Increasing children’s confidence is certainly an important role and privilege for parents and teachers. One way to do this is to help children understand how they are smart and how their smarts contribute to their successes and struggles.
Music smart is the intelligence we’ll examine today as we continue this series of posts. When using this smart, children (and adults) think with rhythms and melodies and tend to make music when they’re excited.
When music smart is a strength, children will want to participate in choir, orchestra, and/or band. They may be able to sing in tune and/or play one or more instruments. They might get involved in marching band, a pep band, and/or pit orchestra. They might sing in ensembles to bless residents of nursing homes and in groups at church. They could travel internationally to sing as part of a cultural exchange.
Music might be a source of joy for them, it might calm them down, and it can be a great hobby. It can be used to build relationships and it can be something they can enjoy and use their entire lives. For example, my brother is 61 and this past Christmas, he played trumpet in a church orchestra, played a beautiful trumpet trio of “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and played in a hand-bell choir with his wife. He started playing trumpet when in the 5th grade and was well supported by our parents.
If music-smart students aren’t careful and self-controlled, their musical talents and gifts could get them into trouble. They may ignore the more traditional academic courses like English, math, history, and science, thinking they’re not important if they believe their future lies in music. But, they could use their strengths to help them memorize, as we’ve all done with words like “Mississippi” and the order of the ABC’s.
Also, these students will need to be self-disciplined so they don’t get distracted by music while studying. Because they enjoy it, they may listen while reading and working on assignments. But, it’s possible that more of their attention will be diverted to the music than to what they’re reading or writing. It can, therefore, take them much longer to do the work and it may not be done as well. We want to affirm their gifts and help them use them well. Sometimes this means turning off their iPod.
Not having music smart as a strength, will most likely not frustrate students academically. It might make some memorization more challenging because music can build those muscles. And, if they have no strong interests that connect them to extracurriculars, school won’t be as enjoyable in general. This, alone, is a valid reason to help children discover music and then develop their abilities.
Because music is important to this generation, students who aren’t interested may struggle relationally. Their friends may be talking about songs and groups they’ve never heard of. They may not enjoy doing the same things in their spare time. This can make it harder to get to know each other and remain close friends over time. These are other valid reasons to awaken and develop children’s music-smart abilities.
What do you think about all this? I hope it makes sense and has value. Share it with kids if you think it would stimulate helpful discussions with them. And, look for next Wednesday’s post about how understanding your children’s body-smart abilities can help you build their confidence. You can subscribe here https://celebratekids.comfeed/ so you’ll get an email with a link to the post.
If you want to read the other posts in this series about how the way children are smart can frustrate them , you can search our Multiple Intelligences archives. You could also use the “Search my blog” box at the very top of the sidebar for all posts related to your topic of interest.[callout]Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.[/callout]