Desert Skies Symposium 2023

Desert Skies Symposium on Research in Music Learning and Teaching
School of Music, Dance & Theatre | Arizona State University 

February 16-18, 2023 

The School of Music, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University welcomes the 2023 Desert Skies Symposium for Research in Music Education to Tempe and the ASU campus on February 16-18. See the links below for further information.


Registration is now open.
The registration fee for graduate students, K12 teachers, and community members is $75.00 (US) and for faculty, the fee $150.00 (US).

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Lois Brown
As director of the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, Brown oversees the only entity at ASU and in the state of Arizona that positions race and democracy in direct relation with each other. Some of Professor Brown’s work include several published books such as "Black Daughter of the Revolution: A Literary Biography of Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins," "Memoir of James Jackson, The Attentive and Obedient Scholar" and "Encyclopedia of the Harlem Literary Renaissance." Professor Brown’s current projects include biographies of influential but understudied African American women of the nineteenth century, African Americans in 18th and 19th century Concord, Massachusetts and a collection of essays on race, place and history in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Arizona.

Professor Brown was featured on the acclaimed PBS documentary The Abolitionists and has curated and collaborated on exhibitions for the Museum of African American History in Boston and the Boston Public Library. Professor Brown is an award-winning teacher whose courses include Race, Place and Power in African American Women's Writing, the African American Short Story, Writing on the Land of Freedom: The Pastoral in African American Literature, Slavery and the Literary Imagination and Reel Black: African American Life in Film.

Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr. 

Dr. Warren H. Stewart Sr. has been Senior Pastor of the First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix, Arizona since 1977. His ministry is characterized by an unwavering commitment and Spirit-filled zeal to engage in evangelism and emancipation, meeting the needs of the whole person. He is also recognized by others as “a man of conscience, commitment and dedication to the cause of moral leadership, human rights and a soldier of justice and equality.” Dr. Stewart has been cited as one of the most influential religious leaders in Arizona and the nation, and his ministry extends internationally.

Dr. Stewart organized and led two broad-based coalitions—ARIZONANS FOR A MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. STATE HOLIDAY and VICTORY TOGETHER, Inc.--an organization that campaigned for a Martin Luther King, Jr./Civil Rights Day in Arizona which was won by a historic vote of the people in the general election on November 3, 1992, after a decades-long fight. In 2015, he was inducted into the 30th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. College of Clergy & Laity—Board of Preachers in the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Stewart is a husband, father, grandfather and mentor who has also earned five degrees, including the Doctor of Ministry degree from American Baptist Seminary of the West  in Berkeley, CA. He is the author of five books, including his first book, Interpreting God’s Word in Black Preaching (in its fifth printing). His latest publication was VICTORY TOGETHER FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: The Story of Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr., Governor Evan Mecham and the Historic Battle for a Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday in Arizona.

Link to full bio 

Conference Schedule and Locations

Symposium Program

Please visit the following link to view the program.

2023 Desert Skies Symposium Program

This program is subject to change up until and through the conference. Please check this link regularly for the most up-to-date information. 


Session 1 Abstracts

Session 2 Abstracts

Session 3 Abstracts

Session 4 Abstracts

Session 5 Abstracts

Session 6 Abstracts

Session 7 Abstracts

Session 8 Abstracts

Session 9 Abstracts


Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, is the main airport serving the Greater Phoenix area. It serves more than 40 million passengers a year, and goes to more than 100 domestic and international destinations, making it one of the 10 busiest airports in the U.S. With about 1,200 daily flights – about 500 nonstop – Sky Harbor is one of the most convenient airports and is about six miles from the campus and the conference hotel. 

The conference hotel (The Graduate Tempe) has a free shuttle between the hotel and airport (on the hour).  Directions from Sky Harbor Airport.

Getting Around Tempe

The Graduate Tempe is located approximately 0.6 miles away from Old Main, the campus building in which all of the conference events will take place. You may use the following link to find directions across campus - Travel Between Old Main and the Graduate Tempe.

If there are conference attendees who need assistance travelling from the hotel to the conference space, transportation is available at the start and end of the conference day -- please write to Matthew Fiorentino if you need a ride.

For those who need to park on campus, please use this form (this link has been updated for access to those outside ASU):

Book your group rate at the Graduate Tempe

Rooms are available at a nightly rate of $175.00 on February 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th. The cut-off date for receiving this special conference rate is Wednesday, January 18, 2023. To reserve a room, please visit and ask for the ASU Desert Skies Conference rate. Each guest is responsible for paying their own room, taxes, incidentals, and damages.

Instructions for Presenters 

The Desert Skies Symposium has used the following presentation format for several years, and we will continue with this format for the 2023 event.  

Sessions are 90 minutes long. Each 90-minute session will begin with eight to nine one-minute lightening talks given by each of that session’s presenters. The lightening talks are session overviews to help attendees select three presentations to attend. Attendees will then go to one of the presentation tables/spaces, where authors will present seated at a table to six to ten attendees.

Typically, presenters do not read entire papers. We ask that you prepare a presentation of your research in a format that fosters engaging discussion and questions from those who have selected your session. Some presenters choose to use slides and/or audio/video clips using their personal laptop computers. We will have some laptops/ipads available for presenters to use if needed. Some past presenters chose to provide handouts or an outline. Neither is required. Additional ideas are welcome! 

After about 25 minutes, groups rotate, and presenters repeat to a new small group, then another rotation occurs. In other words, you will present/discuss your research three times, each time with a different small group of attendees, during the same 90-minute session.

Call for Papers

The Desert Skies Symposium on Research in Music Learning and Teaching invites submissions for the seventeenth biennial meeting, to be held February 16-18, 2023, on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University. 

You are invited to submit papers related to research on music learning and teaching in any context. The Desert Skies Symposium conceives of research broadly and encourages the submission of a variety of methodologies and styles of inquiry. 

We encourage applications from college and university faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, preK12 music educators, teaching artists, music therapists and music therapy researchers, and community music educators. Finally, we explicitly encourage work that centers equity and justice as well as interdisciplinary study and community-based or community-inspired work. 

Submit your abstract of 700-800 words (references not included in word count) by the extended deadline of September 26, 2022 as an attachment at Include the author or first author’s last name in the filename (e.g., Smith.DesertSkies.2023). 

Download a copy of the 2023 CFP here: 2023 Desert Skies Call for Papers