Filed under: Musical Intelligence

Family Activity Friday – World Music!

Man playing the djembe (nigerian drum)

Man playing the djembe (nigerian drum)

This weekend, listen to some music from other parts of the world with your family.

What different instruments are used? How about harmonies, chords, dynamics or rhythms? Do these differences in the country’s music give you any clues with respect to what it’s like to live in that country? See if you can find some translations of the lyrics to popular songs. Does the combination of music and lyrics paint a more vibrant picture of life there?

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Math Music to Your Ears

More than a quarter of a century after learning the states to the tune of “Do your ears hang low”, I still remember the states alphabetically in this way. And even though I’ve never had ANY use for the greek alphabet post high school, I can still sing the whole thing. But if you ask me concepts that I learned in school that weren’t put to music, they don’t come to mind as quickly.

If you’ve got a musically-minded kid that could use a little motivation on the math front, the lyrical lessons on Flocabulary’s CDs and DVDs could help your kids rhythmically recollect fundamentals for quizzes, homework and tests.

Flocabulary has earned its place as this week’s Kidzmet Educational Product Pick for a fun way to stretch your child’s “music smarts” into all aspects of math…and other subjects like social studies, science, and language arts, to boot!

But don’t just take our word for it…check out some Flocabulary samples here.

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Autobiographical Cube

Inspired by an activity in Multiple Intelligences in the Elementary Classroom: A Teachers Toolkit by Susan Baum, Julie Viens and Barbara Slatin.

Take a square box (or die) and put 4 of your child’s FAVORITE multiple intelligences on the sides and two of your child’s LEAST favorite MIs.

Have your child roll the “dice”. Whatever side they land on, they have to talk about one of the ways they MOST enjoy flexing that mind muscle.

Next, you roll the dice. Now talk about the way YOU most enjoy flexing that mind muscle.

Invite other family members to join the game.

Do you find similarities? Differences? Based on your child’s responses, can you think of new activities or pursuits to which you’d like to introduce them?

Have each participant roll the dice at least 10 times. At the end, each participant should have revealed at least 10 ways they feel they are SMART. Note them on a piece of paper you keep handy. If discouragement crops up at any time during the school year for your child, remind them of all the ways you randomly discovered they were smart during this exercise…and how the other participants’ “smarts” differed from theirs.

Remind him or her to not ask IF they are smart…but HOW they are smart.

Extra Credit: Make TWO autobiographical die. Roll them simultaneously. How does your child like to use these intelligences in concert? (E.g. logical & linguistic intelligence together in whodunit puzzles…creating new lyrics for music blends linguistic & musical intelligences…creating art from natural elements…etc.)

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Kidzmet’s Make it Your Mission Series for Kids

I think we’ve all be inspired by movies like “Pay It Forward”, but many times don’t think that we can have that kind of large scale impact on our country or world. The reality is that when you combine passion with perseverance,  we are capable of much more than we ever dreamed.

And the same goes for our kids. Over the course of the past month on Kidzmet, we set out to offer kids a step-by-step guide to honing in on a personal mission statement and how to begin sharing that mission and infectious enthusiasm with their communities, countries and even our world.

When kids start to reveal new findings rather than report on what’s already been discovered…

When they start to self-direct learning based on their own personal passions…

When they start to realize that it’s not a *single* type of intelligence that’s needed to be successful in pretty much any career you can think of, but a *puree* of several—if not all—of the multiple intelligences used in concert with each other…

That’s when learning truly has the potential to become fun and exciting for kids.

Want to help ignite Fires in the Minds of your kids–or Light Up Your Child’s Mind? We hope this series will help you do just that.

Part 1 :: Talk about what a “mission statement” is with your child and brainstorm a personal mission statement for them.

Part 2 :: Find people who do work that’s similar to what your child said his or her mission was in the last exercise and reach out to them.

Part 3 :: Plan a date, time and place to have a gathering to talk to other “like minded people” in your community about your personal mission.

Part 4 :: At your gathering, talk with others about how you can work together to affect change in this regard.

Part 5 :: Attend a trade show or conference with some of your fellow advocates and/or a parent that is in alignment with your mission.

Part 6 :: Analyze your results. How effective was each strategy? What techniques do you want to replicate as you continue your efforts? What new techniques would you like to try?

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Audible Feast

As we all know, variety is the spice of life…but many of us get stuck in a rut when it comes to the musical genres to which we will listen.

When you think about it, though, music is much like food in the sense that just because you don’t like salmon cooked a certain way at one restaurant doesn’t mean you won’t devour it when it’s cooked differently by another chef.

Commit to spending at least ONE hour this week experiencing an out-of-the-ordinary musical genre as a family. You don’t need to love it, but try to appreciate the layers and complexity of each “taste” you get just as you (the parents, of course) would if you went wine tasting.

Luckily, this exercise is piece of cake in the age of cable, satellite TV and the Internet. Go to one of the music channels that you wouldn’t normally select on your preferred device, put on the timer for an hour, then PUT DOWN THE MOUSE or remote.

Unless there’s a lot of profanity in the lyrics, don’t change the station or turn off the channel.

What instruments do you hear in the music? Are they different or similar to the ones used in the music you nomally listen to? How do the rhythms differ? What do you think of the lyrics? Is the music melodic or dissonant? Is there more of a variation in dynamics (e.g. transitions from loud to soft or vice-versa)?

Just like you would find in your normal genres, you’ll hear artists you enjoy listening to more than others…and if you’re using a service like Pandora, Slacker, or Spotify, you can customize the new genre to suit your family’s musical “taste buds”.

So, belly-up to a Song Smorgasbord this weekend and sample some new musical delights.

Bon appetit!

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