Musical intelligence


The musical intelligence comprises a model proposed by psychologist Howard Gardner about multiple intelligences which is designed as a multiple capacity where it perceives, transformed and expresses all around in art.


What is musical intelligence?

Many of us, at some point in our lives, have had the opportunity to witness magnificent musical gifts in preschool-age children . Everywhere we look, we can find numerous examples of success: individuals whose talent for composing, dancing and singing is evident from a very young age, whether or not they have been trained in a music academy. Until not long ago it was thought that it was only about aptitudes, qualities or capacities , but what psychology has recently discovered is that it is something that goes beyond behavior : it is a type of intelligence that has come to be called intelligence musical.



Also called rhythmic intelligence , it is the quality that a person has to capture, assimilate, modify and communicate phenomena related to music , ranging from a particular sound in their environment to the most complex rhythmic composition.


Characteristics of musical intelligence

The most important characteristics of this type of intelligence are the following:

  • Ease of learning the different musical compositions
  • Preference for listening to music while doing any task
  • Ability to capture and reproduce rhythms, melodies and tones
  • Ease of composing and playing one or more instruments
  • Particular interest in capturing the sounds of their environment , usually regardless of the circumstance

What is it for

If properly cultivated, musical intelligence serves to develop our sensitivity to everything that has to do with rhythms, melodies and tones , allowing us to perform various tasks:

  • Develop music appreciation
  • Perform songs with the voice and / or with one or more instruments
  • Compose and / or arrange melodies and lyrics
  • Teach to read sheet music and / or play a musical instrument, as well as the development of musical skills in general
  • Conduct groups and orchestras
  • Design, build, repair and / or tune musical instruments and equipment and systems related to the recording, processing, creation and reproduction of sound
  • Use music as a psychotherapeutic element to generate both individual and collective well-being

Activities to develop musical intelligence.

There are numerous ways to enhance this type of intelligence , among which are the following:

  • Listen to a certain piece of music and try to identify the instruments involved in it
  • Sing a familiar song trying to keep up
  • Accompany the execution of daily activities with background music that is pleasant
  • Regularly attend musical activities such as recitals and / or concerts
  • Join a choir or private singing lessons
  • Enroll in a course to learn to play an instrument

Professions associated with musical intelligence.

The most common professions or occupations to which a person with musical intelligence is dedicated are the following:

  • Music teacher
  • Composer
  • DJ
  • Music therapist
  • Sound engineer
  • Singer
  • Orchestra director
  • Luthier
  • Arranger
  • Composer
  • Instrumentalist
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Music critic


In general , the different types of intelligence develop jointly, since they all share common elements . Thus, by enhancing our musical abilities we will also be strengthening the functions of other types of intelligence , in particular those related to the logical-mathematical area and creativity.

In the physical aspect, it improves gross and fine motor skills , specifically laterality, perception, space-time orientation and coordination.

In the intellectual area, it allows us to develop the mental processes involved in the acquisition of musical language , such as attention, concentration and memory.

Finally, it represents an exceptional channel for the expression of what we think and feel.


It is possible to know that a person possesses musical intelligence through certain behaviors , such as:

  • Song improvisation (eg: a teenager improvising rap lyrics with his classmates)
  • Creation of rhythms spontaneously and with everyday elements (eg: a small child who takes some kitchen popsicles and rhythmically bangs a pot)
  • Distinction between one tone and another, or whether or not it corresponds to a certain melody
  • Special attention to the sounds and melodies of nature and everyday life
  • Association of the musical theme with numerous aspects of life

People with musical intelligence

Freddie mercury

His original name was Farrokh Bulsara, and he is known worldwide for having led Queen , the famous musical group of London origin. His musical genius was not only reduced to his powerful voice , which he masterfully dominated on any stage, but was also evidenced in his ability to compose and innovate in the rock genre, both individually and with his bandmates.

Alan Menken

This composer and performer from New York is responsible for creating the most memorable pieces of music for The Walt Disney Company . With 8 wins out of 16 Oscar nominations, Menken is the mastermind behind the musical successes that have marked the lives of many , including the songs from the films “Pocahontas”, “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast” , among others.

Les Luthiers

It is an Argentine humorous group that makes use of music as the central element of its presentations. The talent of its members lies not only in their ability to compose melodies of various shades and lyrics with deep social content, but also in their ability to create musical instruments out of everyday objects . Its name derives from the latter, since luthier is the term by which it is known who deals with building, adjusting and repairing string instruments .

Marc yu

Famous for starring in a National Geographic documentary, Marc is considered a child genius of music. Also known as “little Mozart”, he has practiced piano since he was 2 years old and from the age of 3 he began his public appearances , becoming more and more known in the world of classical music. Currently he continues with his piano lessons and learning to conduct orchestras.

Philip Newell

He is one of the most reputable sound engineers today, and this is due to his achievements: he was co-founder of the record company Virgin Records, he has participated in recordings of iconic rock groups such as Led Zepelin and The Who and has more of three decades designing recording studios and writing about it.

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