In 2012, I began to study the role of music in teaching for social justice, through El Sistema, an intensive, after-school orchestral program. I was interested in exploring: a) the impacts of the program on the personal-social, academic, and musical development of 6-12 year olds from low socio-economic backgrounds; b) the impacts of the program on their families, communities, and partnering institutions; and c) the pedagogical features and methods used in the program. The program includes: sectional rehearsals, full orchestra rehearsals, choir, performances, as well as other arts and special activities. The children perform at various concerts for diverse audiences. Initial data show that children in the program: have achieved strong musical growth; are now closer to expected grade levels in reading and math; have fewer instances of absenteeism, tardiness, and school suspensions; show improved sense of belonging, are more confident, concentrate better, make friends more easily, feel better about school, and are generally happier.