Multiple Intelligences

Welcome to the 3rd post in the Understanding Multiple Intelligences 5-day series! Read the whole series from the beginning here.

We talked about what the theory of Multiple Intelligences is and how it can transform the way you and your kids look at intelligence. We also looked at two of the intelligences (or smarts) that are associated with strong academic performance: Word and Logic Smarts.

Today we’ll look at the Artistic Smarts: Picture and Music Smarts.  As you read through the signs and struggles associated with each strength, mark where you think your kids fall on a simple graph like the one below.

Picture Smart Kids

Picture smart children thinking pictures. When they are excited they add to their pictures. They have a need to doodle and draw. They get joy from creating. Visualizing and observing are their strengths. Picture smart people have more artistic ability than a visual learner who learns best by seeing.

Signs That You May Be Picture Smart

  • Draw or doodle a lot
  • Remember faces more than names
  • Read or draw maps for fun
  • Enjoy building things
  • Enjoy watching movies or videos
  • See patterns in the world around them
  • Like to draw out sketches of ideas
  • Think in pictures and easily see objects in their minds
  • Like taking things apart and putting them back together
  • Work with art materials like paper, paint, and markers
  • Draw well
  • Like building models are things in 3-D

Picture Smart Struggles

Picture smart kids will need to learn to guard their eyes. They can get into trouble by looking at things that they shouldn’t. They have trouble turning off their eyes out of curiosity or just tuning out visual stimuli when they need to be listening or paying attention to something else.

  • May tend to judge others by appearance
  • May become critical of visual mistakes in others’ wardrobe, decoration or some school project
  • May put their trust in looking just right
  • May have trouble turning off their eyes

Picture Smarts Careers

Many picture smart careers will be strongly influenced by other smarts. For example, someone with a Picture and Body smart combination may choose a career that utilizes the eyes and motor skills and include careers such as a cartographer, construction, book illustrator, clothing designer, or photographer. Someone who is Nature and Picture smart on the other hand might go into something like urban planning, horticulture, landscape architecture, and navigating.  So all this to say that not all picture strengths are the same.

  • Artist or art teacher
  • Inventor
  • Photographer
  • Movie or video game making
  • Careers involving design such as graphic designers, or fashion designers
  • Sculptor
  • Architect
  • Engineering
  • Inventing

Multiple Intelligences

Music Smart Kids

Music smart kids think with rhythms and melodies. When they are excited, they make music. They need to be able to express themselves musically. Sounds and music are their main strengths. They also find rhythms and melodies in the world around them. Composer George Gershwin said, “I frequently hear music in the heart of noise.”  He reported getting many of his best musical ideas from the sounds of the city. Music smart kids may make sounds like tapping and drumming to the sounds around them.

Signs That You May Be Music Smart

  • Enjoy listening to music
  • Enjoy singing
  • Play an instrument
  • Read music
  • Remember melodies are music easily
  • Hear the difference between many different instruments
  • Hum or sing while doing tasks
  • Easily pick up rhythms
  • Like making musical sounds with body (humming, clapping, snapping fingers, tapping feet)
  • Remember facts by making up songs

Music Smart Struggles

  • Music smart kids can be LOUD!
  • Can struggle traditional school subjects (although music may keep them motivated)
  • May idolize musicians
  • May have an unhealthy desire for fame
  • May become prideful of their talent
  • May look down on others who are less talented
  • May struggle with perfectionism

As parents, we need to be careful not to squelch this smart. I read the story of a mom who had a son who was particularly enthusiastic about his music. She and her husband were able to carve out part of the garage for him to put on his shows and practice so that he wasn’t disturbing the rest of the family. Also, it’s good to know that some kids take piano or some other musical intrument lessons for a few years and lose interest. This is not a waste of time. This still broadens their Music Smart. Other kids will continue taking lessons, join musical groups, and stay invested into adulthood. Once stretched, a smart never goes back to its original size. Music study can also be a great way for kids to learn the power of self-discipline.

Music Smart Careers

  • Music therapists
  • Music teachers
  • Composers or conductors
  • Music arrangers or producers
  • Instrument store owner
  • Advertisers
  • Disc jockeys
  • Piano tuners

How has learning about Mulitple Intelligences changed the way you look at learning and your kids so far? Let us know in the comments below.

Join us here tomorrow when we’ll look more closely at The Street Smarts: Nature and Body Smarts.

Linking up to the iHomeschool Network 5-Day Hopscotch. Click the image below to read more great posts in this series.