The Inner Symphony: Applying Holistic Thinking to Higher Music Education




Gould, Lauryn N.

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Our brain functions are divided between two hemispheres - working together to process the tasks we encounter as we carry on with our daily lives. However, each activity is dominated by either the left or right “side” of the brain. Due to societal tendencies in the occidental world, much of the emphasis in education in general, and more specifically, music education and classical performance practice is placed on “left brain” activity; that which deals with analytical thinking, logic, and verbal skills. Although these left-brain activities undoubtedly contribute to musical understanding, a system that equally nurtures the right side of the brain, (that which is responsible for governing emotion, interpretation, and holistic thinking), will aid in developing mature, well rounded musicians and contributors to society. Drawing inspiration from the discipline of ethnomusicology, seminal literature in music education, and Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind (2006), this thesis suggests an impetus to create an educational environment better suited to develop more holistic thought processes in the field of music education particularly at the higher level. This project is supported by a performance element, which embodies some of the principles of this thesis.
Accompanied by a DVD with the following songs: Roumanian Folk Dances, Bela Bartok When Will You Pass This Way Again, Rick Steinburg Viinijarvi Valssi, Erik Hokkanen Sugar, Maceo Pinkard Histoire Du Tango, Astor Piazzolla (Bordel 1900)



music education, holistic thinking, brain hemisphericity, music, Honors College


Gould, L. N. (2009). The inner symphony: Applying holistic thinking to higher music education (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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