Louisiana Tech University

School of Music

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion

School of Music Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Commitments

The Louisiana Tech School of Music makes the following commitments to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion:

Together, the faculty, staff, and students of the School of Music accept our responsibility for regular introspection to find instances when we have been complicit in the harm of others by participating in systems of marginalization and oppression. We also commit ourselves to soul-searching and personal growth, looking to find tangible, actionable ways that we ourselves can work to reform or completely dismantle the musical systems that cause harm, and to build new ones with diversity, equity, accessibility, inclusion, and belonging at their center. We further pledge to take advantage of opportunities to gain a greater awareness of, and exposure to, a wider variety of music and types of music-making.

We commit to being intentional in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in every possible facet of the School of Music, including the hiring of qualified faculty and staff, recruiting students, designing courses and curricula, programming concerts, recitals, and lectures, and engaging with our community.

We commit to continue providing - and continually broadening - our course offerings and programs that are open to all Louisiana Tech students, regardless of talent, ability, musical background, or previous access to music instruments and/or instruction. While we will continue to offer a rigorous curriculum to train specialists and future professional musicians, we will also continue to offer courses open to everyone who enjoys music and wants to learn more about it.

We commit to doing everything in our power to make music more accessible to all. Even though music is primarily a sonic artform, there is inherent value in music for all people, even for people who are deaf, deafened, and/or hard of hearing. And even though it is an aural artform, traditional classical music education has a tendency to prioritize ocularcentric activities (such as reading music and watching performances) and to de-emphasizing other ways of learning music (such as learning to perform by rote or through improvisation). These priorities can sometimes lead to the marginalization of those who experience low vision, visual impairments, or blindness. Others who experience physical, intellectual, and learning disabilities have also struggled for full inclusion in the musical life of their communities. We will make as many of our concerts ticketless and livestream as many of our programs as possible to break down barriers caused by financial constraints. We will work towards establishing community music programs that provide opportunities to learn and perform music for those for whom music lessons and classes have been out of reach due to various reasons.

We believe that a student’s repertoire list or the list of works on a concert’s program should be representative of the values of the School of Music. As we work to infuse diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion into all aspects of our learning, research, and creative practice, we reject tokenism that simply checks boxes without promoting true diversity or genuine representation. Instead, we commit to the consistent programming and performance of works by composers with minority and/or marginalized identities. We sincerely believe it is an honor and a privilege to celebrate the creative excellence of marginalized artists, rather than an onerous duty we must accomplish out of moral obligation or guilt.

We commit to regularly performing works that represent and recount the full range of lived human experience for those in marginalized communities, rather than choosing to perform only those works which illustrate or focus on the atrocities, hardships, or trauma faced by members of these groups.

We reject “separate but equal” concerts and performances that unnecessarily relegate the performance of music written by marginalized composers to only singular concerts or specific months or holidays. We repudiate the notion that the work of marginalized artists are somehow more palatable in some styles and genres than in others, or that their creative work is more suitable for some settings, audiences, or classes than others. We will strive toward the full integration of marginalized artists, their music, and their musical practices into the everyday life of the School of Music.

We endeavor to prioritize the use of financial and material resources to support diverse performers and composers by purchasing their sheet music and recordings, by regularly inviting them to campus as guest artists and lecturers, by commissioning them to create new works, and by leveraging the reputation and visibility of the School of Music to publicly highlight and promote their work.

We refuse to accept financial or material support from donors or organizations with “strings attached” if those strings result in the marginalization of any person or group, especially our faculty, staff, and students.

We refuse to actively promote any job openings or other professional opportunities that exclude any of our students or alumni based on their identity (race, ethnicity, gender/gender expression, religion, sexuality, etc.), with the exception of those aimed especially at promoting and uplifting under-represented communities.

We support the academic freedom of School of Music faculty members who choose to teach and/or perform music that falls outside of the traditional boundaries of “classical music,” and their freedom to research controversial or taboo topics in music, especially since such boundaries and labels have historically been used to maintain classist, sexist, gendered, racist, homophobic, etc. ideals about music and to limit the full and equal participation of all people in the cultural industry built around music.

