Symposium on Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Making a Difference in Music and Education

The Department of Education and the School of Music at Ithaca College are hosting a Symposium on Culturally Responsive Teaching.  This free conference will take place on Friday, March 20th, 2020, and brings together national and local experts on music education, culturally responsive teaching, and educational equity. All are invited to attend.  Continuing education credit for NY certified K-12 teachers is available.  The Symposium on Culturally Responsive Teaching: Making a Difference in Music and Education is geared towards teachers and prospective teachers, as well as Education Minors, and those who will work with youth in any capacity. Music teachers will learn how to program culturally empowering music and to build a safe and supportive community of learners and performers in the K–12 classrooms and other relevant settings. Academic classroom teachers will learn how to create highly engaging, multicultural, interdisciplinary, critically reflective learning experiences for the purpose of achieving academic success and constructive identity development. All participants will learn about the effectiveness of instruction and school experiences of all students, and particularly students from historically marginalized populations. Participants are welcome to attend sessions at any time and are not required to stay for the full symposium.  

2020 Symposium on Culturally Responsive Teaching

Making a Difference in Music and Education

Friday, March 20th, 2020 - James J. Whalen Center for Music, Ithaca College

9:00 am           Opening Remarks for IC and ICSD Faculty & Staff: Becoming Fearless, Serious, and Strategic About Equity: Real Talk for Higher Education Leaders and Faculty – Whalen 3105 (Hockett Family Recital Hall). Presented By: Dr. Gail Thompson (Founder & CEO of Inspirations by Gail LLC)

Dr. Thompson will help higher education faculty and administrators identify and examine mindsets that can hinder their work with colleagues-and-students “of color,” and learn strategies to improve race relations on campus. This session is intended for faculty, administration, and staff of Ithaca College and ICSD.

10:00 am         LGBTQ Themes in Music Education: Inclusion, Intersectionality, and Social Justice – Whalen 3105 (Hockett Family Recital Hall). Presented By: Luca Maurer (Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services, Ithaca College)

What is LGBTQ inclusive music education? How do LGBTQ themes operate in music education? From teaching LGBTQ students to investigating the roles of LGBTQ and heterosexual cisgender teachers; and from pedagogical, research and career issues, to infusing the curriculum, this session will focus on action toward strategies for equity and inclusion.    

11:00 am         Hip Hop Pedagogy and Culturally Responsive Teaching – Whalen 3105 (Hockett Family Recital Hall). Presented By: Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell (Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity, Ithaca College)

This talk will briefly explore key components of hip hop pedagogy and how ways of knowing in hip hop culture can translate into effective culturally responsive teaching. 

1:00 pm           Keynote Address: Help, I Need Somebody! How to Improve the Schooling Experiences of African American and Other Underserved Students – Whalen 4308 (Nabenhauer Recital Hall).. Presented By: Dr. Gail Thompson (Founder & CEO of Inspirations by Gail LLC)

Dr. Thompson will share personal stories and research-based strategies to help educators work more effectively with African American and other historically underserved students.

2:00 pm           Every Student Has a Voice – Whalen 4308 (Nabenhauer Recital Hall). Presented By: Professor Beatrice Olesko (Music Education, Ithaca College)

Drawing on interviews with expert pedagogues and observations from the field, Professor Olesko will share strategies for creating democratic classroom spaces that engage and affirm all learners.

3:00 pm           Navigating Culturally Responsive Music Education: Otherizing, Concertizing, and Marginalizing Musics and People – Whalen 4308 (Nabenhauer Recital Hall). Presented By: Dr. Radio Cremata (Music Education, Ithaca College)

This session explores the notion of culturally responsive music education alongside other related ideas including: otherization, refugeeism, tingeness, diversity, inclusivity, melting pots, bias, hospitality, cultural domination, democracies, authority, power, and marginalization.

About the Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Gail L. Thompson, Founder & CEO of Inspirations by Gail LLC, is a critically acclaimed author of many articles and books; former secondary school teacher; and former Executive Director of Equity at Illuminate Education. During her years as the Wells Fargo Endowed Professor of Education at Fayetteville State University, she created and served as Director of the Black Men Teaching (BMT) Program, and supervised doctoral students. Dr. Thompson also created “The Literacy Club,” an after-school reading incentive program for struggling readers, and implemented it at several schools. Dr. Thompson has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including PBS Television’s “Tony Brown Journal.” Her books include the critically acclaimed The Power of One: How You Can Help or Harm African American StudentsYes, You Can! Advice for Teachers Who Want a Great Start and a Great Finish With Their Students of Color (co-authored with Rufus Thompson); Through Ebony Eyes: What Teachers Need to Know but are Afraid to Ask About African American StudentsWhat African American Parents Want Educators to Know; African American Teens Discuss Their Schooling Experiences; and Up Where We Belong: Helping African American and Latino Students Rise in School and in Life. Her latest book, Dear Beautiful! A Self-Empowerment Book for Black Women, was published in January 2018.

