Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Education/Edith Cowan Institute for Education Research




This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Childhood Education on 20 Jun 2013 : Heyworth, J. N. (2013). Developing Social Skills Through Music: The Impact of General Classroom Music in an Australian Lower Socio-Economic Area Primary School. Childhood Education, 89(4), 234-242. Original article available here


Ideas about the physical and psychological healing effects of music date back to the classical Greek period. There is also substantial research concerning the educative influences of music on the human mind. Developmental deficiencies among low socio-economic student populations have often been associated with a reduced sense of self-esteem, responsibility, and ability to form relationships or engage in successful communication. This article describes a pro-active, constructivist approach to music education in a school largely attended by socially and economically disadvantaged students in Australia, and explores the influence of music on social learning. The strategic use of group music lessons in the study highlights the opportunities embedded in music as a “universal language.” Potential outcomes include increases in self-esteem, sense of belonging, cooperation, active engagement in learning, development of social skills, well-being, resilience, and inclusivity among students from all social, cultural, and economic strata.