The School of Music will not ban or forbid the performance of any music, not even problematic music, as long as its associated ills are not celebrated or ignored. Instead, we will avail ourselves of every opportunity to teach performers and audiences about past wrongs and better paths forward. Rather than “cancelling” an artist, genre, or composer, we believe that by properly contextualizing and problematizing music with a sordid or complicated history — even when it is composed by a bad person — its performance potentially holds transformative power, not only to inform or enlighten audiences, but also to change society for the better. If and when such a work is performed in the School of Music, we will do our due diligence to uncover its history, strive to accurately present it in context without whitewashing or obscuring the underlying issues, and center attention on those harmed or marginalized by this music, rather than on the creators or purveyors who wield or have wielded it it as a means to harm or oppress others.

We commit ourselves to listening to minority and marginalized voices and perspectives, especially those of our students, alumni, and colleagues for advice and potential next steps toward musical, professional, and educational equality without demanding that they themselves do the institutional service or intellectual and emotional labor for which the rest of us are responsible. Progress in this area requires investment and participation from everyone associated with the School of Music. We further commit to listening, even to things that are hard to hear, so that we can check our biases and assumptions and prevent them from reinforcing structural or systemic injustices.

We commit to collecting and sharing resources on ways to encourage diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in music and to making them available to students, alumni, and the community as we all continue to learn together.

Land Acknowledgement

The Louisiana Tech School of Music acknowledges that the territory on which the school is established and currently operates is the ancestral homelands of the Caddo, Osage, and Quapaw (O-ga-xpa) nations. This acknowledgement reminds and encourages us to recognize, include, and respect the many peoples and traditions that make up our music community.

Bibliography of Works that Inform Our Commitments

Brown, Danielle. June 12, 2020. “An Open Letter on Racism in Music Studies: Especially Music Education and Ethnomusicology.” My People Tell Stories. Available online: https://www.mypeopletellstories.com/blog/open-letter

Fitzpatrick, Kate R., Jacqueline C. Henninger, & Don M. Taylor. 2014. “Access and retention of marginalized populations within undergraduate music education degree programs.” Journal of Research in Music Education, 62, 105-127.

Johnson, Julian. 2002. Who needs classical music? Cultural choice and musical value (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Madrid, Alejandro L. 2017. “Diversity, tokenism, non-canonical musics, and the crisis of the humanities in U.S. academia.” Journal of Music History Pedagogy, 7(2), 124–129.

Molk, Dave. December 11, 2019. “Teaching Inequality: Consequences of Traditional Music Theory Pedagogy.” New Music Box. Available online: https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/teaching-inequality-consequences-of-traditional-music-theory-pedagogy/

Moke, Dave and Michelle Ohnona. January 29, 2020. “Promoting Equity: Developing an Antiracist Music Theory Classroom.” New Music Box. Available online: https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/promoting-equity-developing-an-antiracist-music-theory-classroom/

National Association for Music Education. N.D. “Inclusivity and Diversity in Music Education: A Position Statement of the National Association for Music Education." Available online: https://nafme.org/about/position-statements/inclusivity-diversity/

Society for Ethnomusicology, May 5, 2017. “Disciplinary intervention for a practice of ethnomusicology.” Sound Matters Blog. Available online: https://soundmattersthesemblog.com/2017/05/05/disciplinary-intervention-for-a-practice-of-ethnomusicology/

Stanton, Burke. 2018. "Musicking in the borders: Toward decolonizing methodologies." Philosophy of Music Education Review, 26(1), 4-23.

Vaugeois, Lise. 2007. “Social Justice and Music Education: Claiming the Space of Music Education as a Site of Postcolonial Contestation” Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education 6/4, 163–200.

