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“Beyond Tokenism” is dedicated to helping music history instructors develop equitable and relevant pedagogies.

Knowledge Equity Lab Arts-Based Visioning Workshop.
Drawing by Giulia Forsythe.
Licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

To develop relevant and equitable music history pedagogy–including courses for non-majors, and core and elective courses for majors–we need to move beyond tokenism, or the addition of a few works by non-White and non-male composers into traditional historical narratives. We need, instead, to rethink the purpose of teaching music history, highlight alternative historical narratives, and improve equitable instructional design.

Two significant barriers to making meaningful changes in music history pedagogy are:

  • The institutional structures (accreditation organization, entrance exams, textbooks, recruitment, outreach, attitudes, etc.) that condition the types of historical narratives that are taught, promoted, and reproduced;
  • The traditional training that many music history instructors have received.

In order to effectively learn new materials and to manifest alternative narratives, we often need guidance–a person who tells us what articles we need to read first, or resources that help us synthesize the new information we are receiving, and so on.

“Beyond Tokenism in Music History Pedagogy” is designed to be a resource that can help you rethink your courses’ learning goals and narratives, revamp a module, or create a new course or curriculum.