Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Kristian Veit

Publication Date


Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery



Past research suggests that students involved in music are intrinsically motivated. For example, Diaz (2010) showed that undergraduate musicians possessed high levels of academic intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is a predictor of high academic achievement as well. Additionally, past research indicates that music education is positively correlated with academic achievement and self-esteem. This study continues to investigate the relationships between musicianship and academic motivation, academic achievement, and self-esteem, but does so using a post-secondary sample and an expanded classification system for musicianship.

Methods and Procedures

A survey link was emailed to all undergraduate students at a small, Christian university in the Midwest. Participants were asked to share their past music experience along with demographic information like major, GPA, and ACT score. They also completed 28 items from Vallerand’s Academic Motivation Scale (Vallerand, 1992) as well as 10 items from Rosenthal’s Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenthal, 1965). Five hundred and fifty-eight students completed the survey. The participants were categorized participants into four levels of musicianship: music majors/minors (n=40), non-music majors/minors in collegiate level music ensembles (n=216), non-music majors/minors not in collegiate level music ensembles (n=136), and non-musicians (n=164). Inferential statistics were used to compare the academic motivation, academic achievement, and self-esteem of the groups.


Using an independent samples t-test, it was found that musicians (both music majors/minors and non-music majors/minors in collegiate level ensembles) had higher academic motivation and ACT scores than non-musicians. No other statistically significant differences were found between any other groups on academic motivation, academic achievement, and self-esteem.


Honor's Cohort 8

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.