Vendil, Sugar. June 10, 2020. “PoC Perspectives on Diversity Initiatives, Part 1,” I Care If You Listen, Available online: https://www.icareifyoulisten.com/2020/06/poc-perspectives-diversity-initiatives-part-1/

Vendil, Sugar. June 11, 2020. “PoC Perspectives on Diversity Initiatives, Part 2,” I Care If You Listen, Available online: https://www.icareifyoulisten.com/2020/06/poc-perspectives-diversity-initiatives-part-2/

Resources Related to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion in Music

Last Updated: January 2021

Below is an ever-growing list of resources that we hope you find helpful. Please send any recommendations or reports of dead links to music@latech.edu. While the views expressed in each resource or by each group listed below do not necessarily represent Louisiana Tech University and/or the School of Music, we proudly support the efforts of each one to bring critical awareness and to provide resources that make music, music-making, and the industries built on music more diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive.


  • Provides a list of 10 approaches to questioning and examining possible implicit and explicit racial and cultural biases related to the selection and use of various types of music in K-12 educational settings.

  • Born out of the desire to foster cultural curiosity, Castle of our Skins is a concert and educational series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. From classrooms to concert halls, Castle of our Skins invites exploration into ​Black heritage and culture, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated ​figures of past and present.

  • 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. DTMR aims 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 their work. Their website includes an extensive list of resources.

  • Founded in 2015, this site aims to serve as a clearinghouse for musicians, educators, and scholars interested in Hip-Hop and music education. We hope to share content and resources with all who are interested.

Music Explorers - Carnegie Hall

  • Curriculum and downloadable concert videos, audio files, and student activities featuring diverse musical genres and cultural traditions.

  • Growing (Google Docs) list of songs traditionally/widely taught in K-12 with racist or derogatory terms or themes; those associated with Black minstrelsy; those with questionable origins, meaning, or authenticity; those with adult themes; and additional resources related to these works. Note: the Louisiana Tech University School of Music does not advocate for the ban of music appearing on this list, per se, but urges those who choose to perform it do so within a historically-informed, contextualized setting and to take advantage of the anti-discriminatory teaching opportunity that such a performance has the potential to afford.

  • This project is an attempt to trace how certain songs that we have come to consider to be a part of the United States folk and children's music canon have roots within the tradition of blackface minstrelsy.


Undergraduate Music Curriculum Research Bibliography - Canadian University Music Society

  • Bibliography of research related to diversity, equity, and inclusion pedagogy in colleges and universities in North America.

Embracing Radical Inclusivity - City University of New York

  • Practical Steps for Creating an Intersectional, Interventionist Syllabus


...And We Were Heard Project - Christian Michael Folk

  • Provides opportunity for diverse composers to have their wind band and orchestral literature performed and recorded; also provides databases of repertoire of diverse composers for wind and orchestral ensembles.

  • A list of non-idiomatic choral music of black composers; as it relates to black composers, non-ideomatic refers to the original concert music that is not part of the traditional idiomatic canon associated with black musicians. That canon includes spirituals, gospel, jazz, hip-hop, and rap among others. This list does not include arrangement of existing material, such as hymns of other folk songs; arranged by chorus personnel (SATB, SSA, TTB, Accompanied, etc.) and includes list of other resources.

Black Classical Music - The Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University

  • Information and links to resources about Black classical music composers

Center for Black Music Research - Columbia College Chicago

  • The Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) holds collections highlighting the role of black music in world culture with materials originating or representing black music in the United States, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean in a variety of formats: personal papers, scores, sheet music, audio-visual materials, photographs, books, periodicals, and commercial recordings.

Composers Equity Project - Chamber Music America

  • A list of composers who identify as women and gender non-conforming.

  • Provides scores by composers of color, analytical notes and annotated scores, lesson materials, and anti-racist examples in music literature.

  • Google Docs list of resources on Black composers of electronic and electro-acoustic music.

Institute for Composer Diversity - Fredonia State University of New York

  • Provides databases of diverse composers, works by diverse composers, research resources, and an annual statistical analysis of professional orchestral seasons and their performance of music by diverse composers (or lack thereof).

  • A resource geared toward aiding singers, instructors of voice, pianists, researchers, and music lovers to discover and celebrate art song by women composers. The database includes songs from the Baroque period through the 21st century, and have been categorized by level, voice type, language, composer, and composer dates. Related information includes range, tessitura, piano accompaniment, vocal line, and links to available scores. The analysis is intended for singers from beginning high school through the collegiate level and professional career. The database leads you to find the unique voices and expansive styles of each individual composer, with the hopes to increase performance and advocation of each woman's often overlooked works.

