top of page

Music Education Seminars



FRIDAY, OCT 2, 2020

Session One: How to F.I.N.D Brilliance in the Culturally Relevant Classroom

Format: Online / TED TALK

Duration: 60 min

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 noon 

Session Two: Hip Hop in the Elementary Music Classroom

Format: Online / Interactive Sessionn

Duration: 60 min

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 PM 

How do we define brilliance in music education? Is it through awards, trophies, and performances? In this candid talk, I am going to challenge our definition on what we consider to be brilliance in music education. Teachers will have the opportunity to self- reflect on their teaching philosophy, practice, and pedagogy. Ultimately, the goal of the session is for teachers to leave with a fresh definition of what brilliance is in music education. The impact of culturally relevant teaching (CRT) in education has been heavily researched and implemented in classrooms across the country. The foundation of CRT encourages teachers to use their students’ cultural experiences to connect material being taught. Teachers who use CRT practices as their teaching pedagogy are more effective in reaching at risk and students of color. This presentation will give an overview of CRT and provide teachers with specific teaching strategies to build their skills to reach all students in the music classroom. 

The use of Hip Hop music in the elementary music classroom is becoming more prevalent as music teachers attempt to keep students actively engaged in learning. Hip Hop music is continuously evolving and is displayed in movies, books, commercials, and a host of other arenas that our students consume daily. With that being said, there are few resources that inform teachers on how to teach meaningful lessons while incorporating Hip Hop music into their curriculum. In this session, learn new, practical, and relevant strategies to incorporate Hip Hop into your general music curriculum. Do you feel uncomfortable bringing Hip Hop into your classroom? Well, this session is for YOU! I will give you standards based, student approved, and fun filled activities to take back to your classroom. You will leave this session educated and empowered to teach Hip Hop in the Elementary Music Classroom! 



Meeting ID: 881 2805 9874


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

FJW Headshot-min.jpg

Mr. Franklin J. Willis currently serves as the Elementary Music Coach for the Metro Nashville Public Schools district. In this role, he provides instructional support for elementary music teachers in creating a learning environment that fosters meaningful cultural experiences in the performance, understanding and appreciation of music. Before this new role, Willis taught both general music and choir at the elementary and middle school levels for the past decade. He is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Country Music Association Foundation Music Teacher of Excellence award. His student performance groups have been featured on national syndicated television programs such as NBC News with Lester Holt, Entertainment Tonight, and The Today Show. He specializes in providing musical instruction that will empower and engage all children to achieve their best through authentic culturally relevant teaching experiences. 

He is a graduate of the University of Memphis where he earned a Bachelor's of Music Education with an emphasis in choral music. Willis also earned the Master of Education Degree in Nonprofit Leadership at Belmont University. Most recently he completed an Educational Specialist degree in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Technological University. To learn more about Franklin and his advocacy for music education visit his website at 

bottom of page