• Bandology – More music for more kids

EDIA At Bandology

Our Commitment

Bandology is committed to promoting equity, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility (EDIA) through our external programming, advocacy, partnerships and internal operations. 

Bandology recognizes that race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability and other demographic characteristics have social, political and economic significance. 

In a normative society founded in whiteness, gender binaries, heterosexuality, capitalism and ability, those with different characteristics or circumstances face systemic barriers that limit opportunities and prevent full participation (United Nations, 2018). 

This principle applies to a student’s ability to participate in music education, extracurriculars and/or post-secondary studies (Mak Wan and Fancourt, 2021). 

Bandology firmly believes no child should be excluded from music education due to their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability or household income. Bandology seeks to remove barriers to opportunity and participation by improving the accessibility of music education.

At Bandology, accessibility is achieved through 

  • Equitable, inclusive and low-cost programming
  • Identifying and contacting underrepresented, at-risk or in-need communities/groups/organizations/schools and
  • Continued advocacy that demands equitable, inclusive, diverse and accessible music education

Special Note: Decolonizing Music Education

Bandology recognizes that we are a white-founded organization working to promote participation in the current Ontario music curriculum, which is based completely on Western music.

Bandology understands that colonialism has directly contributed to the destruction and othering of ethnocultural music. As an organization, Bandology does not believe in, or encourage, the idea that Western music is superior to any other ethnocultural music. Rather, Bandology advocates for the benefits of ensemble music, which is present in nearly every ethnocultural music type.

With an understanding of neocolonialism, white saviourism and tokenism, Bandology respects that it is not in our purview to provide ethnocultural music services. Instead, there are organizations represented by individuals belonging to specific ethnocultural groups that provide holistic music services. At Bandology, we hope to be a hub of information, pointing those interested in the direction of local ethnocultural music organizations.

Below is a brief list of organizations by country or region:

If you are looking for a specific ethnocultural music organization, we recommend searching the country, region or culture (i.e. Italy, Sudan, Thailand, Yoruba Tribe, etc) followed by “music/arts/cultural organization” followed by your location (i.e. Toronto, GTA, Oakville, Guelph, etc.).

EDIA In Bandology’s External Programming

Band Camp – Bandology’s Band Camps are designed for kids in grades 2-12 with a love of music. Band Camp for teens costs $395 and Band Camp Junior for kids costs $295. A subsidy of 10-50%, or more if required, is available upon request. There are no means tests required for subsidy approval, only a referral from a teacher or community organization. Subsidies are funded by private donors who are passionate about music education and youth opportunities! 

Instrument Library – Bandology’s Instrument Library has 20+ instruments which can be borrowed for a five-month school semester. The Instrument Library was designed to respond to the high cost of purchasing or renting a personal instrument for extracurricular use. Bandology firmly believes no child should experience economic barriers to music education and has created the Instrument Library to increase access and opportunity for low-income youth across Halton. 

Play A Gig – Bandology’s Play A Gig program connects student-led ensembles with performance opportunities in the community. Whether at business, community or private events, youth get the opportunity to gain vital performance experience and build their audience. This service is completely free for both performers and venues and is available to youth who engage in ANY type of music – ranging from metal, ethnocultural to classical, and from single performers to ensemble groups. 

Lesson Plans – Bandology recognizes that comprehensive music education, encompassing both curricular and extra-curricular, is not equitably distributed, as some schools, mainly in middle to high-income areas, receive private funding from parents, school councils and students fees to cover music education opportunities that go beyond the provincial education curriculum (Hill Strategies Research, 2020; Lau et al., 2018). To address this inequality, Bandology has partnered with teachers to create accessible and engaging lesson plans. These lesson plans are available for free on our website.

EDIA In Bandology’s Internal Operations

HEDR – Bandology is a member of the Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable. Through this membership, Bandology attends monthly meetings with other Halton organizations to learn, discuss and implement strategies for diversity and equity in our internal and external operations.

Internal Hiring and Training – Bandology is an equal-opportunity employer. Each summer Bandology brings on new employees thanks to funding from the Canada Summer Jobs program. Starting in 2022, Bandology has mandatory EDIA training for all staff, as well as for the board of directors. 

Community Outreach and Advocacy – Bandology is committed to continued outreach and advocacy within and around the Halton region. We will continue to seek out information regarding in-need, at-risk or underrepresented groups and provide opportunities for participation in our low-cost and accessible programs.

Research Infographics – Bandology’s research infographics show the impact music education has on academics, transferable skills, mental health and more. These free-to-use infographics are useful advocacy tools for teachers, parents, principals and anyone interested in promoting the benefits of quality music education.

Suggested Reading

The Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education (ACT) is a journal created by the Mayday Group, an international conglomerate of music educators dedicated to critical thinking and theory in the field of music education. The ACT journal is completely free to access and each issue contains different academic articles on sociological theory including race, gender, ability, economics and colonialism. The ACT and Bandology are not associated.

