In order to hold hope for a future music education profession that addresses racial inequities in music teaching, music educators must possess the tools and concepts needed to discuss race and racism. This research specifically explores how four music educators, informed by critical race theory, dream for the future of music education. Two participants identify as cisgender women; one teaches middle school band (Beth) and the other high school band (Angela). The other two participants identify as cisgender men; one teaches elementary general music (Jesse) and the other high school beat-making and songwriting in an after-school setting (Ty). Each participant engaged in an eight-session professional learning community focused explicitly on critical race theory. During the final professional learning community workshop, the participants were asked to use the new knowledge they gained to dream for the future of music education. Freedom dreaming (Kelley, 2002; New York Collective of Radical Educators, 2020) is a powerful tool to imagine a most ideal future by challenging oppressive structures. Love (2019) discusses the importance of being able to dream for a future that embraces justice and equity where students who experience systemic hardship can thrive. Critical race theory can provide a lens for music educators to critically examine their own practices as teachers and consider what equitable teaching practices look like for them. Results from this study show the importance of learning about race and racism within music education and highlight the value of emphasizing student autonomy through exploration in the music classroom.

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