Educational Technology Innovation and Impact/Why use Technology in Education/Musical Intelligence

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Musical Intelligence The theory of Musical Intelligence was introduced by Howard Garner as part of his theory of Multiple Intelligence. Multiple Intelligence comprises 9 areas of intelligence that people have and Gardner believes that each Intelligence can be enhanced through learning experiences. This article will look at Musical Intelligence in terms of what it is, how it is used and potential benefits within a learning environment.

Gardner’s defines Musical Intelligence as “Musical Rhythmic Intelligence, (music smart), is the capacity to think in music, to be able to hear patterns, recognize them, and perhaps manipulate them”.

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Characteristics of musical intelligence may include someone who remembers and differentiates between tunes and sound patterns, have a good sense of tone, tap to or move rhythmically to sounds or music, and generally enjoy composing or performing music.

In a paper published by the British Journal of Music Education which looked at Musical Intelligence relating to practical aspects of musical education showed how Musical Intelligence can be incorporated into a school curriculum. The study revealed that music adds value to both the school and the pupil. Music can be included in a blend of skills and activities when performing, creating or inventing and listening or communicating. To achieve success teachers must ensure students participate in all activities including listening skills and are given opportunities to try out different activities themselves.

Schools are further enhancing Musical intelligence with the aid of Digital technology .An article by Dee Dickinson for America Tomorrow shows how students can learn elements of music that are often difficult for beginners to understand by combining digital audio with visual input . The article goes on to quote.. “One example is the Voyager Company's interactive multimedia compact disc of Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony," which enables the listener to understand the piece musically, historically, culturally, and politically.” This technology is in it’s infancy of an exciting new era of innovation for learning about and producing music.

The benefits of musical intelligence can be spread across a wide area of people’s intelligence. Gardner believes music can help people to develop in other areas such as maths, language and spatial reasoning. Dr Arthur Harvey of the University of Hawaii has shown in his paper “An Intelligence View of Music Education” how Musical intelligence has impact on all intelligences. One example of this is Hall’s study in 1952 on how musical intelligence impacts on Linguistic intelligence, the study showed that the use of background music in study halls resulted in substantially more improvement of reading comprehension than those that studied without music out of 278 eighth and ninth graders. For further examples visit

In conclusion Musical Intelligence can play a significant part in the development of students once teachers are given the relevant training in all aspects of the music curriculum which includes assessments and music activities.