Suggested ACT articles 

  1. Vaugeois, L. (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. http://act.maydaygroup.org/articles/Vaugeois6_4.pdf
    1. No abstract available. 
  2. Jenkins, Chris. 2022. Assimilation and integration in classical music education. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education 22 (1): 156–81. https://doi.org/10.22176/act21.2.156
    1. Abstract: Conservatories and orchestras based in the US have attempted to become more diverse by increasing their recruitment of students of color. This approach, however, fails to acknowledge that the aesthetic environments of these institutions, having been designed by and for a White majority, require these students to assimilate into environments that may be aesthetically foreign. This article argues that culturally situated aesthetic differences are key to understanding the lack of diversity within classical music. Because the aesthetics of western classical music do not broadly appeal to communities of color, the demographic diversification of classical music would be greatly aided by a corresponding diversification of performance aesthetics. I provide a contrast between African American and European musical aesthetics to specify racially delimited aspects of classical music performance and to suggest possible solutions.
  3. Bell, Adam Patrick, Jason Dasent, and Gift Tshuma. 2022. Disabled and racialized musicians: Experiences and epistemologies. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education 22 (1): 17–56. https://doi.org/10.22176/act21.1.17
    1. Abstract: Drawing on DisCrit—disability studies and critical race theory (Annamma, Ferri, and Connor 2013) and Beaudry’s (2020) framework for accounts of disability, we (the authors) examine the lived experiences of Jason and Gift as disabled and racialized musicians. Echoing the DisCrit maxim that ableism and racism are intertwined, we assert that, like disability studies in general, disability research in music education is characterized by unmarked whiteness (Bell 2006, 2011). As a result, disability research in music education has a deep deficit of epistemologies of disabled and racialized people. To address this issue, we adhere to the fourth tenet of DisCrit by centering the perspectives of disabled and racialized people, presenting the experiences of Jason and Gift with music teaching and learning in the form of conversational interviews.

The Canadian Music Educator is an academic journal that highlights emerging issues in the field of Canadian music education, promoting critical thinking and discussion. For a fee, members of the CME or associated databases can read all CME articles and stay up to date on new and emerging ideas in the field. Bandolgy and the CME are not associated. 

Suggested CME articles

  1. Brady, S. (2023). Reimagining the Ensemble Paradigm: A Framework for Postcolonial Music Education. The Canadian Music Educator, 64(1), 6-15. 
    1. Abstract: There is a clear mismatch between the musicking that students engage in outside of school and what happens in the traditional one-size-fits-all classroom rehearsal space. In this article, I problematize current secondary music paradigms in Canada, using my experiences learning and teaching music in Alberta as an illustrative example. A review of literature uses postcolonial and culturally responsive lenses to discuss structural power dynamics. I then explore avenues for transformative change in music classrooms, providing recommendations from the literature for educators of all levels of expertise to amplify and rethink their practice.
  2. Clayton, M. V.. (2020). The Benefits of Ensemble Participation for 2SLGBTQ Musicians. The Canadian Music Educator, 62(1), 32-37. 
    1. Abstract: This study examines the impact of participation in music ensembles such as band and choir on the well-being of two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other non-heterosexual and cisgender (2SLGBTQ+) identified musicians. 2SLGBTQ+ musicians with ensemble experience were asked to fill out a questionnaire on their experiences and perceived impacts of their participation. Conclusions were drawn from this data using constructivist grounded theory informed by queer anti-capitalism after responses were coded and grouped into themes for thematic analysis. This study propositions the music ensemble as an informal queer space and reveals differing benefits across 2SLGBTQ+ demographics. The music ensemble appears to play a key role in providing relief from capitalism as a place where queerness can be normalized instead of commodified.
  3. Oberhofer, C. (2020). Decolonization and Indigenization in Music Education. The Canadian Music Educator, 62(1), 48-53.
    1. Abstract: The colonial structures of Canadian schools are reflected in music curricula and teaching methods of the country’s educators, and school systems have a substantial impact on Indigenous student welfare and the capacity for cultural understanding in non-Indigenous students. This article explores decolonization and Indigenization in music education, with a focus on the ways in which pedagogical preferences and resource selection can influence students’ experience of social justice issues, equity, and their understanding of colonization. By considering pedagogy, resources, transmission, and repertoire, music educators can contribute to decolonization efforts and provide representation for Indigenous perspectives in the music classroom.

Additional Articles

Hill Strategies Research. A Delicate Balance: Music Education in Canadian Schools. Coalition for Music Education in Canada. Retrieved from https://coalitioncanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/COALITION_ADelicateBalance_FULLREPORT.pdf

Halton District School Board. (2021). Student Census Results. Retrieved from https://www.hdsb.ca/our-board/PublishingImages/Pages/Student-Census/2022_HDSB_Student_Census.pdf


Hill Strategies Research. (2020). A Delicate Balance: Music Education in Canadian Schools. Coalition for Music Education in Canada. Retrieved from https://coalitioncanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/COALITION_ADelicateBalance_FULLREPORT.pdf

Lau, R., Hildebrandt, T., and Edward, J. (2018). Our Halton 2018 Income Inequality and Poverty. Community Development Halton. Retrieved from https://cdhalton.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Our-Halton-2018-Income-Inequality-and-Poverty.pdf

Mak Wan, H. and Fancourt, D. (2021). Do socio-demographic factors predict children’s engagement in arts and culture? Comparisons of in-school and out-of-school participation in the Taking Part Survey. The Public Library of Science ONE, 16(2) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246936United Nations. (2018).

United Nations. (2018). Prejudice and discrimination: Barriers to social inclusion. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/2018/02/prejudice-and-discrimination/


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