  • Seeks to provide a single, complete, and comprehensive online catalog that contains orchestral music from Latin America and the Caribbean, and to make it accessible to conductors, music directors, music administrators, librarians, students, teachers, researchers, and music lovers in general. This online catalog contains over 9,000 original orchestral works by over 1,600 composers from 24 countries and territories of Latin America and the Caribbean, and serves as a bridge between the music and the composers or publishers.

  • An index of over 1,000 composers, improvisers, and sonic artists

Music by Black Composers - Rachel Barton Pine Foundation

  • Music by Black Composers was founded in 2001 to help rectify historic and ongoing racial injustices in the classical music sphere by inspiring Black students to begin and continue instrumental training, by making the music of Black composers available to everyone, and by helping to change the face of classical music through greater diversity. Their website provides access to sheet music and other resources.

  • The Music of Asian America Research Center (MAARC) strives to empower our communities through collecting, promoting, and teaching music created by Asian Americans. They seek to advance knowledge about and social justice for Asian Americans through music. Their website provides resources, information Asian American community music ensembles, podcasts, biographical essays, and a calendar of related events.

  • A list of resources compiled by members and friends of EMA and the EMA Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Taskforce.

  • Promoting inclusion in piano repertoire. A resource for pianists, pedagogues, and curious music appreciators to explore.

We Rise: A Movement Songbook - Poor People's Campaign

  • We Rise: A Movement Songbook draws on a rich history of social movement music, both old and new. From Spirituals to Labor songs, from Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement to the music rising up from our struggles today, this compilation of movement music is meant to give people ways to join. To remember. To affirm. To honor. To rage. To celebrate. To practice new ways of being in relationship with one another and the earth. To envision and create a world that is just and habitable for future generations.


American Musicological Society Study Groups

  • Listing of Study Groups within the AMS, many of which focus on diverse music-makers and modes of music-making.

  • This digital library was born out of a need to make resources about Black music history as comprehensive and accessible as possible. It contains well over one thousand entries (and counting) in the form of books, articles, documentaries, series, radio segments, and podcasts about the Black origins of popular and traditional music, dating from the 18th century to the present day. These materials range from informal to scholarly, meaning there is something in the library for everyone.

  • A collection of resources related to diverse composers and music from the early modern period.

Society for Ethnomusicology Sections | Special Interest Groups

  • Listings of Sections and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) within the SEM, many of which focus on diverse music-makers and modes of music-making.


Diversity in Music Theory - Society for Music Theory's Committee on Race and Ethnicity

  • Extensive list of articles and other resources and materials for racial and ethnic diversity in music theory classrooms.

Engaged Music Theory - Engaged Music Theory Working Group

  • Inspired by Naomi André’s vision of an “engaged musicology” (2018), the members of the Engaged Music Theory Working Group collectively assembled the following bibliography to encourage music scholars to engage directly with issues of cultural politics—race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, intersectionality, decolonization, and disability—in their research and teaching. We especially highlight scholarly work that confronts the centralized, historically Eurocentric and heteropatriarchal framing of North American music theory.

  • Bibliography of inclusive music theory pedagogy resources/articles.

  • A database of excerpts and complete musical compositions by women composers, categorized by theoretical concept for use in music education.

  • Collection of blog posts by Phil Ewell on his landmark plenary talk at the Society for Music Theory's Annual Meeting in November 2019 and his article , "Music Theory and the White Racial Frame," which appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of Music Theory Online.

Society for Music Theory

  • Listing of Interest Groups within the SMT, many of which focus on the analysis of music by diverse music-makers and diverse modes of music-making.


  • AWFC is a community of composers and colleagues who strive to support and celebrate the work of women composers through advocacy and education. This visibility is important to herald in equality amongst our industry and bring diverse voices to film, television, video games and multimedia projects. They are proud to host the first ever directory of women film composers allowing filmmakers and decision makers the opportunity to discover new talent.

