Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Diverse disciplines claim music as inspiration and muse for great discovery and creativity. From Albert Einstein to Charles Schultz, they praise music for its ability to stir imaginative thought. The impetus for this research project was the desire for a better balanced literacy program. The study sought a greater understanding of the relationship between classical music played in the background of learning settings and successful writing and learning-focused behavior. The purpose then was to examine the impact of music on three components of a first grade writing workshop learning environment – engagement, motivation, and behavior. For the purposes of this study “classical” is defined as music composed by Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart and the like. A “Writing Workshop” is defined as designated time that includes an interdisciplinary approach which can build students’ fluency in writing through continuous, repeated exposure to the writing process. The five week study was conducted in a first grade classroom of 19 students, five days a week, in 30-35 minute workshop sessions. Data was collected by personal observation, student journal assessment, individual student interviews, and general class discussion. While there were some adverse reactions to the music and writing combination, the overall results and data collected stated the desired result – background music in a learning environment impacts and improves student attitude and academic success. Prior studies with regard to the relationship between classroom behaviors and classical music are offered as confirmation of the positive results garnered through this research project.


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