Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program


Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell PhD

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD

Second Reader

Robin Gayle, PhD, MDIV, MFT


Though extensive studies exist regarding the use of the arts in general education settings, a comparable amount of research is still needed to support the need for the use of the arts in special education settings. This research study investigated how a once a week music class impacted 3rd - 5th grade students with mild to moderate disabilities in developing their academic, social and behavioral goals as identified in their Individualized Education Programs (IEP). This qualitative research study utilized multiple data forms, including classroom observations of both music and non-music instruction and interviews with teachers, artists, and parents throughout the course of a nine-week music program. Based upon development of participant IEP goals, findings show evidence that the use of art in the special education classroom is beneficial to special education students.