Throughout history, music has consistently played a large role in helping to define the social, historical, and cultural awareness in human society. For children and young adults who have actively studied music in public school music education programs, music has enhanced their self-discipline, self-esteem, and creativity. Over the past 20 years, there have been several examples of how the business world has been turning to the music world for leadership and inspiration. There are, however, few studies that compare the effects of public school music education programs on leadership in the workplace. Researchers have primarily focused their studies on the impact of music on learning and academic achievement in the public schools. As a result of shrinking public school budgets and an increased attention to standardized testing resulting due to George W. Bush's January, 2001 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Educational Reform Act, there has been a decline in student involvement in music, and a decline of music teachers in public schools. The purpose of this study was to examine what differences, if any, exist in current-day organizational decision-making, creativity, and learning styles between organizational leaders who participated in public school music education programs and those who did not. This study used a qualitative, phenomenological research design to evaluate and elicit information on the shared experiences of 16 Universal Music Group (UMG) executives. The researcher used a purposive sampling strategy to select 8 executives who participated in public school music education programs and currently serve in a leadership role at the company, and 8 who did not participate in such programs. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. The data for the study was derived from each participant's transcribed audio recordings along with the interview notes. The information was analyzed and grouped by themes. The data from the 8 executives who participated in public school music education programs yielded 9 themes regarding key success traits, skills, and characteristics which are important to their success in the workplace. Data from the 8 executives who did not participate in public school music programs yielded 12 themes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Music -- Instruction and study; Leadership -- Study and teaching; Executives -- Psychology

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Leigh, Doug;