School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Kurt Michael


Music, Multiple Intelligences, Multisensory, Elementary, Instructional


Elementary Education


The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study is to understand how teachers use HeidiSongs music as an instructional tool in the elementary school classroom. HeidiSongs uses multisensory structured language education to teach by engaging multiple senses simultaneously to increase retention. The theories guiding this study include Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which involves kinesthetic intelligences among other types of intelligences, and Krashen’s theory of second language acquisition. HeidiSongs uses both musical and kinesthetic activities to enhance literacy. The central research question focused on how teachers use HeidiSongs music as an instructional tool in the elementary school classroom. The sub-questions explored the different instructional settings where this literacy instruction could take place: whole group, small group, and individual instruction. Eleven participants were current or former users of HeidiSongs music, and data was collected virtually through documentation, individual interviews, and a single focus group interview. Data was analyzed through cross-case synthesis, searching for patterns, forming naturalistic generalizations, and explanation building. Findings indicated HeidiSongs is most applicable in the whole group setting in the elementary school classroom, with teachers and students using recall of the songs in small group and individual worktime to enhance memory. Teachers enjoyed the combination of multisensory music and movement in HeidiSongs and reported an overall positive effect on student engagement, even in diverse populations. Further research on instructional data distinguishing between audio, visual, or animated versions of the songs could help teachers determine which version of the songs is most ideal for each classroom.