Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Urban Special Education

Colleges & School

College Of Education And Leadership

First Advisor

Marian Graeven Peter, PhD

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Music therapy for children; Behavior disorders in children; African American boys--Education


The purpose of this study was to determine if music therapy had an effect on behavior of students with emotional behavior disorder during independent work time. In order to prove this hypothesis, suspension/incident referral data, pre and post-surveys, as well as tally and anecdotal behavior collection were discussed and analyzed. Prior to the intervention, the students were regularly showing negative behaviors as supported by the suspension and incident referral data and behavioral data from week one in the intervention. In the suspension and incident referral data, all students decreased their referrals/suspensions post-intervention. Students self-identified their progress with the use of the pre and post-survey. Where every student identified growth in at least two areas of behavior. In addition, the behavioral data showed dramatic increases in positive behavior and decreases in negative behavior throughout the eight-week period in all observed behaviors. On average, every student was engaging in positive behaviors over 80 percent of the 30-minute intervention time. Over all the various data collections, each student made positive progress in their own individual way. The behavioral data was essential to at the core of identifying if the music therapy was successful. This data indicates that music therapy did have an effect on the increase of positive behaviors and the decrease of negative behaviors for students with emotional behavior disorder during independent work time.


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