Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Klanderman, John

Committee Member 1

Dihoff, Roberta


Academic achievement; Musical ability


Educational Psychology


This study was designed to look at the cognitive development of students who have formal musical training and compare them to students who lack any musical ability. The purpose of the study was to lend support to the positive effect that musical training has on space relations and mathematical abilities.

The sample consisted of twenty students enrolled in an undergraduate psychology course at a major university and twenty students enrolled in a high level music class at the same institution. Most of the subjects came from middle class backgrounds and live in New Jersey. The Differential Aptitude Test, form C, was administered under standard conditions to measure the spatial relations and mathematical abilities of the forty subjects.

Independent t-tests were calculated to discover if there was a significance between the mean scores for both groups on both sections of the test. In addition, a paired samples t-test was calculated to see if there was a significance between the spatial relations and mathematical ability means for the same group.

The mean scores on both sections of the test were higher for the musically trained than those for the non-musical group. However, significance of the differences was only found for the spatial relations scores and not the math scores. Also, a significance was found for the hypothesis that suggests a relationship between space relations and mathematical ability.