Apply Now MSA Visit

Culturally Responsive Teaching in Music Education

In this workshop, participants will learn what culturally responsive teaching (CRT) is, why it’s important in music education, and how to apply four principles of CRT in music teaching: (1) knowing yourself, (2) knowing your students, (3) creating a  supportive classroom environment, and (4) making curricular choices that are responsive to culture. In addition to viewing video-recorded perspectives from teachers who have been successful in applying these principles in their classrooms, and seeing examples of the application of CRT in practice, participants will have the opportunity to develop strategies for their respective instructional settings that are related to these principles.

  • Dates: June 8-10
  • Times: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily
  • Noncredit Cost: $100 
    • Scholarships are available for this workshop. Send an email to Julie Scott at for further information.
  • Graduate Credit: Additional $500.00 for 1 hour of graduate credit (Paid separately to SMU)
  • Housing: There is no on-campus housing available for this workshop. For a  listing of local Dallas hotels near the SMU campus and out-of-state discounts, go to

Culturally Responsive Teaching Faculty: 

Connie McKoy (Keynote Speaker/Presenter) is Marion Stedman Covington Distinguished Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research has been published in numerous professional journals and she has presented at state, national, and international music conferences as a music researcher and clinician. She recently co-authored the book Culturally Responsive Teaching in Music Education: From Understanding to Application, published by Routledge. McKoy is an Orff-certified (Level III) recorder teacher, is a past-president of the North Carolina Music Educators Association and is the Immediate Past Chair of the Society for Music Teacher Education.

Vicky Suarez teaches K-5 music at Shepard Elementary in Plano ISD. She holds degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington (BM 1989) and Southern Methodist University (MM 2017), and is certified in both SongWorks and Orff Schulwerk. She has presented workshops and sessions for AOSA, TMEA, and SongWorks International Conferences, as well as professional development for area music teachers.  Vicky is immediate past-president of SongWorks Educators Association, and is on the faculty of the SongWorks summer course at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. She enjoys playing flute in the New Texas Symphony Orchestra, a community orchestra in Dallas. 

Brandi Waller-Pace is the founder and executive director of Decolonizing the Music Room. She is in her tenth year of teaching elementary music in Fort Worth ISD, where she also serves on the district’s racial equity committee. In addition, she is an artist-in-residence at Arts Fifth Avenue in Fort Worth. Brandi holds a B.M. and M.M. in Jazz Studies from Howard University. She has completed Orff Schulwerk certification, Kodály level I, and Music Learning Theory levels I and II. Brandi has presented to educators and musicians in Texas and was a co-presenter at the closing session of the 2019 AOSA national conference. She is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who performs various musical styles, including jazz and early American roots music, and incorporates the African American history of these forms into her work.

Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Corporate Communication and Public Affairs

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts



Featured Alumni

About the Division of Music

Undergraduate Studies

Graduate Studies

Classes (See Catalog)




Faculty and Staff

Faculty Travel Request Form

Visiting Artist Request Form

Student Resources

Student Internships & Collaborations

Meadows Artist Bridge

Dallas Resources

Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence

SMU Meadows Licensed Music Rights

Workshops and Special Programs

2020 SMU Music Educators Workshops - ONLINE!

Workshop Faculty and Staff Bios

Advanced Choral Conducting

Culturally Responsive Teaching in Music Education

Instrument Repair for the Band Director

The Art of Teaching Music: A Workshop for Band Directors

Orff Schulwerk, Levels I, II, and III

Eurhythmics: Purposeful Movement in the Music Classroom

Purposeful Pathways

Kodály I, II, and III; Choral Track Levels I, II, and III

Piano Preparatory Department

Registration for Year-Round Prep

SMU College Music Audition Preparation Workshops

SMU Young Artist Flute Orchestra Audition

SMU Institute for Young Pianists

Opportunities for Non-Music Majors