Spring 2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Students diagnosed with moderate to severe disabilities often struggle to stay on-task and in their seat during classroom lessons. When students are off-task, they are not attending or participating in learning activities, which impacts their ability to acquire new skills. Practical whole class interventions that can be easily implemented are needed to keep students focused and in their seat. The current study provided calming background music during daily learning activities to determine whether on-task, specifically in-seat, behavior would increase in relation to when background music was not provided. Three students participated in an A-B-A-B single case design study where the baseline conditions had no background music and the intervention phases included background music. Results demonstrated an increase of in-seat behavior across the study sample. This indicates that providing background music in a special day class setting may be useful to increase in-seat behavior in special education students with a diagnosis in the moderate to severe range.