Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Xin, Joy


Learning disabled children; Music therapy for children


Special Education and Teaching


Many children with learning disabilities (LD) frequently exhibit attention and motivational problems as well as impulsive and physically aggressive behaviors (Hoy & Gregg, 1994). Thus, learning, for these students, is a great challenge and for teachers, providing effective instruction is a great challenge too. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of background music on the classroom behavior of students with learning disabilities. A sample of 7 students with learning disabilities from grades 4 and 5 participated in this study. They received instruction in the language arts and math in two (2) special education resource classrooms. A single subject research design with ABAB phases was used. Baseline observation data was collected to determine areas of behavior problems. The data collection continued over the intervention phase when background music was played during independent work time for 3 weeks. Then the music was withdrawn for 2 weeks serving as the withdrawal phase. Subsequently, the music was played again for 3 weeks in the re-intervention phase to determine if there were any changes of student behaviors. The results show that there was a decrease of student off-task behaviors in the intervention phases when background music was utilized.