  • Black Classical Music Educators is an online space that makes it easy for both parents of young aspiring musicians, and adult students interested in sharpening their music skills, to easily secure private lessons with a Black classical music educator. It is also a community for Black classical music educators to find and professionally engage with each other. They offer private lessons in every instrument of the orchestra, as well as voice, piano, composition, music theory, and conducting.

  • ClassicalQueer provides a space for queer+ people working in the classical arts to tell their stories in their own words. It is an archive of instrumentalists, performers, administrators, composers, writers, and conductors from around the world who have a diverse and complex set of experiences working in the classical arts.

  • An organization of music creators who are achieving a workplace environment in the entertainment industry as diverse as our society.

  • Hearing in Color is dedicated to exposing its community to underrepresented and diminished music, stories and composers. Hearing in Color concerts highlight the work of emerging artists who are often overlooked in the traditional canon, and gives artistic license to people of marginalized cultures to curate and produce that work. Hearing in Color believes in the power of music to build community, and to comfort, embolden and inspire in the face of subjugation and oppression.

  • The International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) is an international membership organization of women and men dedicated to fostering and encouraging the activities of women in music, particularly in the areas of musical activity such as composing, performing, and research in which gender discrimination is an historic and ongoing concern. IAWM members engage in efforts to increase the programming of music by female composers, to combat discrimination against female musicians, including as symphony orchestra members, and to include accounts of the contributions of women musicians in university music curricula and textbooks.

  • IWBC’s mission is to educate, develop, support, and promote women brass musicians while inspiring continued excellence and opportunities in the broader musical world. Membership is open to all women and men who would like to support this effort.

  • For almost a century, the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. has been a champion for African and African-American music and musicians. This organization is concerned with the performance and preservation of uniquely African-American music, while acknowledging and providing opportunity to the Black composer and performer. Their membership ranges the full spectrum of interest in music: performers, educators, students, administrators, and enthusiasts.

  • SITM is a nonprofit organization increasing the number of women working in music – songwriters, engineers, producers, artists and industry professionals. They are an independent, global network that operates as a unifying organization for women from across the industry, creating strength and impact on a global scale. As an umbrella nonprofit, they also provide resources and support for female-focused initiatives that are working to create meaningful change – both through their own programs, as well as external efforts around the world. Programs include an all-female songwriting series, industry database of women creators and mentorship program, with more to come. Their initiatives serve women in the industry today while fostering the development of future generations. A first-of-its-kind collaboration spanning the music industry, SITM is powered by creators, publishers, record labels, talent agencies, industry groups, media companies, streaming services, and more. They also profile women professionals on their website to promote visibility and provide networking and professional opportunities.

  • The Sphinx Organization is the social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Sphinx’s four program areas – Education & Access, Artist Development, Performing Artists, and Arts Leadership – form a pipeline that develops and supports diversity and inclusion in classical music at every level: music education, artists performing on stage, the repertoire and programing being performed, the communities represented in audiences, and the artistic and administrative leadership within the field.

  • Women’s Audio Mission is a San Francisco/Oakland-based nonprofit organization that uses music and media and an incredible “carrot” of a training environment – the only professional recording studio in the world built and run by women/GNC individuals – to attract over 2,000 underserved women/girls/GNC individuals every year to STEM and creative technology studies that inspire them to amplify their voices and become the innovators of tomorrow. WAM’s award-winning curriculum weaves art and music with science, technology and computer programming and works to close the critical gender gap in creative technology careers.

  • Women In Jazz Organization is a collective of over 500 professional performing Jazz Musicians who identify as Women or gender Non-Binary. Largely a New York City-based organization, with connections to other individuals and groups nationally and internationally. Their website provides a calendar of events and resources for support and mentorship.

Posters of women composers in the Louisiana Tech School of Music
Above: We're proud to display these portraits of women composers directly outside of the Recital Hall in Howard Center for the Performing Arts as one of many ways we're promoting Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion in the Louisiana Tech University School of Music. Created by artist Margit van der Zwan, this collections of 24 portraits was made available as a fundraiser for Music Theory Examples by Women.