Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Robyne Elder

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Winslow

Third Advisor

Dr. Mitch Nasser


In recent years, students’ standardized test scores have become one of the major measurements for students’ learning. However, music as a non-tested subject is often viewed as a lesser valued subject compared to core subjects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact music programs have on student academic achievement and attendance rate. The data was collected from one middle school of a large school district located in the northeast of Missouri. The study population includes sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students who enrolled in the 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2020-2021 school years. The population was divided into students who participated in music classes (band, choir, and orchestra) and students who did not participate in music classes. A survey was also conducted to align with the research question: “What are middle school music educators' perceptions of music education's impact on academic achievement?” The research used descriptive and inferential statistical procedures: t-test, ANOVA, and Chisquare (χ2) tests to examine data for study purposes. The analyzed data proved the proposed hypothesis and theory, that there was statistically significant data from the English Language Art (ELA) and Mathematics (MATH) assessments to show the positive impact music education could have on both ELA and MATH achievements. The students involved and enrolled in music education courses had higher ELA and mathematics assessment scores and performance levels. Though the results of the students’ attendance days were not as significant, it still statistically showed that music education also had a positive effect on student attendance days. From the analysis of the survey, the finding indicated that all the survey participants agreed that music education has a positive impact on students' academic achievement. It also suggested that middle school music teachers believed that not only can music education help students improve their academic performances, but it can also provide students with the principle abilities to learn and to succeed in other core academic areas.

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