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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Music Education

First Advisor

Ruth Brittin

First Committee Member

Eric G. Waldon

Second Committee Member

Sarah C. Waltz


The purpose of this research study is to examine the influences of mariachi education on student perceptions of their academic achievement, academic attainment, and student engagement. The study involved students attending schools in California, Oregon, and Texas with mariachi programs that consented to be a part of the study, whose districts approved their participation. The students were approached to participate in this study, as they are a part of their school’s mariachi program in middle or high school throughout the Western half of the United States. A convergent parallel (mixed-methods) design and descriptive statistical analyses were used to investigate the influence of mariachi education on student perceptions of their academic achievement, academic attainment and student engagement. Within each strand, the three short-answer questions were analyzed for emergent themes.

Within this study, the results and their implications will be beneficial for both mariachi educators and music administrators as they begin to build a foundation of evidence as to the influences of mariachi education as they relate to the academic achievement, academic attainment, and engagement of students. Influenced by their experience, fifty percent of participants identified mariachi as having a positive influence on their other classes, with almost another fifty percent acknowledging mariachi’s influence on their grades. Additionally, the largest portion of respondents indicated mariachi influenced them to pursue music after high school, with almost ninety percent stating they will be graduating from high school; an increase of seventeen percent over the national average for Latinx students. Eighty-two percent of students indicated that mariachi helps them connect more with their friends, while over seventy-one percent of respondents stating that mariachi helps them connect with their family. Finally, the largest portion of participants (96.1%) indicated that mariachi enables them to express pride in being Latinx.

The study also provides a foundation for researchers who wish to continue to study the influences of mariachi education on academic achievement and attainment, as well as student engagement. Through a future doctoral dissertation, the researcher herself plans on further studying via statistical examination, influences of mariachi education on students, in comparison to students not involved in mariachi, with a focus on Latinx students.





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