Date of Conferral

2014

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Kerry Burner

Abstract

Reading and writing curricula in more than 50% of America's schools have not been successful in assisting students to meet mandated academic performances for a number of reasons, including lack of student motivation and self-esteem. Research studies indicated that music can influence student motivation and academic performance in subjects such as language arts and that a music-infused curriculum could generate the positive difference between academic failure and academic success. For this qualitative case study with a constructivist paradigm, the purpose was to observe, document, and analyze music-infused lessons used by 4 teachers from prekindergarten to 5th grade with the goal to enhance students' language arts skills. The study examined teachers' perspectives and the instructional tools they used to stimulate and motivate students to strive toward academic success. It included interviews, a focus group, and observations with the participants. Data were coded, transcribed, analyzed, and evaluated for the final documented results, which revealed the benefits teachers experienced and the positive changes they noticed in their students from using music infusion in language arts. Findings revealed that students were more motivated, exhibited better attitudes, and had sustained attention and better retention of lessons taught with a music-infused structure. A recommendation is that administrators allow teachers more opportunities and flexibility to collaborate and assist with developing music-infused lessons to align with their language arts curriculum. Overall, the implications for social change were significant for educators, administrators, and students by providing an alternative method to teaching language arts that can increase motivational levels and academic success of struggling students.