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Dr. André de Quadros Discusses Community Music With Upper School Students

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Dr. André de Quadros Discusses Community Music With Upper School Students
Dr. Andre de Quadros

Dr. André de Quadros gave a lecture via Zoom on community music and its global impact to our Bullis music students.

The topic of community music has been an emerging field in music education worldwide over the past five years. Stephanie Mayer-Sattin, Instrumental Music teacher, is leading a self-selected group of Upper School band and orchestra students through a module about community music-making once a week this trimester. This module introduces students to music opportunities waiting for them to participate in and/or create themselves beyond the doors of Bullis.

What is Community Music?

Community music is an approach to music-making that encourages active collaboration between individuals who play, create, improvise, and perform music together. It is music-making that fosters individual growth and community development. Community music helps to break down barriers between people and cultures. It enables people to take part in social activities that builds confidence, skills, and reduces loneliness and isolation. Participation in musical exercise leads to overall wellness with proven health benefits [1].


Guest Speaker Dr. André de Quadros of Boston University

On January 19, special guest Dr. André de Quadros of Boston University gave a lecture via Zoom on community music and its global impact to our Bullis music students. An ardent human rights and social change activist, Dr. de Quadros believes that consensus music-making can bring people and cultures together. He has been at the forefront of efforts for music to create social change. For many of our students, this was their first college lecture.

Bullis Student Response Reflections from Dr. André de Quadros' Discussion

Dr. de Quadros is an experienced, successful musician who harnessed the power of music to bring communities together. I was incredibly fortunate and grateful to have the opportunity to learn from him. Dr. de Quadros explained that community music can be informal, non-institutional, and something that belongs to the people. It does not need to be a grand spectacle, rather, it can be a casual fun gathering of community members. Dr. de Quadros’ goal is to use music to help forgotten places or people around the world, such as the homeless, the mentally ill, or people with disabilities. Nathan Chen '24
I was inspired by Dr. de Quadros’ talk as he shared with us his experiences with community music and his willingness to make a difference in the community. He defined community music as, “recreating the part of music that was fundamental in informal communities, when it was used as glue to bring people in communities together.” I believe that this is such an important concept that music should be brought back to its roots, so everyone can feel a part of something special. Whether it is used to promote equality or designed to make people feel included in something larger than themselves, music can be the glue to bring everyone together. Dillon Malkani '23

► View more student reflections

I am so deeply thankful for the time Dr. André de Quadros spent with the Upper School instrumental students of Bullis School this week! The students were, as they say, "blown away!" I have great hopes for this new generation of young people. We thank Dr. de Quadros so much for helping to bring them a vision of community, humility, and compassion! Stephanie Mayer-Sattin, Bullis School Instrumental Music

About Dr. André de Quadros

Dr. André de Quadros

Professor of Music, Music Education at Boston University

Affiliate faculty, African Studies Center, Center for the Study of Asia, Global Health Initiative, and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies & Civilizations


BA, University of Bombay; Graduate Diploma of Humanities, La Trobe University; Graduate Diploma in Movement and Dance, University of Melbourne; Graduate Diploma in Music, Victorian College of the Arts; Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Monash University; MEd, La Trobe University; EdD, La Trobe University; Graduate studies at Universität Mozarteum Salzburg


André de Quadros, conductor, ethnomusicologist, music educator, writer, and human rights activist has conducted and undertaken research in over forty countries. His professional work has taken him to the most diverse settings, spanning professional ensembles, and projects with prisons, psychosocial rehabilitation, refugees and asylum-seekers, poverty locations, and victims of torture and trauma.

Dr. de Quadros is Artistic Director and Conductor of the following choirs: Common Ground Voices (Israeli-Palestinian-international), the Manado State University Choir (Indonesia), the Muslim Choral Ensemble (Sri Lanka), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Countries Youth Choir, and Boston’s VOICES 21C. He co-leads Common Ground Voices / La Frontera (Mexico-US).

He is deeply committed to justice and equity, peacebuilding and reconciliation. During the Iraq war, in 2008 and 2012, he co-directed Aswatuna: Arab Choral Festival in Jordan that brought together community choirs from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. Since 2010, he has co-directed the Community Heartsong, a historic project with young Palestinian and Israeli choral musicians in East Jerusalem working to foster understanding between the two communities. Common Ground Voices based in Jerusalem has been a space for building understanding through grassroots peacebuilding efforts.

For nearly a decade, André de Quadros has worked in Massachusetts prisons, jails, and detention centers with a focus on empowering people in incarcerated settings to tell their stories through improvised music, song-creation, poetry, movement, and theater. The approach created by him is called Empowering Song.

As a public intellectual engaging with community, he has given countless talks, lectures, and workshops with community groups. Most recently, he co-founded the justice-focused media initiative, The Choral Commons, a media space for podcasts, webinars, educational resources, and choral creations with a focus on social justice projects.

View full bio and learn more about Dr. André de Quadros

Other Sources:

[1] Veblen, Kari. (2007). The many ways of community music. International Journal of Community Music. 1. 5-21. 10.1386/ijcm.1.1.5_1.