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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 7-9
  • Times: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily
  • Noncredit Cost: $100
  • 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 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 is a co-author of the book Culturally Responsive Teaching in Music Education: From Understanding to Application, published by Routledge. McKoy is an Orff-certified (Level III) recorder teacher, a past-president of the North Carolina Music Educators Association and a past chair of the Society for Music Teacher Education, an affiliated society of the National Association for Music Education.


Vicky Suárez 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 of the music education nonprofit Decolonizing the Music Room. She taught elementary music for ten years in Fort Worth, Texas where she served as a mentor teacher, wrote lower elementary music curriculum, and was awarded the 2018 Bayard Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performance Arts. Brandi holds a BM and an MM in Jazz Studies from Howard University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Education at the University of North Texas. She has completed Kodály level I, Music Learning Theory levels I and II, and Orff Schulwerk certification. An educational equity advocate, Brandi has been a member of the Fort Worth ISD racial equity committee since 2018, and in 2019 completed a Campus Voices Fellowship with Leadership ISD focusing on educational equity. In 2019 and 2020, she served on the Texas African American Studies Course Curriculum Advisory Team, which helped to formulate curriculum standards for Texas’ first state-approved African American course. She consults and presents locally, nationally, and internationally on topics ranging from decolonizing and anti-racist philosophies in music education to jazz and the Black history of early American music, and how to incorporate these into the classroom.

For further information about SMU Music Educators Workshops, or to register for one of these classes, visit; or contact Julie Scott, Lisa Beyer, or Courtney Wilson at; or call the SMU Music Office at 214-768-1951.

Areas of Study



Art History

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Corporate Communication and Public Affairs

Creative Computation


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A Brief Introduction To Orff Schulwerk

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