Since 2016, My People Tell Stories has been offering a variety of educational programs to engage our audiences. These have included our educational webinar—"Caribbean Music 101," our seasonal performance workshop—"Community Parang," and our pedagogy workshops for music educators. As we move forward, we are streamlining our offerings and placing them all under the heading of “Interrogating Race in Music Studies,” a series of webinars, workshops, presentations, and performances that are designed to increase the representation of people of color in music studies as a pathway to eliminating systemic racism. Our workshop series is divided into three categories: (1) Contextualizing Music; (2) Theoretical Considerations; and (3) Allyship in Music Studies. Subscribe to our email list and visit our calendar often to learn about upcoming programs.

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Contextualizing Music

When people think of what brings together disparate people, they often think of music. After all, people from all walks of life often can put aside their differences and find common ground listening to their favorite artists. And yet the world today seems to be in a heightened state of racial disparity and animosity. Workshops, presentations, and performances in our “Contextualizing Music” program focus on placing music in its appropriate cultural and historical contexts. We move beyond teaching surface knowledge to create a deeper understanding of a musical culture. These workshops are appropriate for educators and non-educators alike.  

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Theoretical Considerations

Mostly designed for the music educator, these workshops explore teaching musicianship in a way that does not privilege Western art musical traditions. Workshops focus primarily on approaches to teaching music of the African diaspora with an emphasis on the Caribbean region. How do we teach the “elements of music” using music of the African diaspora as our point of departure? What might such a curriculum look like? And how do we assess our students? Join us in these workshops for some answers.

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Allyship in Music Studies

These days there seems to be a lot of talk about how people can be an ally to those facing discrimination. But wanting to be an ally is not the same as being a good ally. Join us to find out what it means to be an effective ally and how we can improve outcomes for equity and inclusion in music studies through new approaches to teaching and policy shifts in education.


Summer Pedagogy Workshop

A consistent problem in the study of non-Western music is the inability of educators to teach music that are not from their cultural heritage in a manner that is consistent with the values, ethos, and stylistic approaches of that culture. This professional development course is for music educators who aim to teach topics in Caribbean music using a Caribbean (as opposed to Euro-American) framework. This introductory course will expose educators to Caribbean history and culture broadly speaking, as well as important musical concepts in the study of Caribbean music. Resources for teaching (i.e. music, readings, and classroom exercises) will be made available, as well as suggestions for curriculum development and how to meet national standards. Lessons will center on three topics: (1) Concepts in Vocal and Rhythmic Pedagogy in the Caribbean; (2) Caribbean Music History; (3) Strategies & Resources for Teaching Caribbean Music in the Diaspora. During the course of the workshop, participants will explore (and rethink) musical concepts common throughout the region, gain an understanding and appreciation for the interconnectedness of the Caribbean region as a whole, and explore music in select countries in the region. A Certificate of Completion will be presented after the participant's successful completion of the course. 



Most programs in the Interrogating Race in Music Studies series are open to the general public. However, Dr. Brown is available to facilitate private programs and for consultant work. If interested, please contact her directly at .