Multiple Intelligence Monday 1: Introduction

I enjoy structure, so I’m creating a new format for summer: Multiple Intelligence Mondays!  I tried writing a single post about multiple intelligences, and it got crazy long.  So I need to break it up into weekly installments.

For now: an introduction as to why I would bother with such a thing.

Wikipedia can tell you the basics of multiple intelligence theory, in case you don’t already know.  It doesn’t matter whether there are seven intelligences or a hundred, or if there’s really just one, the point is we’re all good at certain things, and most of us are lousy at other things.

I, for example, can’t add, but I can pronounce the hell out of anything.  It takes me multiple seconds to analyse a triad to figure out its quality–very slow!–but I can pick up a Tai Chi form after just a couple of times through.  Are these the results of what I learned or failed to learn as a child, or was what I learned determined by my capacity to learn, my aptitude?  I have no idea.  It’s complicated!  I can’t get into it, and I don’t think I need to.  The point is that certain skills, certain capacities are important for a conductor.  I’ll go through the seven intelligences I originally learned and use that as a starting place to explain.  But why does it matter?

I learned about multiple intelligence theory when I was an undergrad getting a degree in music education.  Knowing about multiple intelligences was supposed to make us better teachers: we could design lessons that address different intelligences, which correspond, so they say, to learning styles–which is really what this is about–the way you learn, the means through which things enter your brain most efficiently.  For a conductor, there is such a wide array of skills and aptitudes that will help that, as I have said before, there are no stupid conductors.  You just have to be pretty good at a lot of things in order to succeed on the podium.  But knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses allows each conductor to use what we do best and compensate for what eludes us.

Details to follow.  Every Monday.

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