School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Meredith Park


Developmental Disabilities, Music Participation, Special Education


Education | Special Education and Teaching


This quantitative, causal-comparative study examined the differences in reading and math achievement between students with disabilities who participated in music for two or more years and those who did not. This study’s purpose was to show if participating in music can impact the academic achievement of middle school students as measured by the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR). The covariate in the study was the reading and math STAAR scores from fifth-grade students in the 2015–2016 school year before they participated in middle school music. These students’ eighth-grade 2018–2019 math and reading scores were used to show if a difference exists between the academic achievement of students that took part in music and those who did not. A convenience sample of 155 students from an urban district was analyzed using ANCOVA statistical analysis to discover if there is a difference in the achievement of middle school students with disabilities when participating in music classes for two or more years as measured by their STAAR scores. The research found no statistically significant difference between the two groups. Future recommendations for research include duplication of the study with a larger sample or different population.