The Savant Syndrome

A Review of the Literature for the Music Educator

Though music educators work with students who have a special learning need or a gifted ability on a daily basis, encountering a student who has both can be unexpected. The literature presented here can be used as a basis for information pertaining to terminology, studies and theories that attempt to explain the savant syndrome, how to identify it, and what factors are important in ensuring they are successful in the music classroom. Articles were obtained using scholarly databases. Factual information about the syndrome is readily agreed on, but why and how the syndrome happens is still a matter of debate. Some successful teaching methods have been replicated in multiple studies, yet the research in this area is still evolving. Nevertheless, these resources create a stepping-stone that the music educator can use to supplement his or her knowledge of working with savant students.

Journal Update
Year 2015
Volume 33
Issue 2
Pages 5-12

St Denis, Erika (2015) The Savant Syndrome: A Review of the Literature for the Music Educator. In: Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 5-12. Available at


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