School of Music


Master of Arts in Music Education (MA)


Keith Currie


Music Education, Special Needs, Multiple Intelligence, Elementary Music


Education | Music | Music Education


Students who fall under the label of “special needs” or “exceptional learners” are often forgotten when it comes to music class. Unfortunately, in many schools they either do not attend music classes at all or they only attend with other students who are also considered special needs students. These students deserve the right to be in an inclusive music class with their peers who are not special needs students. Students of all abilities should receive the same opportunities to learn music together. One question that will be addressed is whether music teachers in South Carolina are making their classrooms inclusive for these students. Are the lessons being taught in a way where these students feel included, or are they merely spectators? The author will research different teaching methods to find the best ways to include these students. By studying and using Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences to help plan my lessons, the research will find ways to hopefully reach every student in the class to help them feel like a vital part of the classroom community. Many students who fall under the label of “special needs” often excel in one area of study. By creating and developing music lessons which teach towards the strengths of these students, the goal is to make music more meaningful for every student.