Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MMUS)




The purpose of this study was to compare recruiting and retention factors between genders and grade levels for high school orchestra students. The investigation utilized a twenty-three statement survey to elicit information from students with regards to motivation factors, psychological factors, and sociological factors affecting recruiting and retention. T-tests and an analysis of variance procedures revealed female students out­ numbered male students four to one, and ninth- and tenth-grade students out numbered eleventh- and twelfth-grader students by more than two to one. Responses from all students (N = 183) revealed males indicated stronger gender biases toward orchestra than females, had more confidence in their abilities than females, but do not enjoy learning the music as much as females. Further results indicated younger students demonstrated more gender biases and do not like the timbre of their instrument as well as older students. The study also indicated parents and teachers were influential in a student's decision to continue participating in orchestra. Friends were found to be less influential to younger students, and more influential to older students. Finally, the study demonstrated that high school students practiced their instrument because of intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivators.


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 Peggy Garcia Boettger.