The importance of arts in the development of emotional intelligence

The importance of arts in the development of emotional intelligence

Written by Maria C.

As Gardner, H. (1980) explained, there is not only one intelligence but different types of intelligence whose importance is the same, namely: the linguistic intelligence (being more skillful when using language), the logical-mathematical (which is the ability to develop calculation skills,  mathematics, and logic), the spatial (the ability to orient in space), the musical (how each person perceives or sees music), the physical (coordination, movement…), the intrapersonal (the relationship of the person himself and his emotions), the interpersonal (his relationship with others,  capacity for empathy…) and the naturalistic, which is the ability to adapt to new changes, to improvise… (Camacho, Calvo, M. (n.d.): The theory of multiple intelligences: new educational model). 

To me, intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence are some of the most relevant ones, and what better way for children than to learn about themselves and their emotions through art.  

Through art, we are not only able to express the feelings we have, we are also letting others see a part that is within us as the time we are developing our creativity, our focus, our fine motor skills, and our imagination. For instance, when a child does a drawing and they show it to you and talk about it, they are explaining to you a part of their day by day and of their surroundings. As the time, they are giving you the chance to enter their life. 

An effective approach to how arts helps in the development of emotional intelligence would be doing a project related to it, teaching the different kinds of emotions through different types of art. An example of this would be working on the emotion of fear by studying the painting of Edvard  Munch ‘The scream’ (1893). Some of the activities that could be done would be, for example, taking pictures of the children recreating the paint, asking them to do a self-portrait using paint or drawing, and following their emotions by listening to classical songs with diverse tempos (a good example would be Rimsky Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee). 

“Every child is an artist.” Pablo Picasso.