Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Interdisciplinary Education

Major Professor

Carol Mullen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Benjamin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roger Brindley, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Janet Moore, Ed.D.


Music education, Interdisciplinary, Academic achievement, Curriculum, Whole child


This qualitative case study investigated the levels and frequency of music integration being implemented at a public elementary school in central Florida, what key issues affect the successful implementation of effective music integration, and if music integration has an influence on academic achievement.

This study focused on 14 elementary school educators actively involved with music integration at one public elementary school. The multiple formats of data collection and analysis provided triangulation and increased the viability and transferability of the results. The five data collection formats that were used consisted of surveys, observations, lesson plans, interviews, and student achievement documents. Data results were coded and analyzed for themes, similarities, and differences. Tables, graphs, narratives, and transcription quotes illustrate the data results.

The literature review provides historical and foundational information of how interdisciplinary qualities of music education relate to student achievement. This study offers working integration examples and addresses the important issues and benefits of music integration. With increased high-stakes accountability for student achievement, educators must explore viable curriculum options that aid academic achievement (Arts Education Partnership, 2002; Cutietta, 1996; Hyatt, 2004; Mallery, 2000; Snyder, 2001).

This study found academic benefits are linked to music integration as previous research has found (Bresler, 2002; Brewer, 2002; Drake, 1998; MENC, 2001, 2004; Wiggins and Wiggins, 1997). Perhaps other elementary school personnel working toward higher student achievement will find the results useful to increase effective music integration at their schools.

The following were major findings of this study: (a) music integration occurred at Levels 1, 4, and 5; (b) awareness and training were the 2 most important issues affecting music integration out of the 12 identified in this study; and (c) educators do perceive music integration to be beneficial to students academically, behaviorally, and emotionally.

Contributions of this research are beyond that typically found in similar literature: (a) a balanced research-practitioner music integration resource; (b) an awareness and training program for school administrators, which includes working models and literature to help educators improve the musically integrative practice in their elementary curriculum; and (c) the development of Music Integration Criteria and an Integration Consortium.