Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

First Advisor

Andrea Crimmins


The life of a college student is often bombarded with circumstances, emotions, and decisions that produce stress and anxiety, affecting sleep quality and daily function. Listening to music designed for relaxation has the potential to decrease stress and improve factors of healthy sleep quality. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of listening to music uniquely composed for each individual on stress relief and sleep quality in college students. The music therapy intervention utilized in this study was individual composition sessions. The researcher met with each participant individually to compose an instrumental piece of music that was unique to them based on their preferences. The researcher used audio recording and mixing software to create individual audio tracks that were given to each participant. Data collection took place over a four-week period, two weeks for baseline data collection and two weeks for treatment data collection with the implementation of the music. Surveys were administered daily for participants to record their sleep quality and overall wellbeing. After data collection was complete, the researcher conducted an interview with each participant to collect feedback on the experience. Results on sleep quality were mixed, with reports of feeling like overall sleep quality didn’t increase, but factors of positive sleep quality increased, such as prolonged deep sleep, less time spent falling asleep, and the ability for the brain to un-focus more easily and calm down. Creating individualized music demonstrates the potential to decrease stress, promote relaxation, and increase positive factors of sleep quality. With further research, this intervention may also be developed as a viable Music Therapy service to be offered in the future.


Imported from Lanz_ilstu_0092N_12448.pdf


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