ExpiredTogether, With Pride: LGBTQ-Inclusive Practices in PreK-12 Music Education

Together, With Pride: LGBTQ-Inclusive Practices in PreK-12 Music Education with presenters Rex Sturdevant and Nick McBride.

October 15, 2022  9:00 am – 12 noon at The Hartt School

How many times a day does one hear the phrase “boys and girls” in an elementary school? Or, how often do we see high school a cappella groups with hyper-masculinized or -feminized names to appeal to a certain gender of students? For students struggling to fit into the gender binary, these practices can present obstacles to feeling visible, included, and valued. KESNE’s Fall Workshop, Together, With Pride, will explore changes any Kodály-inspired PreK-12 music teacher can make in their classroom to become more welcoming to LGBTQ students, as well as lay a groundwork of support for students to potentially embrace these identities later in life. After time is taken to carefully define terms surrounding the ever-evolving spectra of gender and sexuality, presenter Rex Sturdevant will lead participants in considering applications to elementary music, covering topics such as vocal exploration, dance and movement, and gender roles in folk repertoire. Then, presenter Nicholas McBride will lead participants in learning about applications to secondary music settings through inclusive repertoire and literature, as well as pedagogical strategies for fostering LGBTQ affirming environments in music and ensemble classes. Finally, workshop participants will collaborate to apply their learning, and come together as a group to share and reflect. Come join us for a morning of thinking, discussion, and togetherness!


Rex Sturdevant is a Connecticut-based music educator and percussionist. He is the music teacher at Melissa Jones School in Guilford, where he teaches K-4 general music. Prior to Melissa Jones, he taught PreK-5 general music and chorus at Skinner Road School in Vernon, and maintained a private studio at Waldron’s Studio 88 in Willimantic.

An active guest speaker, Mr. Sturdevant has presented on topics such as student-centered “informances,” Kodály-inspired approaches to rhythmic and melodic instruction, and LGBTQ-inclusive teaching practices at the local, state, and national level. Additionally, he has given guest lectures to music education classes at University of Northern Iowa, Texas Tech University, and the University of Connecticut. As a percussionist, he has led large-scale collaborative performances featuring the music of John Cage and Steve Reich, and has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Mechanics Hall, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Currently, Mr. Sturdevant is on the Education Committee of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and has written curriculum for their educational programming. During the summers, he is the band chair of Laurel Music Camp, where he also directs the percussion ensemble.

Mr. Sturdevant holds the M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, B.S. in Music Education, and B.A. in Music from the University of Connecticut, as well as a Level III Certificate in the Kodály Method from Portland State University.

Dr. Nicholas McBride maintains an active career as a music teacher-educator, researcher, and conductor. He is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at The College of New Jersey, where he teaches undergraduate courses in Music Teaching and Learning, Contemporary Issues in Music Education, Choral and General Music Methods, and Student Teaching Seminar. In addition, he has advised Masters Theses and taught graduate History & Philosophy of Music Education at Westminster Choir College, The University of Delaware, and Rutgers University. Formerly, he served as Assistant Professor of Music Education at Westminster Choir College where, at the age of 25, he became the youngest full-time faculty member in the history of the college. Dr. McBride’s research interests include LGBTQ+ and Gender issues in Music Education, Music Teacher Education, Teacher Evaluation, and Empathic & Inclusive Curricula in Music Education. His research appears in The Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, The Journal of Music Teacher Education, Music Education Research, Visions of Research in Music Education, and the Music Educators Journal. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of General Music Education and Visions of Research in Music Education, and is co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Gender & Queer Research in Music Education. Dr. McBride is a certified Human Rights Campaign “Welcoming Schools” National Facilitator, the nation’s premier professional development program for LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive schools, and is in frequent demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for elementary, middle, and high school choirs. Prior to teaching at the collegiate level, Dr. McBride taught Middle and High School Choir and General Music for nearly a decade in the New Jersey Public Schools. He earned doctoral and masters degrees in Music Education from Teachers College-Columbia University, his dual masters with honors in Choral Conducting and Music Education from Northwestern University, and his Bachelor of Music Education from Westminster Choir College.

  • Together, With Pride: LGBTQ-Inclusive Practices in PreK-12 Music Education
    October 15, 2022
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm
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200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut, 06117


Berkman Recital Hall on the Hartt School campus at the University of Hartford.

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