As we celebrate the World Music Day today by enjoying music by holding street music festivals to sing away and play instruments, there is message for the teachers to include music-smart students in learning of the subject matter they teach by bringing in some musicality in their lessons.
The multiple intelligences theory of learning, proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983, propounds that humans have eight different types of intelligence, of which musical intelligence is the one. Musical intelligence is the human ability to play an instrument, exhibit appreciative listening and enjoyment of music or compose music.
The other human intelligences proposed by Gardner are visual-spatial intelligence; bodily-kinesthetic intelligence; naturalistic intelligence; logical-mathematical intelligence; linguistic intelligence; interpersonal intelligence; and intrapersonal intelligence. The most ignored intelligence by teachers is musical intelligence since teachers feel shy of versifying and singing the subject matter even for one or two minutes of their class lessons.
Studies have revealed that around twenty percent children have early development of musical intelligence as a part of their social learning. Such children generally hum with music or tap; they are good at perceiving rhythms, patterns, and pitches in music. Gardner and many other pedagogues have found that such children learn concepts of formal areas of knowledge much easier when teachers turn them into lyrics or help children to do so and make children sing.
Children who are high on musical intelligence tend to think in music, patterns and rhythms. And this becomes their natural style of learning. Such children are able to hear and recognize patterns easily since they are sensitive to rhythm and sound variations. Generally, music-smart children look for patterns in new information to enhance their learning and tend to remember things by turning them into lyrics.
My own experience while conducting a self-study course of 20 hours with senior students of physics revealed me the use of acrostics, cinquains and ABC verses to revise the subject matter made students to enjoy and remember the salient subject matter. The lesson for the teachers is to enhance their teaching competence by making classroom instruction music-inclusive.
I think that there should be special training programmes to enhance the musical intelligence of teachers to make their classrooms more inclusive.
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