About the Presenters:

Radio Cremata is Associate Professor and chair of music education at Ithaca College where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. Originally from Miami, FL where he taught in K-12 contexts for 15 years, he cultivated an affinity for popular music education, general music, and learner-centered pedagogies. With a diverse teaching background, his experience encompasses public, private, charter, community, and online settings. He has developed programs and supported student teaching earning him recognition and honors from the Little Kids Rock, Roland Music Corporation, Berklee College of Music, PBS, Henry Ford, Univision, Grammy in the Schools Foundation, and the Fender Music Foundation. His scholarship centers on the intersectionality of music education, technology, popular music, informal learning and diversity and inclusion.

Luca Maurer is the founding program director of Ithaca College’s Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Education, Outreach and Services, and teaches in the Sociology Department. Maurer co-authored The Teaching Transgender Toolkit: A Facilitator’s Guide to Increasing Knowledge, Decreasing Prejudice & Building Skills, which was named 2016 Book of the Year by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. He also co-authored The LGBTQIA+ Supportive Campus: Developing Effective Policies, Programs & Practices, and is co-editor of Doing Gender Diversity: Readings in Theory and Real-World Experience. Maurer received the American Psychological Association’s Division 44 Distinguished Contribution to Education and Training Award in 2017. 

Sean Eversley Bradwell is an assistant professor in the Department of Education at Ithaca College. Prior to this role, Dr. Bradwell taught in Ithaca College’s Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity (CSCRE) as well as the Department of Education. Dr. Bradwell also serves as a faculty-in-residence for the Ithaca’s Martin Luther King Scholars Program and has research / teaching interests in educational policy, race theory, and hip hop culture.  Dr. Bradwell, an alumnus of Amsterdam High School (NY); received a B.A. in political science from the University of Rochester; an M.S. in education from Rochester’s Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and a Ph.D. in policy analysis and management from Cornell University. Throughout his career, Dr. Bradwell has worked in for-profit education, public schools, and higher education. He maintains an active speaking schedule and research agenda. His current project utilizes the book by Martin Luther King, Where Do We Go From Here?: Chaos or Community, as a framework to explore the possibilities and challenges of modern social justice movements grounded in non-violent direct action. In addition to his research and writing, Dr. Bradwell is also an active community member and has been recently appointed as a Tompkins County Heritage Ambassador. In 2017, he was also elected to serve his fourth (4th) term on the Ithaca City School District Board of Education and currently serves as the Board’s Vice President. Spouse, parent, grandparent, sneaker collector, and part-time provocateur, Dr. Bradwell is committed to working towards more meaningful learning and teaching.

Beatrice B. Olesko is an Assistant Professor of music education at Ithaca College, where she serves as the Coordinator of Junior Student Teaching (vocal) Supervision and Curricula and teaches courses related to elementary music methods.  She holds degrees from Mount Union College (B.M.E.) and Kent State University (M.M.M.E.).  As a Ph.D. candidate in Music Education at Kent State University, Beatrice is researching democratic teaching practices in music teacher education programs.  Her other research interests include culturally responsive pedagogy, the relationship between children’s school and non-school music experiences, elementary music pedagogy, and constructivist teaching practices.  She has presented research related to these topics at state and national conferences, including the Mountain Lake Colloquium and the NAfME Music Teacher Education and Music Research Conference.  Prior to her appointment at Ithaca College, Beatrice spent 10 years as the K-4 General Music Specialist for United Local Schools in Hanoverton, Ohio. She taught elementary music methods as an adjunct professor at Kent State University and has worked as the editorial assistant for Contributions to Music Education.  


The Symposium is made possible with support from the School of Music, the School of Humanities and Sciences, and a Clyne’s Collaboration Grant. Special thanks to Erik Kibelsbeck for scheduling and organizing the facilities and to Dean Karl Paulnack for supporting the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group (DIAG) that co-sponsored this Symposium. Additional thanks to the Center for Faculty Excellence for promoting this event.

The 2020 Symposium Planning Committee:

Matthew Clauhs (Assistant Professor, Music Education)

Radio Cremata (Associate Professor and Chair, Music Education)

Ellie Fitts Fulmer (Assistant Professor, Department of Education)

Nia Nunn (Associate Professor, Department of Education)

Beatrice Olesko (Assistant Professor, Music Education)

Baruch Whitehead (Associate Professor, Music Education)

file-outline 2020 Symposium Schedule.pdf - 2020 Symposium Schedule.pdf (807.15 KB)