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THEME Lecture: Christopher Roberts, University of Washington

Friday, October 13, 2023 - 4:30pm
Christopher Roberts, UW Music Education
J. Christopher Roberts, University of Washington

Christopher Roberts, chair of the Music Education program at the University of Washington, presents “Global Music Cultures in K-12 Settings: Contemporary Considerations,” in the School of Music's 2023 THEME lecture series.


This talk focuses on evolving ideas concerning the incorporation of global music cultures in public education, examining critical perspectives on cultural appropriation, recontextualization, musical tourism, and efforts to decolonize the curriculum.

Series Background

THEME, an annual colloquium of UW faculty and students of Theory, History, Ethnomusicology, and Music Education, is held on select Friday afternoons during Autumn Quarter.  All talks are at 4:30 p.m in the School of Music Fishbowl unless otherwise noted. Admission is free. 


J. Christopher Roberts, Music Education

J. Christopher Roberts is Lecturer and Director of Music Teacher Education at the University of Washington.  He holds degrees from Swarthmore College (B.A., History) and the University of Washington (M.A., Ph.D., Music Education), with research and clinical interests in children’s musical cultures, world music pedagogy, and the nature of children’s interest in music.  Recent articles have appeared in publications including Update (2018), Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education (2017), British Journal of Music Education (2016), Journal of Research in Music Education (2013; 2015), and Oxford Handbook of Social Justice in Music Education (2015).  In 2018, His co-authored book, World Music Pedagogy II: Elementary Music Education, was published by Routledge. 

An elementary music teacher for 20 years, Roberts regularly provides professional development throughout the United States.  Topics include global music cultures, culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogies, global music cultures, developing empathy in the elementary music classroom, and  in-tune singing.  He directs the Kodály Levels Program of Seattle and teaches Kodály Levels at Westminster Choir College in New Jersey.  Additionally, he was a founding instructor of the Smithsonian Folkways Certification Course in World Music Pedagogy.