Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MMUS)




The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare the academic achievement of fifth-grade students missing traditional academic classes due to instrumental music participation to students in the same class not involved in instrumental music instruction in school. Individual subjects were selected from elementary schools representing Class B school districts in Nebraska. Subjects (N = 166) were selected from a pool of all students who were fifth-graders in the 1995-1996 school year from each participating school. An equal number of subjects were students who: 1) missed traditional academic classes for instrumental music participation; and 2) non-instrumental music students from those same classrooms. Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills or California Achievement Test reading, language, mathematics, and total battery scale scores were collected for each student from the end of the 1994-1995 and 1995-1996 school years. The two sets of scores were then analyzed for significant differences in reading, language, mathematics, and total battery achievement. The results indicated no significant differences between the subject groups in all areas except fourth-grade reading in which there was a significant difference between the instrumentalists and non­ instrumentalists. Therefore, it was concluded that elementary instrumental music students who miss part of traditional academic classroom instruction can perform equally well on standardized achievement tests as students not involved in public school instrumental music instruction.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Music and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Music University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1997 Susan K. Saker.