Event box


November 13, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. EST.

hosted by the Center for American Music in the University of Pittsburgh Library System.


This virtual workshop for K–12 educators will be led by experts in the fields of education, history, and archival studies on best practices for addressing sensitive issues of culture and identity in music. Registration required - information below.


During this interactive workshop, participants will analyze and discuss items from the Center for American Music’s (CAM) archival collection of minstrelsy to better understand the history and controversies of the music of the minstrel genre that has been foundational in music curricula for over 100 years. Experts in the fields of education will model strategies for engaging with this controversial music and facilitate reflection among participants on pedagogical approaches in different teaching contexts.

Participants will

  • Become familiar with CAM’s online resources, which they can use in their own teaching  
  • Interact with education specialists who will offer approaches to curriculum development geared toward diverse student populations
  • Develop strategies for engaging with controversial music that are appropriate for their students and teaching situations
  • Consider how their own positionality is reflected in their repertoire and pedagogical choices


Participants who attend this session will receive 4 hours of professional development. This program is Act-48 accredited for Pennsylvania educators!



Beth DaviesBeth Davies is the music curriculum director for Cedar Rapids schools in Iowa, where she also directs middle school bands. She is leading a review of her district’s music curriculum that aims to diversify content and replace or contextualize historically racist music.





Jennifer FornessJennifer Forness is Head of Music at International School Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany. After teaching in New Jersey public schools for 8 years, Jennifer moved with her family to Germany, where she began working in early childhood music with other international families. Her interest in Stephan Foster began during her Master’s studies and continues today as she seeks to situate English-language music instruction within a multi-national community.




Brandi Waller-PaceBrandi Waller-Pace is the founder and Executive Director of Decolonizing the Music Room. She taught elementary music for ten years in Fort Worth, Texas, where she was awarded the 2018 Bayard Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performance Arts. Brandi holds a BM and MM in Jazz Studies from Howard University and is pursuing a PhD in Music Education at the University of North Texas. An educational equity advocate, she has been a member of the Fort Worth ISD racial equity committee since 2018. In 2019 and 2020, she served on the Texas African American Studies Course Curriculum Advisory Team, which helped to formulate curriculum standards for Texas’s first state-approved African American course.​ Brandi is an active musician and performs various styles, most often jazz and early American Roots music.


Kathryn Miller HainesKathryn Miller Haines is Head of the Center for American Music. An expert on American music and culture of the nineteenth century, she has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles on the life and music of composer Stephen Collins Foster. She is co-author of the Voices Across Time online resource for educators, and she is co-director of an NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop, titled “The Homestead Strike and the Growth of America as an Industrial Power,” which will be held in Pittsburgh in the summer of 2022.


Christopher LynchMusic historian Christopher Lynch is Project Coordinator at the Center for American Music. His research has appeared in the Journal of the Society for American Music, Musical Quarterly, American Music, and numerous edited collections. He is a project leader on the Center’s educational resources, including the website Voices Across Time. He is an editor of Listening Across Borders: Musicology in the Global Classroom, which will be published by Routledge this summer.




Registration Information:

Registration for this workshop is required with a fee of $25, paid by credit card or check. 

Following completion of the registration form, you will receive communication and reminder notifications from uls@pitt.edu regarding payment of the registration fee and access to the event. If you do not receive an email from this address within 24-hours, please check your Spam/Junk folder. 

Registration closes at 5 p.m. EST on November 10, 2021


Questions may be sent to uls@pitt.edu


Saturday, November 13, 2021
1:00pm - 5:45pm
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Michael Thompson