Foundations of Music Education


Lecture: Music Learning

Syllabus    Course Outline


Teaching and Learning are inextricably linked.

Some teachers have the philosophy that their job is only to present the information.

What do you think?  If learning has not taken place, have you taught??


There are many theories about how learning takes place.

Be sure to read about them in Chapter 4!


We are going to concentrate on a couple of concepts.

First, Bloom's Taxonomy.

 You probably remember that from your education classes.

The levels you see represent different levels of thinking


Here is another way to look at it with a little more detail.




Generating new ideas, products, or ways of viewing things

Designing, constructing, planning, producing, inventing.



Justifying a decision or course of action

Checking, hypothesising, critiquing, experimenting, judging



Breaking information into parts to explore understandings and relationships

Comparing, organising, deconstructing, interrogating, finding 


Using information in another familiar situation

Implementing, carrying out, using, executing



Explaining ideas or concepts

Interpreting, summarising, paraphrasing, classifying, explaining


Recalling information

Recognising, listing, describing, retrieving, naming, finding




Notice that 'Remembering' is at the bottom of the food chain and that 'Creating' is at the top.  It is helpful to assess our classroom activities and categorize them.  Are we concentrating too much on the lower levels? 


Take a look at this planning guide:

Bloom's Revised Taxonomy Planning Framework


One pitfall for music teachers is to consider 'exploring' to be 'creating.'  You know what I mean, when we put an instrument in a student's hand, let him/her noodle around, and then call that 'improvisation.'  A musician who is truly improvising, knows what the music will sound like before he/she actually hears it.

Hmmmm. . . . .

Creating, at least in this sense, is the highest level of thinking, so as we discuss this week, be sure to use 'creating' as a higher form than 'exploring.'


Now let's look at another concept:

Multiple Intelligences


Multiple intelligences is a theory developed by Howard Gardner.  He said that intelligence based upon IQ tests was too limited and that there are actually 8 different kinds of intelligence that we all possess to various degrees.

For an explanation of this theory, follow the link below.  Here is an example of a good use of Wikipedia.  There is a brief description of the theory and its parts.  If you scroll down to the bottom, there is an excellent bibliography.  Check it out:


Now, take the test yourself

Here are some sources for the Multiple Intelligence Test:


Now, what if you were to combine Bloom's taxonomy with Multiple Intelligences and apply the two to your classroom.

Here is a master chart called

Blooming Smarts Master Planning Matrix

This chart combines the different levels of thinking (Bloom's Revised Taxonomy) with the different kinds of intelligence (Multiple Intelligences).  You can use this to plan activities that incorporate all levels of thinking and all kinds of intelligence.  It will challenge your creativity, but just think of the ramifications of addressing the strengths of all of your students on every level!




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