Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Multidisciplinary Studies - Individualized Option, M.S.


Music Department


Lisa R. Hunter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Music

Department Home page

First Reader

Lisa R. Hunter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Music

Second Reader

Victora J. Furby, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Music


The purpose of this study was to investigate the motivation of students to join and remain in instrumental music in suburban school districts through the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. The goal was to seek which area of motivation in each grade level and school building had the highest impact on student involvement and retention. Areas of motivation studied include teacher/student relationships, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, approach success/avoid failure, competition/ego, peer involvement, parental support, and financial issues. The sample included 205 students from a suburban school district in New York. Students were broken into groups based on school buildings which are based on grade level: Group 1/4th grade (n=41), Group 2/ 5th and 6th grade (n=87), Group 3/ 7th and 8th grade (n=41), and Group 4/ 9th through 12th grade (n=53). Data indicated that at the elementary level (Group 1), strong motivators to join and remain in band include peer involvement, intrinsic motivation, and teacher-student relationships. At the intermediate level (Group 2), intrinsic motivation and peer involvement have the greatest influence on students. Teacher-student relationships, parental support, and intrinsic motivation highly impact junior high school (Group 3) students. At the high school level (Group 4), intrinsic motivation was very high. Extrinsic motivation was also highest at the high school level but was not ranked the highest among high school students in terms of motivational orientations. Financial issues did not appear to cause a great impact on any level.