The Music, Language, and Culture Workshop

Thursday 24 April – Meredith Aska McBride and Michael Riendeau

Dear All

Hope you can all come along to our first workshop of the Spring quarter!

Please join UChicago PhD candidate Meredith Aska McBride with guest speaker, Michael Riendeau for their presentation entitled “The Evolving Role of the Urban Arts Educator in the 21st Century”


Over the past several decades, music education, and arts education more generally, has entered an era of privatization, in which students largely access formalized arts education either through private, tuition-based programs or through teaching artists subcontracted to teach in public, private, and charter schools. Since the turn of the 21st century, arts education, and music education in particular, has often been used by policymakers and administrators to attempt to accomplish other social policy goals, mainly targeting urban children of color euphemistically known as “at-risk youth.” This presentation describes and examines Chicago’s music education landscape through these twin lenses of privatization and citizenship, exploring both the issues and the opportunities present in this model. PhD candidate Meredith Aska McBride will begin with an overview of music education in Chicago, contextualizing it within nationwide trends. Noted Chicago-based teaching artist Michael Riendeau will then describe his career, pedagogical methods, and teaching philosophy and discuss how he responds to these ideological formations within his own work. Michael and Meredith will then jointly discuss the after-school drumline program at EPIC Academy in the South Chicago neighborhood, where Michael is finishing his third year as a teaching artist and where Meredith has completed fieldwork observations.


Meredith Aska McBride is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation is entitled “Harmonizing the City: Music education and urban citizenship in Chicago.”

Michael Riendeau is a noted teaching artist and percussionist based in Chicago. He holds a BA in music from Lawrence University and has studied a number of forms of West African drumming in Paris, Ghana, and Senegal. His teaching work in the Chicago area has spanned diverse settings, including residencies at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center and in numerous schools across the city, mainly on the south and west sides; and serving as a private percussion teacher at several schools in the north shore suburbs. Michael frequently speaks and teaches on teaching artistry and has worked in particular with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Institute, the Civic Orchestra, and the Merit School of Music.


Same time (4.30-6.00pm), Same place (GOH 205)

See you there!

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