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Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences - Persuasive essay on why music should be in school

chazbell 1 / 1  
Oct 29, 2008   #1
this is about 2/3 of my essay. I'm trying to finish it tonight. Any comments or suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated.

Also if anyone could please look for grammatical errors I would love you for ever, even it's just one paragraph that you revise the help would be tremendous.

so please read a bi of it and give me your input, Ill find some way to repay you

According to Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences there are eight categories of intelligence displayed by human beings. These eight intelligences are thought to be equal and one should not hold seniority over any others. The schools of today focus mainly on the logical-mathematical and linguistic areas of intelligence and leave the other six categories to optional classes, or in some instances, discard of them completely. This is the case for the education of music, a subject that was once commonly taught through out the course of a student's schooling, is now being cut because of budget issues and for the sake of standardized test scores. Music is an important piece of education that should be along side math, science and reading as a basic subject.

All academic subjects are related in some way or another and music is no exception. Various studies indicate that certain skills used in school are directly influenced by music. Knowledge of music theory, the ability to play an instrument, even just listening to music has been proven to affect a student's abilities in school.

Every mother has heard the rumors of classical music and their effects on children. According to these rumors playing the work of classical composers like Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach stimulates the part of the brain that deals with spatial reasoning. Spatial reasoning is a term that refers to the ability to visualize patterns and mentally use them to solve problems. It sounds too good to be true, but could these rumors be fact rather than fiction? Many experiments have been performed over the past few decades that give the answer, "Yes, these rumors are true"

A study conducted in 1993, by Dr. Francis Rauscher and Dr. Gordon Shaw placed a group of preschool children in two separate rooms, one with music, and the other with

out. Each room gave an identical test the children that consisted of various math problems. The study showed that listening to ten minutes of Mozart improved the students' abilities to find the patterns (Rauscher 611).

In 1994, Linda Levine and Katherine Ky ran a follow-up study to Rauscher and Shaw's experiment. Seventy eight second grade students were asked to take a test designed to measure their spatial reasoning abilities. After the preliminary test, twenty of those students received a fifteen minute private piano lesson once a week for six months. When the six month period ended, the same seventy eight students took the test again. The results showed that the students who had taken the piano lessons received a 46% boost in their test scores. In one section of the test students had to put together a puzzle of a camel. The twenty students that took the piano lessons had a significant decrease in the amount of time it took them to solve the puzzle (Levine). These results confirm the impact of music instruction on the students' spatial-reasoning skills.

Rauscher and Shaw's research revealed the relationship between music and spatial reasoning. A year later Levine and Ky helped establish this result with their own trial. Although music has an undeniable connection with spatial reasoning, it is not the only bond it shares. Research shows that math also goes hand in hand with music.

Martin Gardiner, a professor at Brown University's Center for the Study of Human Development, held an experiment that would test the relationship between music and math. Two groups of first graders were given math tests. Then one group received music lessons that were primarily based on staying on beat with music and musical games that involved rhythm and pitch. After six months, the students took the test again. The student who had taken the lessons scored significantly better than the group that did not take the lessons. (Gardiner)

To a person who has taken a geometry class, Pythagoras is instantly connected with the Pythagorean Theorem, but Pythagoras was much more than a line of text in a book. He was an inspirational philosopher, an expert mathematician and a skilled musician. No one believed in the relationship between math and music more than him and his followers. Pythagoras believed that the music of his time seemed dissonant and confusing, and wanted to use math to make it more enjoyable. Pythagoras first considered the connection between music and math when he was walking down the street and heard the sound of blacksmith hammering on their anvils. He believed the sounds to be oddly harmonious and investigated further to find that the anvils were ratios of each other. Pythagoras used these ratios to develop the Twelve Tonal System, which is the fundamental basis of western music. The fact that western music is solely based on mathematical ratios shows the strong bond between music and math.

Music's importance to society is staggering to say the least. When walking down the city streets, it can be heard coming from cars, stores, festivals and the occasional street musician. It's strange to think that something can continuously surround us, yet we are not educated in it. It's like not being taught addition in math class or leaving the us constitution out of history books, it's ignoring the obvious.

The significance of music in society crosses over to humanity's largest, defining trait, culture. The two are weaved together like a tightly knit sweater. Taking away the music from culture would leave you with a very drafty piece of clothing.

With this said, culture revolves around music. When thinking of Mexican customs, a mariachi band comes to mind. The sounds of steel drums are conjured up when thinking of island culture. Music is the center piece of cultures around the world and with out it, the world would be incredibly bland. Without the arts, cultures would be based almost entirely off of foods.

Not only does the culture of nations revolve around music, but the nations them selves are measured mainly by their art. John Ruskin, renowned author, poet and art critic, said that, "Great Nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts: the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others, but of the three the only trustworthy one is the last."

The Greek philosopher, Plato, once stated, "Education in music is most sovereign because more than anything else rhythm and harmony find their way to the inmost should and take strongest hold upon it, bringing with them and imparting grade if one is rightly trained." This statement implies that music is the single most important thing a student can be educated in, and Plato's beliefs should not be taken lightly. Plato, together with his mentor, Socrates, and apprentice, Aristotle, crated the foundation in which western philosophy is built on.
OP chazbell 1 / 1  
Oct 30, 2008   #2
heres part 2

Philosophers are the people who study and solve problems with the world around them. Their words should be heeded and considered highly authoritative. They are the ones that analyze a culture's current state and solve the problems with it. The words of the following philosophers relate to the importance of music education.

