Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

James R Campbell

Second Advisor

Edwin Tjoe

Third Advisor

Anthony Annunziato


Achievement in music may be affected by many factors such as the characteristics of the student, the chosen music program, the home environment, and the student’s focus on music study. In music classes, teachers use various techniques to assist in the acquisition of music knowledge. This study determined the effect the different modalities of music study have on the acquisition of basic music skills common to all musical performances. This study also determined the effect of teaching techniques, gender, reading materials in the home, self-reported importance of the Music NAEP Exam, home music activities, and student’s focus on the acquisition of music knowledge. This study investigated the difference in scores on the Music NAEP Exam related to the music study methods, student characteristics, and the students’ focus on music. Results from the 2008 Music NAEP Exam have been used. The 4,028 participants are 8th grade students: 50.5% male and 49.5% female, 52.7% White, 18.1% Black, 22.6% Hispanic, 4.5% Asian, 1.2% American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 9% Other. 39.8% are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch while 87.4% are enrolled in public schools. The average scale score is 147 out of a possible 300 points. Factor analysis will be performed to determine the effects of the method of music study, reading materials at home, teaching techniques used in music class, and the students’ focus on music. This analysis determined that significant differences in Music NAEP Exam scores exist as a result of music confidence, music class activities, performance in an ensemble, high literacy resources, and music interests. In addition, when considered individually, taking private lessons, singing in a chorus, and performing in an instrumental ensemble all have a significant effect on music achievement.