An Investigation of Multiple Intelligence Theory and its Application to Student Learning Outcomes in a
Any number of methods have been developed by music educators to provide students at different skill levels with personally targeted instruction within the context of theory-driven education (Runfola & Taggart, 2006). Educators working in this field have searched for answers to the questions of how students of varying ages learn when they learn music. Runfola and Taggart (2006) suggest that learning music is, in some key ways, similar to acquiring simultaneously both a new language and a new set of motor skills which must be integrated into a cohesive performance. These same researchers have also noted that students who pursue the development of musical ability are not a homogeneous group and are likely to bring their own personal learning styles to the instructional encounter; consequently, while there are any number of methods that are used to teach music, there is no single "best method" that meets the needs of all music students.
One music instruction strategy that has proven successful in meeting the needs of a variety of diverse student groups is the Suzuki Method. Suzuki (1973, 1983) noted that the Suzuki Piano Method represents a pedagogical sequence that encourages the development of musical literacy. This particular sequence moves from an emphasis on listening to music gradually to an actual engagement with the instrument, with the student playing increasingly complex sequences of notes leading ultimately to entire compositions (Suzuki, 1978, 1995). Consequently, this particular instructional method has been employed with success by many music instructors.
Implicit within the pedagogical ideology of the Suzuki Method as described by Hicks (1980) and Junda (1990) is the recognition of the fact that students present a variety of learning styles, a concept that is also advanced by Howard Gardner (1993) in hi...