Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


Music Education and Music Therapy (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Stephen F. Zdzinski

Second Committee Member

Shannon K. de l'Etoile

Third Committee Member

Joyce A. Jordan

Fourth Committee Member

Margaret A. Donaghue


The purpose of this study was to examine the musical home environment of preschool children aged 3 to 5 years enrolled in an early childhood music class. This study also examined how the musical home environment was affected by demographic characteristics, parental musical experience, and early childhood music instruction. Parents and primary caregivers (N = 103) of preschool children enrolled in three university-based early childhood music programs in Florida, New York, and Ohio were surveyed using a researcher-constructed measure, “Parents’ Use of Music with Preschool Students” (PUMPS). The PUMPS was intended to gather data related to demographic characteristics of the sample, participants’ experiences in early childhood music programs, the personal music experience of participants and information about how music was used in the home. Participants demonstrated that they provided a rich musical home environment for preschool children, having a variety of musical interactions with their children on a weekly basis (i.e., singing, listening to music, playing instruments, moving to music, utilizing music class activities and composition) and had a variety of musical materials in their homes including music instruments, musical toys, and music listening devices. Participants reported a higher frequency of singing, listening to music, and dancing in the home and a lower frequency of playing instruments, performing music class activities, and composing or reading music. Most of the sample had participated in music during their lifetime but the vast majority of the participants did not engage in musical activities at the time of the study. They did, however, value music and attend musical events. Factor analysis of the PUMPS subsets revealed three factors for musical home environment (Music Interactions, Musical Materials, and Child Attendance at Musical Events), two factors related to parental music experience (Music Participation and Value of Music), and one factor related to Early Childhood Music Experiences. Several independent variables significantly predicted musical home environment factors. Musical Interactions were related to adult gender, child age, ethnicity, and parent valuing music. Musical materials in the home were related to parental musical participation and ethnicity, while no significant predictors were found for child attendance at musical events. Ethnicity, child age, parental musical participation, and musical materials accounted for 37.8% of the variance in composite musical home environment scores, yielding a medium effect size.


musical home environment; preschool music; parent involvement; demographic characteristics; early childhood music