Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education

Committee Chair(s)

Lauri Nelson


Lauri Nelson


Elizabeth Parker


Sonia Manuel-Dupont


Music is an integral aspect of human life. Its impact weaves through arts, culture, communication, recreation, and education. In addition to benefits of enjoyment and entertainment, music is a vital component of early childhood educational settings. Educators routinely utilize music as an embedded component of instruction to meet both group and individual needs of young children in early childhood classrooms. In fact, specialized musical instruction can be particularly beneficial for children with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) (Gfeller, Driscoll, Kenworthy, & Van Voorst, 2011). Children who are DHH are at significant risk for speech, language, and academic delays (Madell & Flexer, 2008). However, with early detection, use of appropriate hearing technology, and specialized early intervention, many children who are DHH can develop language and academic proficiency similar to their same-aged hearing peers (Nelson, 2008; Yoshinaga-Itano, 2003; Yoshinaga-Itano, 2004).