Developing the inclusive practice of classroom music teachers to enhance the learning experiences of students with disabilities: a review of the literature

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Since the 1990s, many global education systems have been gradually transitioning to an inclusive model in which all school-aged children, regardless of individual differences, have access to an education at their local school. In Australia, the commitment to inclusivity in education has been supported by Commonwealth and state-based legislation which addresses discrimination, including that based on disability. In an educational environment which has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, developing a nurturing classroom where flexible learning is implemented to cater for all types of learners is a crucial part of rebuilding children’s wellbeing and sense of belonging at school. School classroom music is often regarded as a safe place where students’ creativity is fostered, and individuality and emotional expression are encouraged. Music teachers have an important role to play in a positive school experience for all students, including students with disabilities (SWD).

Our project is responding to the imperative for classroom music teachers to develop effective inclusive practices to enhance learning for SWDs. Following a rigorous investigation of the critical literature relating to working with SWDs in school classroom music, we have discovered that whilst an abundance of research has been implemented about inclusive approaches in school classrooms, this has been in relation to core school subjects including Literacy and Numeracy. There is a significant gap in the knowledge about ways to support SWDs in school classroom music. We recommend much more extensive and rigorous research is implemented in this area to identify crucial future directions and inclusive teaching practices for school music teachers. This will contribute to classroom music teachers’ knowledge and understanding about effective ways to work with SWDs which will engage impactfully with their efforts to re-build students’ wellbeing and sense of belonging beyond COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2022
EventAustralian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education Annual Conference 2022 - Centre for Creative Industries, Southern Institute of Technology, Invercargill, New Zealand
Duration: 28 Oct 202230 Oct 2022
Conference number: 44th


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education Annual Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleANZARME 2022
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address


  • inclusive classroom music
  • music learning and disability
  • teaching music to students with disabilities

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