Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Special Education

Committee Chair

Janet Spybrook

Second Committee Member

Cristina Santamaria Graff

Third Committee Member

Janet Finke


The purpose of this study was to measure the effects of the use of music in the form of a song with instructional lyrics on the attention of children with developmental disabilities. The study took place in a self-contained special education classroom, which served third through fifth grade students. A single-subject with ABA or reversal design (Creswell, 2012) was utilized, including five days of baseline, 15 days of intervention, and five days of reversal data collection. During the intervention phase, the teacher sang a cappella an original song with instructional lyrics that explain the type of attentive behaviors that students should be displaying. Measures included momentary time sampling on five attentive behaviors: appropriate vocalizations, visual focus, appropriate hand movement, sitting upright, and appropriate foot movement. All students made gains in their overall attentive behaviors score, while analysis of individual attentive behaviors had varying results.