Did you know that until the Middle Ages, music occupied the same rank, in the education of children, as mathematics? Did you know that numerous studies have proven the immense benefits of integrating music into children’s everyday lives? Did you know that someone who knows music has a much easier time learning a new language than others? Based on all this knowledge, today I suggest that you explore musical and rhythmic intelligence!
As we now know, the awakening to music, from an early age, will have dramatic effects on the child’s brain. In addition to contributing to relaxation, improving listening skills, coordination and motor skills (fine and global), music has a direct effect on intellectual, social and emotional skills and on the development of language, memory, focus and curiosity. Listening to music, especially classical music, activates the right hemisphere of the brain while playing a musical instrument will activate both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously, which few activities do. It is one of the most powerful brain development tools that has ever been discovered, as it leads to multiple neural connections in the brain. And besides cognitive and brain development, music also brings positive effects on health and the reduction of pain and is used by many specialists around the world in the treatment of premature babies or people suffering from a degenerative disease. brain like Alzheimer’s. Knowing all this, we have the right to wonder why the current school system does not value music learning more and the development of musical intelligence do not you find?
But first, what is musical intelligence? Musical intelligence is found in sensitivity to sounds, timbre of voices, synchronization and rhythms. It is found in people who find it easy to memorize the words of a song or its melody, to create rhythms, to recognize a song from its first notes or to easily identify sounds and their origins. In highly developed cases, we will witness musical geniuses who even before being big enough to touch the pedals are able to play a piano concerto better than an adult with years of experience. The good news is that anyone playing a musical instrument, no matter what their level is, working to develop it and the more we improve in mastering our instrument, the more important it becomes. It is one of the simplest types of intelligence (I did not say easy, but simple) to develop if we wish because one of the ways to achieve it is very clear: learning to play an instrument and practice it regularly.
In children, this type of intelligence is predominant in those who have an ability to learn and to play an instrument, who are particularly attracted by songs, rhythms, sounds and music in general. They often like to dance and learn spoken language or a second language faster than average.
People with this type of intelligence will often be attracted to professions directly related to music (composer, conductor, musician, singer, sound technician, music teacher, dancer, choreographer, etc.) but also by professions linked to languages.
How to develop this type of intelligence in a child in whom it is predominant?
- Encourage him to learn a musical instrument or singing by giving him lessons, a place and time to practice at will.
- With a younger child, offer them musical instruments (avoid plastic or detuned instruments that will not interest them) or objects that will allow them to experiment and produce sounds. And yes, I’m talking for example about the famous spoon-pan duo, but also about anything that can produce an interesting sound. Rice in an airtight container, two pieces of wood, etc. Invite him to have fun, to create with objects out of the ordinary.
- Have fun listening to the “silence” for up to 1 minute and identifying as many sounds as possible. (The song of a bird, a car passing in the street, someone’s footsteps, etc.)
- If learning a subject is difficult, why not recite the lesson by singing or tapping the rhythm on the edge of a table for example? To increase your concentration, you can play music (ideally without words), during the period of homework and lessons.
- Help him discover different musical styles, offer him a dance class or take him to a concert of classical music.
- Take advantage of his facility to hear tones, rhythms and sounds and to reproduce them to allow him, if interested, to learn a new language.
How to develop this type of intelligence in a child in whom it is not predominant?
- Put music in your lives! Listen to music of all styles, (don’t settle for children’s music), dance, sing, have fun.
- Sing nursery rhymes with your child to work on rhythms and memory
- Take him to see music shows
- If possible, allow him to discover and manipulate musical instruments. If someone around you plays an instrument, why not invite them to bring it the next time they visit you so that your child is in contact with it? If he shows interest, enroll him in a music, dance, or musical awareness class for young children.
- Play making sounds. Ask your child to close their eyes, produce a sound (close a door, jump, tap the counter, wave a rattle, etc.) and ask your child to identify the sound produced. Reverse roles!
- Go to the library and choose musical books, nursery rhymes or children’s poetry and read them together.
Do you have other ideas for us? After reading this article, do you think that music should have a more important place in the education of children?
Interesting links :
How playing an instrument benefits your brain (Anglais): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0JKCYZ8hng&list=RDQM-HK4-OnUqls&start_radio=1
Science: la musique rend nos cerveaux plus performants (français): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCmIfwWiNao