Danielle Brown

Danielle BrownDanielle Brown, Ph.D. is an artist, scholar, and entrepreneur. Brown earned a doctorate in Music from New York University with a concentration in ethnomusicology and specialization in the music of Latin America and the Caribbean. Her dissertation focused on parang music from Trinidad. Brown is the Founder and CEO of My People Tell Stories, LLC, a company she started based on the premise that people of color in particular, and marginalized people in general, need to tell and interpret their own stories. Originally designed as a hub to house Brown’s artistic and scholarly works, My People Tell Stories has expanded its reach to provide education and consulting services to educators, businesses, and others seeking to dismantle the effects of systemic racism in the field of music. In 2018, Brown started the Caribbean Music Pedagogy Workshop (CMPW), a two-week professional development workshop for music educators that takes place every summer. The workshop focuses on teaching genre specific pedagogy in the interest of social justice. In keeping with the social justice mission of the program, CMPW instructors are local artists from the Caribbean or of Caribbean ancestry who are experts in their field. Instructors teach from a Caribbean perspective and offer strategies for teaching musical traditions that have been marginalized within a system that privileges Western art music and Eurocentric pedagogical methods. In addition to the CMPW workshop, Brown runs the Interrogating Race in Music Series, which explores the role of race in the field of music through webinars and workshops and offers strategies for creating classroom environments that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

Brown is a former Assistant Professor of Music History and Cultures at Syracuse University. She has lectured at various colleges and universities, and has given keynote presentations at several institutions, including the NYC Department of Education. Brown has worked with elementary, middle, and high school students, and is certified in the Kodály method. In addition, she is an active vocalist, cuatro player, and composer, and studied with the late cuatro virtuoso, Robert Munro. Brown is the author of the music-centered ethnographic memoir, East of Flatbush, North of Love: An Ethnography of Home, and the East of Flatbush, North of Love: Teacher Guidebook. The former explores Brown’s experience growing up in a West Indian neighborhood in Brooklyn. Recalling the songs of her youth, particularly the ones that her mother would sing to her, Brown employs music—from calypso to hip hop—as an educational tool to teach history and to illuminate how the legacy of colonialism and imperialism continues to impact people of color today. Brown is a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Folk/Traditional Arts and is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Musicology at the University of Miami for the 2019—2020 school year.

You can find more information about Dr. Brown and her work at www.mypeopletellstories.com.


Caribbean Music Pedagogy Workshop (July 13, 2020—July 24, 2020)

Interrogating Race in Music Webinar Series (Ongoing)

Educational Travel: Havana Tour (February 12, 2020—February 19, 2020)


“Exploring Culture, Exploring Self: Trinidad and Tobago.” In Teaching General Music: A K-12 Experience, edited by Nicole Robinson, Suzanne Hall, and Fred Spano. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2016.

East of Flatbush, North of Love: Teacher Guidebook. New Orleans: My People Tell Stories, 2016.

East of Flatbush, North of Love: An Ethnography of Home. New Orleans: My People Tell Stories, 2015.

Review of Troubling Gender: Youth and Cumbia in Argentina’s Music Scene by Pablo Villa and Pablo Séman. Yearbook for Traditional Music and Dance, 44 (2012): 197-198.

Parang Side Coming: The “Color” and “Sound” of Trinidad’’s “Spanish” Heritage. Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2009.


BroSoklyn Arts Council, SU-CASA Grant Recipient, 2019

Brooklyn Arts Council, Community Arts Grant (Brooklyn Arts Fund) Recipient, 2019

Brooklyn Arts Council, Community Arts Grant (Local Arts Support) Recipient, 2019

NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship/Traditional Arts, 2018

Brooklyn Arts Council, SU-CASA Grant Recipient, 2018

Brooklyn Arts Council, Community Arts Grant (Brooklyn Arts Fund) Recipient, 2017

Smithsonian Institution Local Committee of Honor: Our Journeys/Our Stories: Portraits of Latino Achievement, 2008

Thomas J. Watson Fellow, August 2001 – August 2002

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