaning’
  • Introduce children’s books on tape for another wonderful way to access our musical intelligence learner.

Our Unique Learners and Multiple Intelligences

While reading the book, Educational Leadership and Planning Technology (Picciano, 2011), I find I am drawn to the Multiple Intelligences Theory. Dr. Howard Gardner, a noted professor of neuroscience from Harvard University, suggested that every human being interacts with their environment differently. He suggests there are actually nine intelligences:

multiple_intelligences 2

As educators and parents, we do our best to assist our students in reaching their highest potential. We want them to succeed and agree that technology is an enormous component of their future, even if we don’t fully understand it. I see many of the multiple intelligences feeding into our 21st century learners.

I will be writing a series of posts based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.  I will be providing suggestions on how to access our special 21st century learners, based on their most apparent and strongest intelligence. I will include some suggestions that I discovered in a great article by Christopher Pappas, who outlines how we can use these multiple intelligences in eLearning situations.