Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


As educators, we are privileged with the task to shape the hearts and minds of our young students through the power of music; a phenomenon so powerful that it continues to stand throughout millennia and is found amongst all cultures around the world. The music that we choose and choose not to teach, as well as how we teach it will greatly impact the lives of our students who are living in a multicultural, multilingual society. It is therefore important to realize that through Equity and Inclusion can we unleash the power of Diversity in our classrooms. 

– Michael Truong, DEI Chairperson, 2021

Below is a running list of curated resources related to the topics of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. If you have any additional resources to share, please send them to president@nhmea.org

Educator Resources

  • Songs With A Questionable Past: Song Library document compiled by Lauren McDougle, program director of the American Kodaly Institute at Loyola University Maryland, that categorizes popular folk songs into five categories: Songs with racist or derogatory terms or themes, Songs with a questionable origin, Songs with a questionable meaning, Songs with questionable authenticity, and Songs with adult themes.

  • Smithsonian Folkways: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States. We are dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound. We believe that musical and cultural diversity contributes to the vitality and quality of life throughout the world. Through the dissemination of audio recordings and educational materials we seek to strengthen people’s engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others. Smithsonian Folkways is part of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

  • Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers: Musical Explorers connects students in grades K–2 to rich and diverse musical communities as they build fundamental music skills through listening, singing, and moving to songs from all over the world. Each program culminates in an interactive concert experience, during which students celebrate what they’ve learned by singing and dancing along with their new favorite artists. With a free online curriculum available to educators worldwide and live experiences for New York City teachers, it’s now easier than ever to bring Musical Explorers into your classroom.

  • Institute of Composer Diversity: The Institute for Composer Diversity, winner of the 2018 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Media/Internet Award, recipient of a 2020 Sphinx Venture Fund Grant, and housed at the State University of New York at Fredonia, is dedicated to the celebration, education, and advocacy of music created by composers from historically underrepresented groups through database resources and programming analysis. 

  • Decolonizing the Music Room: Decolonizing the Music Room is a nonprofit organization using research, training, and discourse to help music educators develop critical practices and center BBIA (Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian) voices, knowledge, and experiences in order to challenge the historical dominance of white Western European and American music, narratives, and practices. We at DTMR aim to disrupt the minimization and erasure of non-dominant cultures and identities in the field of music education to build a more equitable future through our work.

  • Learning for Justice: In our work with educators, schools, students and communities, Learning for Justice seeks to uphold the mission of the Southern Poverty Law Center: to be a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements and advance the human rights of all people. We provide free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create inclusive school communities where children and youth are respected, valued and welcome participants.

  • Social Justice / Anti-Bias Framework: The Social Justice Standards are a set of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes divided into four domains—Identity, Diversity, Justice and Action (IDJA). The standards provide a common language and organizational structure: Teachers can use them to guide curriculum development, and administrators can use them to make schools more just, equitable and safe. The standards are leveled for every stage of K–12 education and include school-based scenarios to show what anti-bias attitudes and behavior may look like in the classroom.