Date of Graduation

Summer 2021


Master of Music



Committee Chair

Daniel Hellman


Student participation in band has many educational, social, and life benefits for students; however, high attrition rates reflect that many students are not motivated to join and continue in band. This study surveyed sixth, eighth, and tenth grade students in the Clever R-V School District to examine the factors that the students self-identify when deciding to enroll in and persist with band in school. The survey data were analyzed to identify key factors that affect students’ recruitment and retention in school band. Students answered forty multiple choice questions that addressed areas of motivation including parental support, teacher-student relationship, intrinsic motivation, peer involvement, extrinsic motivation, financial aspects, competition versus ego, and the approach success/avoid failure component of goal orientation theory. The participants also answered seven or eight short answer questions that examined each student’s specific perception and experience regarding band recruitment and retention. The survey results indicated that some of the motivational factors that affect students’ decisions the most are peer involvement, teacher-student relationships, intrinsic motivation, and extrinsic motivation. Two larger motivational themes that the students identified through their short answer responses were band being fun and band offering social opportunities. This survey could help music educators in any school to recognize how some students perceive the band experience and could also help teachers to better inform their recruiting processes and teaching practices in order to make participation in band accessible for as many students as possible.


beginning band, participation, motivation, recruitment, retention, music instrument selection, musical instrument instruction, music education

Subject Categories

Music Education


© Haley Morgan Adams

Open Access