Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gardner's Eight Intelligences: Musical

This is an eight-part series covering Gardner's eight multiple intelligences and applying the theory with my children in every day life.

Ty loves to dance with his Elmo guitar, sing the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song, make up words for his computer's music, and turn on every music, noise-making toy that he has. Lately, he sings songs that my husband and I enjoy. He mangles the words, which delights us. He dances by skipping his feet together, which produces a bouncing and jolted appearance.

I've sung to him his entire life: ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Jingle Bells (when I am desperate), tons of nursery rhymes, and all of his sing-a-long books. We listen to music in the car and he has a CD player in his room. He plays ELMO.

His favorite song is "Name-O." "Name-O" is the tune of "Old McDonald" and he lists every name that he knows and wants us to sing it. It goes something like this: "mommy, name-o. mommy! name-o!" And I will sing, 
There is a lady who is so tired
And mommy is her name-o
And mommy is her name-o.

He will repeat, with his family, cousins, dogs, and friends. It is adorable and *I wonder* if this teaches him to spell. He claps along, and I wonder if he is counting, or at least keeping a beat. My husband and I cannot sing, but I took formal music lessons for a decade when I was younger. I normally do not learn or memorize to music. I make mnemonics without involving music. Little kids sing to learn in elementary school, but that often stops when they are older. 
My mother made fun of me when I danced and I still feel that fear and shame today at weddings or clubs. I just clap and encourage Ty when he dances. This may be a strong intelligence for him, but I can't tell yet. Music works both sides of the brain and I want him to take formal lessons in a few years. The small exposure he receives now, fun and light, hopefully helps him later.