Resources for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access in Music Education

  • Ideas from NAfME Members: Music in a Minuet Blog offers professional development through traditional blog posts, including recent posts on guitar offerings, culturally responsive teaching, and the new Institute for Composer Diversity, led by Composition Council Chair Rob Deemer.

  • NAfME Public Policy

The Civil Rights Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act have worked in tandem in, first, supporting desegregation, and, today, to ensure that students who are traditionally underserved receive a quality education. The latest iteration of ESEA, the Every Students Succeeds Act, passed in 2015, calls for a well-rounded education, which includes music, for all students.  Title IV-A of ESSA, acknowledges that students can be discriminated against when trying to gain access to enriching subjects, including music. Advocating for music education for all students is a civil rights issue. NAfME, along with its members of the Music Education Policy Roundtable, have endorsed policies that will help achieve the goal of all students having access to a music education. 

Reach out to your member of Congress Grassroots Action Center on issues of equity and access for music education.  

Peer-Reviewed Articles from NAfME Journals

Music Educators Journal (free to members; login required)

  • Forthcoming September 2020 issue includes a special focus on Policy in Music Education and how it can lead to greater inclusion/access for all. Available online by September 10.
  • June 2020 “Music Education, Curriculum Design, and Assessment: Imagining a More Equitable Approach,” Jennifer Mellizo states that conventional curricula may place some students at a disadvantage in school music classrooms and offers five steps toward equality.
  • June 2020 “Sharing Global Musics: El Sistema Sweden Summer Camp” by Tricia Tunstall describes a Swedish summer music camp in which all students are welcome and spontaneity fosters inclusion.
  • June 2020, “Factors that Affect Participation in Secondary School Music: Reducing Barriers and Increasing Access by Mara E. Culp and Matthew Clauhs looks at practices that promote increased access to and participation in high-school music.
  • June 2020 “Equity in Music Education: Making a Space for Everyone” by Mallory Alekna and Soyeon Kang describes an experiment in creative placemaking and music-making at Arizona State University.
  • March 2020 “Equity in Music Education: Cultural Appropriation vs. Cultural Appreciation and Understanding the Difference” by Karen Howard
  • March 2019,“Teaching about the Korean Ganggangsullae Folk Tradition in General Music Class,” Gina J. Yi examines practices in Korea and offers students and teachers get a glimpse of Korean culture.
  • March 2019,Equity in Music Education: The Music We Speak: Language and Power in the Urban Music Classroom” by Judy Lewis.
  • September 2019 issue is a special focus on Popular Music in Music Education and includes articles on diversifying what we teach and who we reach via popular music in the classroom.
  • December 2018, “Music Education to Train Hearing Abilities in Children with Cochlear Implants” by James L. Reifinger Jr.
  • December 2018, “Sharing Global Musics: An Introduction to the Music of China” by John L. Whitener and Feigun Shu
  • December 2018, “Equity in Music Education: Back to Class: Music Education and Poverty” by Vincent C. Bates.

Journal of Music Teacher Education (free to members, login required)

  • June 2020, “‘Anything is Better than Nothing!’ Inservice Teacher Preparation for Teaching Students with Disabilities” by Rachel Grimsby.
  • June 2019, “A Cultural Immersion Field Experience: Examining Preservice Music Teachers’ Beliefs About Cultural Differences in the Music Classroom” by Andrea J. VanDeusen.
  • June 2019, “Considering Antiracism in Student Teacher Placement” by Matthew C. Fiorentino.

Journal of Research in Music Education (free to members; login required)

  • April 2020, “Predictors of Taking Elective Music Courses in Middle School Among Low-SES, Ethnically Diverse Students in Miami” by Alenamie Alegrado and Adam Winsler.
  • October 2019, “Who Enrolls in High School Music? A National Profile of U.S. Students, 2009–2013, Kenneth Elpus and Carlos Abril.
  • April 2019, “Selected Nonmusic Predictors of Urban Students’ Decisions to Enroll and Persist in Middle and High School Music Ensemble Electives” by Daryl W. Kinney.
  • July 2019, “Features of University Environments That Support Well-Being as Perceived by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Questioning Undergraduate Music and Art Students, Nicholas E. Roseth.

Teaching Music (not peer-reviewed, but available to all NAfME members; August 2020 issue is free to all educators for a limited time.)

More Resources:

Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Curriculum Units includes general music units focused on social justice; choral units focused on folk/popular music, spiritual; band and orchestra units focused on student engagement and issues of diversity. Available free to all.

NAfME Academy includes an entire section on “Inclusion in the Music Classroom.” Other webinars include Gospel Music; Diversity in the Choral Classroom: Adversity or Electricity; Does Diversity Matter; Hip-Hop, Ya Don’t Stop; Music Careers in the Military. Available to members for $20; nonmembers $100 annually.

Online Professional Learning Community webinars

Free to members; accessible by nonmembers for a limited time.

  • “Bringing the Values of Tolerance and Appreciation during COVID-19” by Lily Chen-Hafteck
  • “Thinking about Teaching the Music of Indigenous North American Cultures” by Patricia Shehan Campbell.
  • Teaching Students with Disabilities during COVID-19” by Alice Hammel
  • “Adapting Primary Sources to Build Responsive Students” by Carolyn Bennett, Tom Dean, Armalyn De La O, & Johanna Siebert
  • “Using Google Earth to Build Global Musicianship In and Out of Your Classroom” by Rosalee Goley
  • “Composing in Bite-Sized Chunks”  by Rob Deemer
  • “Smithsonian Folkways Recordings: In Partnership with World Music Pedagogy” by Patricia Shehan Campbell.  


  • Engaging Musical Practices: A Sourcebook for Elementary General Music. Includes world music and other nontraditional music-making approaches for young learners (Rowman & Littlefield/NAfME publication, 2018).