Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This study observed the academic engaged time of seven students in a self contained classroom. The service that this study concentrated on was music therapy. The study attempted to answer the following question "Does music therapy affect the academic achievement of children with disabilities by improving their on-task behaviors in the classroom?" Undercoffer (1997) states that music can enhance student motivation, increase attendance and improve social skills. Data collection was done specifically through the use of an observational instrument, using a five point Likert scale. The instrument measured "on-task" performance before and after the already scheduled music therapy sessions for three weeks. As a whole group, no significant differences were found among total on-task behaviors prior to or after music therapy. Two themes emerged from the written comments of the Likert scale the first was the focus of the adult on the negative behaviors of the child. The second was teacher cuing, reminders or redirecting verbally of the child. The results of this study were extremely close to displaying significant differences among total on-task behavior prior to or after music therapy. Several students showed improvement on the post music therapy session by a difference of at least five points on their post observational scores.