The 16th Mountain Lake Colloquium - May 23-26, 2021

Engaged Work Toward Justice: People, Practices, and Priorities








This conference will provide a forum to raise critical questions about the people, practices, and priorities regarding justice within general music education. It will explore environments, programs, societal/institutional structures, curricula, and theories that expand educational opportunities and access in general music teacher education. Through the examination of current practice, we will explore solutions and shared paths for moving forward.

Engaged work toward justice ensures that civil and human rights are protected for everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, the nation of origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, or class. Selected sessions will provide a range of policy, planning, and pedagogical perspectives from across the country and will highlight exemplary projects, initiatives, and models. 

The conference will focus on key questions about work toward engaged justice:


  • Who are we serving/not serving in general music teacher education programs and why?

  • How is music teacher education supporting or not supporting the academic, professional, social, and emotional needs of students in marginalized populations? 

  • How are general music teacher educators responding or not responding to the various needs of diverse students including, but not limited to, mental health concerns, neurodiversity, sexual identity, disabilities, immigration status, and race? 

  • How are music education programs diversifying their faculty, staff, and administrators to include Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian (BBIA) people and other diverse groups? 

  • What professional development opportunities exist and are needed for faculty in music teacher education programs that promote increased intercultural awareness?



  • How are we preparing our preservice teachers to work in diverse environments and to implement anti-racist and inclusive practices?

  • How can teachers and students work together to address the injustices that their students continue to face? 

  • What anti-racist and inclusive classroom practices are being successfully utilized? 

  • What are possible strategies for initiating challenging or difficult conversations? 

  • What are the ways in which teacher educators transform their instructional environments to create belonging and well-being for BBIA and all people?



  • How are we identifying systemic inequities and exclusionary practices and policies within our music education programs and campuses? 

  • How can general music teacher educators effectively advocate for engaged work toward justice within environments that may have competing priorities or divergent goals? 

  • How can we advocate for expansive music practices in ensemble participation and music curricular offerings beyond music education courses? 

  • How are music programs in higher education and Pre-K–12 education addressing resistance to institutional change? 

  • How do we as a community move beyond beliefs and policy and toward individual and collaborative action?

Proposals will be considered that (1) balance conceptual and theoretical frameworks with concrete, pragmatic examples; (2) present successful projects, initiatives, and models that have promoted or supported change; (3) facilitate dialogue and potential cross-institutional collaborations among conference attendees that enable transforming ideas into practice; and (4) foster discovery and problem-solving through idea sharing and community building. 
The Proposal Submission Form can be found on the Mountain Lake Colloquium website. The deadline for proposals has been extended to October 15th.

Session Formats:

Plenary/Simultaneous Sessions: These are presentations given to either the entire colloquium or in several different locations at the same time. The majority of presentations at Mountain Lake fall in this category and presenters in these sessions will have approximately 25–30 minutes to present. 

Active Music-Making/Interactive Technology Session: These 50-minute sessions are all about making music or demonstrating technology or specific techniques that would work effectively in general music or music teacher education settings. Please consider how your session might transfer to an online conference, if necessary. 

Research Gallery/Flash Session: In-person, this will be a poster session format in which participants describe current research studies related to general music and/or music teacher education. Online, presenters need to be prepared to share their work verbally through a short flash presentation. 

Roundtable Discussion: Conversations about topics of interest to general music teaching and learning. Proposals selected for this format will be charged with starting a conversation on the topic and facilitating conversation by all who attend. In-person, these will occur over various breaks throughout the day. If the conference moves to an online format, these will be presented in breakout rooms.



The Mountain Lake Colloquium community seeks both traditional and imaginative presentational formats, including roundtable, collaborative paper sessions, research presentations, focus group discussions, and others. Collaborative submissions are strongly encouraged. Questions regarding the submission process can be directed to Brent Gault ( or Ann Clements (


On behalf of the 2021 planning team, we look forward to seeing you at the next Mountain Lake Colloquium.


Brent Gault and Ann Clements, Colloquium Coordinators

The 16th biennial Mountain Lake Colloquium is on the horizon, and we sincerely hope you will plan

to join us from May 23 - 26, 2021 in Pembroke, Virginia as we come together to celebrate the collective and individual growth that we associate with Mountain Lake.  While our current plans are for a face-to-face meeting at Mountain Lake, we are monitoring the situation with COVID-19 and are prepared to move the colloquium online if this becomes necessary.