Using musical interventions in the classroom to foster learning and social skills development of students with diverse needs

Teaching students with disabilities through music has been an interest to the author. The purpose of this project was to investigate the benefits of music education and to design an elementary education music curriculum that addresses social skills development and the academic learning of students with diverse needs. The author investigated the positive effects of music education, the benefits of a music curriculum for special needs students and music therapy interventions. With the literature review in mind, two existing music curricula were compared and analyzed for use of the best practices. The author then created a three-week music curriculum for elementary students with mild to moderate disabilities. The music curriculum includes fifteen, thirty-minute lessons to be used in special day classes from kindergarten through third grade. Each lesson consists of an objective, standard, setting recommendations, materials required, procedures and assessment. The lessons are designed to reinforce social skills development and listening skills, increase vocabulary, motivate students, and develop fine and gross motor movements through musical activities. Further development of this curriculum could include a music curriculum that is designed to teach students from fourth grade and above