Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement

The Division of Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement (PACE) builds upon Oberlin’s legacy of excellence in music education with a 21st-century emphasis on social justice, arts advocacy, and community engagement. It answers the question commonly posed by students on the cusp of music careers: ‘‘How can I make an impact?’’

PACE offers courses and opportunities for students to imagine, research, create, and practice connecting their enthusiasm for music, interdisciplinary arts, and academic interests to surrounding communities in sustainable and innovative ways.

These experiences create vibrant pathways for students, nurturing their professional development and preparing them for meaningful careers.


Our faculty are outstanding musician-educators with extensive experience—from performing in a broad range of settings, to teaching pre-kindergarten through college students and adult music learners.

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The Division of Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement (PACE) embraces Oberlin’s century-long tradition of educating students for public and private school music teaching. PACE also continues the institution’s tradition of advocating for, investigating, and practicing culturally responsive pedagogies throughout the diverse settings in which music and teaching occur in the 21st century.

PACE offers students practical opportunities to use their musical craft and pedagogical skills in schools and community settings. Access to the arts is a theme of social justice commonly explored in PACE.

Through PACE, students might find themselves taking part in such programs and activities as:

• Coaching local youth orchestra sectionals
• Observing and teaching students at Oberlin Community Music School
• Networking with nationally renowned community arts educators through coursework
• Teaching music composition and technology courses for middle school students
• Studying educational policy
• Teaching children to play gongs and gamelan at an urban after-school program
• Researching intersections between music cognition and school music curricula
• Playing guitar for hospice patients
• Rehearsing a prison choir
• Studying alternative pedagogies
• Teaching piano to young students
• Teaching private voice or instrumental lessons for non-conservatory students
• Performing in Oberlin Orchestra outreach concerts

Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement News

Victor Hymes ’79 Named to Audubon Society Board

August 31, 2023

Entrepreneur and financier Victor Hymes, a 1979 graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory, has been named to the Audubon Society’s national board of directors. A resident of San Francisco,...
Victor Hymes.

Pedagogy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement Facilities

Bertram and Judith Kohl Building

The Bertram and Judith Kohl Building is the home for the conservatory’s jazz studies division and programs in composition, musicology, and music theory, as well as the Clonick Hall recording studio.
exterior image and sign for the Kohl Building