The Greek philosopher, Plato, once declared, "Education in music is most sovereign because more than anything else rhythm and harmony find their way to the inmost should and take strongest hold upon it, bringing with them and imparting grade if one is rightly trained." This statement implies that music is the single most important thing a student can be educated in, and Plato's beliefs should not be taken lightly. Plato, together with his mentor, Socrates, and apprentice, Aristotle, crated the foundation in which western philosophy is built on.

Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher, stated that "Ceremony established the correct manner of physical movement in man, music perfected man's mind and his emotions." Confucius understood music to affect an individual on a cognitive level.

He elaborated on this idea in his teachings of the Li chi: "Music is the harmony of heaven and earth, while rites are the measurement of heaven and earth. Through harmony all things are made known; through measures all things are properly classified". This is interpreted as music bringing a sort of harmony and balance to the world (Eaton).

Music education is unlike any other type of subject taught in schools. It is much more hands-on type experience than say History is. In a standard History class, the majority of class time is spent on listening to lectures and taking notes. With music, however, it's very difficult to learn how to play an instrument by taking notes alone. It requires actually holding the instrument and experiencing music first hand, something that isn't common in standard subjects.

Going to school day in and day out is not the most creatively rewarding activity. It's like taking a finely honed blade and grinding it up and down the pavement. Students are bombarded with a plethora of information a day, taking notes, memorizing names and dates, learning formulas, the list goes on. Not exercising the imagination weakens it and according to Albert Einstein, "Imagination is more important than knowledge". Music is a great creative output for students whose imaginations are dulled by the rough grain of education.

The ability to have an opinion is one of the defining characteristics of a human and as humans, we must exercise this trait. Opinions are hard to come by in History or Math, unless someone disagrees with the idea that George Washington was the first president or that two plus two does in fact equal four. Art is one of the only subjective things in school. It allows individuals to have their own views rather than for someone to tell them what is right and what is wrong.

Rules and guidelines are prevalent through out school from the first day of Kindergarten to last second of graduation. It dehumanizes students to the point where worrying about whether they should be doing this or that for the purpose of pleasing the administration. Music has virtually no guidelines. It's an infinite plain where the mind is free to wander. After a full days worth of following rules and staying in the lines, children of all ages need to express themselves and music is the perfect outlet.

Music can easily teach students in areas where other subjects struggle. Since it has such a unique way of teaching and learning, music can find its way to parts of the brain that remain untouched by conventional subjects.

Group work has always is considered by many to be an easy event, for example, imagine a group math project. Usually one person in the group will know the information that was taught in the class and they will get stuck with the majority of the work, while the other group members enjoy some time off. Now imagine a group project in a music class. The assignment is to compose a short song that will be performed in front of the class. It's impossible for a single person to do all the work for they would have to simultaneously play multiple instruments. Each member would have to contribute ideas to the song, write their own part, and perform it live. In earlier grades this type of work would promote social skills in children which is imperative in the world outside of school.

In the technology driven world that exists today, there is a large focus on computer competency. The modest amount of tax payer dollars are force new programs to compete over each other to be used in the school's curriculum. And music programs are often set aside for these computer based programs (Zhan 18). As seen in the experiment conducted by Levine and Ky, music lessons increased the children's performance in math where as the students who had received lessons in computers or no lessons at all, saw a very minute change in scores. Furthermore, technology based programs are cost inefficient. The prices for a standard quality cello are 800 dollars where as a standard quality computer and monitor can cost around the same price.

The problem here is that computers are outdated almost annually. A cello hasn't been altered since it's inception in 1556.
Education in music was once regarded as the single most important thing a person could ever learn. Philosophers from every corner of the globe agreed upon this matter and felt that music was too important to be discarded. Studies show that music can positively affect test scores and improve spatial reasoning skills. Music is arguably the greatest defining trait when it comes to culture. If it were to be removed from the standard curriculum, it would signify the death of culture. With these facts in mind, how could one justify the education of music not to be a basic subject?
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Oct 30, 2008   #3
Good afternoon.

I'll go ahead and give you some pointers to get you started:

When you use quotations such as in the first section, remember to put your punctuation inside of the quotation marks.

When you use inline citations make sure to put the punctuation on the outside of the last ellipse. For instance, "Quoted information here" (Citation name and number here).

Make sure when you are writing a list that you include a comma after each item in the list, including the item before the "and." For instance:

"...philosopher, an expert mathematician, and a skilled musician."

Avoid contractions in formal academic writing, as they are inappropriate and many instructors will count down for their use.

"...humanity's largest defining trait; culture." Watch excessive/inappropriate comma use.

Make sure you are only capitalizing proper nouns and the first words of sentences. For instance, "History" shouldn't be capitalized, but the name "Lin Chi" should be.

I also suggest you run it through a spell checking program such as Word or Mozilla.

Keep up your hard work.

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