Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2017

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)



Committee Chair

Stephanie Stein

Second Committee Member

Heidi Perez

Third Committee Member

Bret P. Smith

Fourth Committee Member

Richard Marsicano


Limited empirical support presently exists for the use of music as a behavioral intervention for students with disabilities. The purpose of this research was to study whether the social behaviors of children enrolled in a developmental preschool classroom changed in response to live piano music. The principal investigator hypothesized an increase in dyadic and/or other group-oriented play in the presence of live piano music, compared to when no piano music played. This eight-week study used a single-subject, A-B-A-B-C withdrawal design and a 30-second partial interval sampling procedure to sequentially observe and analyze the frequency of six operationally defined behaviors among nine students, ages three and four years. Visual analyses revealed largely insignificant effects and high data variability. Noteworthy behaviors were proximity-based play, play in the presence of an adult, and solitary play behaviors. Limits to the present study and suggestions for future research were discussed.