Students at Sunbury and Macedon Specialist School are taking part in a new music-therapy program thanks to help from a local business.

The school has introduced the international Drumbeat program, which incorporates hand drumming in behavioural therapy lessons, teaching students about social and emotional skills and values.

The programs’ methods have been found to reduce anxiety and stress in participants, and increase their sense of belonging and self-esteem. Principal Joanne Nolan said the school was already thrilled with the drum program. “It is creating a very positive impact on the kids,” Ms Nolan said.

“They are really enjoying the program so far and it is already enabling profound social and behavioural change.”

Sunbury and Macedon Specialist School has been able to introduce the program through a sponsorship of more than $5500 from the Sunbury Specsavers store. Store owner and optometrist Brendan Myers said he felt it was important to give back to the community.

“Being able to invest in a school that provides such a great service to so many local kids, and pay for a program that is helping them even further, is truly a privilege,” he said.