Flashcards in Music EC-12 CD=12.Developing Musical Knowledge, Skills and Appreciation Deck (4)
The “Mozart effect” theory
Following Gordon Shaw and Frances Rauscher’s brief article, “Music and spatial reasoning” (1993), the “Mozart effect” became a phenomenal over-reaction, much to the dismay of the authors. Skeptics questioned the depth and validity of the research, discrediting the media’s explosive interpretation and oversimplification that listening to Mozart will make an individual smarter. Though perhaps positive for generally supporting the value of music in education, the theory was blown out of proportion and music educators should probably refrain from using the “Mozart Effect” to support or justify their music program.
Right brain/Left brain thery
Theories on the “split” right and left brain can be traced to the 1800’s, and Roger Sperry’s continuing studies in the 1960s resulted in his being awarded the Noble Prize in Medicine in 1981. The theory suggest that the functions of the left half of the brain are associated with logical, mathematical, analytical thinking, while the functions of the right half of the brain are associated with visual-spatial, holistic, creative, and intuitive thinking. For many years, arts advocates have asserted that the Fine Arts play a crucial role in supporting a “balanced” and “well-rounded” curriculum. The emergence of Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory has overshadowed the older right brain/left brain theory, but a recent resurgence of interest in the right brain/left brain is evidenced in Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future (2005).
Theory of multiple intelligences
Though not universally accepted, the theory of multiple intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner in Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983) is arguably the most current credible theory that supports the importance of music in the curriculum. “Musical intelligence” is one of eight intelligences (linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist) identified in Gardner’s theory, which potentially places music on more of an equal footing with the “foundational” academic subjects, and would be a strong theory to support the importance of music in the curriculum.