Investigating the Effects of Music on Regulating Emotions to Enhance On-Task Performance in a Special Education Classroom

Erin Bartz

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This mixed methods study examines the use of music on regulating emotions and enhancing student on-task performance in a special education classroom. Participants are 8 students in grades 7-12 from a small rural school in Western Canada. Quantitative data consists of student completion time and assignment accuracy. Qualitative data consists of student behavioral observations, student feelings and student thoughts about the music selections. Both methods determine that background music did not significantly regulate emotions nor did it enhance on-task performance in this special education classroom although aspects of student reflections, observations and assignment completion times suggest otherwise. Suggestions are made to study further the use of background music on regulating emotions and enhancing on-task performance in the special needs classroom.