Musicals are popular in Japanese schools today, but many people believe that most musicals are simply held for exhibition purposes. I aimed to investigate the purpose and origins of musicals in Japanese schools. I was interested in school-song dramas, and this study aimed to examine Hisashi Yamamoto’s views on the subject. School-song dramas were originally developed by Yamamoto and Kuniyoshi Azisaka in the Taisho period and were performed at the school arts festival of elementary school attached to a Hiroshima teachers college. Yamamoto came up with the name “school-song drama” and he composed many songs for it. This dramatic form developed under Yamamoto’s guidance. Through examining Yamamoto’s descriptions about school-song drama, it became evident that its purpose was to cultivate children’s minds. Yamamoto emphasized an appreciation of school-song dramas rather than actually taking part in them. He performed school-song dramas as a way of cultivating aesthetic sensitivity: he did not expect children to improve their musical skills in the process. School-song dramas reflect both Yamamoto’s views about education and trends in education and society in his day.