This study was prompted by the recent increase in academic and public interest in neuromusical brain research, which provides information about how the brain processes music. It is the task of neural science to explain how the individual units of the brain are used to control behaviour, and how the functioning of these units is influenced by an individual's specific environment and relationships with other people. However, the concept of neuromusical research is relatively new to music education. In any learning experience, brain processing (of information) is not an end in itself. The skill of 'thinking' is dependent on the whole integrated mind/body system, with skills being a manifestation of conscious physical responses that demonstrate knowledge acquisition. Howard Gardner's 'Theory of Multiple Intelligences' lists the musical intelligence as one of eight autonomous intelligences: linguistic, logic-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental. All of these intelligences can be developed to a reasonably high level. This thesis uses David Elliott's praxial philosophy as a conceptual basis. Elliott's four meanings of music education: education in music, by music, for music, and by means of music, have been selected to determine the parameters for an 'inclusive' understanding of musical intelligence. Scientific research findings, brain based data, and behavioural results with educational implications have been used to define what is meant by the musical intelligence, and its role in whole brain learning. Whole brain learning (also referred to as 'accelerated' learning or 'super' learning) is examined in the framwork of IQ (intellectual quotient/intelligence), EQ (emotional intelligence), and SQ (spiritual intelligence). It is important to note that the brain imposes certain constraints on the learning ability of individuals, but that there are also numerous benefits to be derived from an awarenss of brain functions pertaining to education in general and music education in particular. These constraints and benefits are an important feature of whole brain learning, with the musical intelligence playing a vital role.
Dissertation (DMus)--University of Pretoria, 2003.