Date of Award

Spring 4-21-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Stephen Smith

Second Advisor

Royce Dansby-Sparks

Third Advisor

Esther Morgan-Ellis


This study hypothesized that individuals who play a musical instrument, or are musically trained, show significantly different levels of depressive symptoms than those who do not have experience with an instrument. Participants consisted of college students from a small South-Eastern university who filled out an online survey to report their levels of musicality and depression. The data showed no difference between those who have and have not played an instrument, but participants with high levels of musicality showed significantly higher depression levels. These results imply that playing an instrument and musicality are different constructs, and that those who experience higher depression may be drawn to music as a creative outlet.