School of Music


Master of Arts in Music Education (MA)


Rebecca Watson


Music Education, Disabilities, Exceptionalities, Music, Adaptive Music Education


Education | Music | Music Education


Music education programs positively impact the lives of students both socially and emotionally. As the following research suggests, music may have an even greater impact on students with disabilities or exceptionalities. Due to the lack of accessibility, funding, time, training, and other issues, opportunities in music education programs may be limited to groups of students who may not fit the standard music education student profile. As teachers of common core classes may struggle to accommodate students with exceptionalities and may feel as if they are lacking in resources or other needed preparation to adequately serve these students, these struggles are also present in the music classroom. This can potentially inhibit an exceptional student from being involved in a music program or limit the student’s opportunity to participate. The aim of this study is to show why students with exceptionalities may be limited in their involvement in music programs and to help uncover issues that may impede students with exceptionalities from readily participating in music programs to the same extent as students without disabilities. The study’s purpose is to inform music educators and decision makers that music is an all-encompassing subject that should be accessible to all students.