I served as the editor of this inaugural episode assisting my colleague California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Urban Schools Representative Zach Pitt-Smith in what will hopefully become a regular podcast focusing on teaching music in urban spaces. In a conversation among music teachers in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), they discuss their work in the context of racism, gentrification, and the need for awareness of different perspectives as CMEA music educators in the Bay Area, California.
My idea for this episode came as a response to a comment thread of a CMEA Facebook post during the 2021 All State Music Educator Conference (view the post/thread here). Zack was the first to reply to his colleague in OUSD, which is when I reached out to Zack and proposed this podcast idea for his next CMEA magazine article.
Rather than mildly participate in a social media comment/reply as a replacement for the important conversations that need to be had in our organization, I felt in this instance I wanted to know more about David’s perspective and provide a space for others to hear about these lived experiences as well. From what I have heard, participants in the podcast were pleased with the work, yet we all realize there is much work to do. I can listen to and acknowledge my colleagues viewpoints and share this in my role and capacity within the organization.
I reside in the Bay Section region of CMEA. I could imagine continuing in my role as editor, technology facilitator, and my form of allyship so that we are not simply featuring voices of music educators in other spaces, rather, these narratives are strands in the fabric that are all encompassing, not some experiences by a handful of music educators in CMEA.