What impact does music have on awakening intelligences, outside of musical intelligences?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There is evidence to indicate that music can enhance certain faculties of the mind.  Studies done with small children indicate that instruction in music, particularly piano instruction, enables kids to develop abstract reasoning skills as well as spatial reasoning abilities.  Studies also show that enhanced performance in math and logic accompanies  proficiency in music.  Music can help awaken ideas and learning across the curriculum:

...Music develops critical thinking skills and improves skills in reading, writing, and math. Music develops and improves spatial intelligence, which transfers to high-level math and science. It develops perceptual skills necessary in many academic areas (Kelstrom, 1998, para. 31-32).

It is to this end that I think one can make a solid argument that music can awaken dormant intelligences within the individual.

From a more holistic learning perspective, I think that music proficiency can increase learning because it helps to trigger greater levels of understanding within the student.  For example, the idea of music containing specific memories can allow different parts of the brain to be accessed in a wide ranging and non- limiting recollection experience.  It is for this reason that in many secondary school classes on poetry, there is an emphasis on music in the study of poetry, as it helps to unlock and trigger experiences that can translate into poetic exploration.

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