Musical and Rhythmic intelligence

21st March 2017

Research by Gardner has identified that musical/rhythmical intelligence is one of the ‘core intelligences’ which contribute to how human beings think and process information. The brain is separated into two hemispheres; the left and right, and more often than not, learning strategies aim to engage the left side of the brain which is also known as the ‘verbal side’. This is due to the fact, that this side of the brain is characterised by its organisation, factual nature, rational-thinking and preference for planning. The right side of the brain, on the other hand, is often termed the ‘non-verbal side’. This side is spontaneous, emotional, disorganised, experimental, intuitive, and subjective, and thereby seen as less naturally associated with being helpful for teaching information and facts.

Interestingly, music engages both sides of the brain. Whilst the left side processes rhythm and lyricism, the right side listens for melodies, sounds, and harmonic relationships, and over time, the ability to do this more rapidly and more effectively increases. By activating both sides of the brain, our songs appeal and are effective for a wide range of different learners. With an increasing understanding of the importance of teaching strategies being suitable for purpose, we feel that music offers an engaging activity which can speak to both high-achievers and those who struggle with learning new information. The joy of music is that for many, it is a pleasurable past time which you can do in a variety of circumstances. We want to make learning an everyday experience which can be achieved when out for a walk, or when sat on a bus. Our resources take away the formality of the traditional learning experience, liberating students and allowing them ownership over their own learning pace and experience.  

For more information, please see: Gardner, H. 1999. Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York: Basic Books.


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