Dawn T. Corso

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Assistant Professor, Music

Assistant Professor, Social / Cultural / Critical Theory – GIDP

Music Bldg, Room 147

Ph.D. (2003) University of Illinois
M.A. (1999) University of Illinois
B.A. (1997) University of Illinois
B.A. (1997) University of Illinois
A.A. (1992) Lincoln Land Community College

Dawn T. Corso is an Assistant Professor of Music Education and Ethnomusicology in the Fred Fox School of Music, affiliated faculty member for the Applied Ethnomusicology and Intercultural Arts Research and Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDPs) in the Graduate College, and affiliated faculty for the Africana Studies Program in the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona.  

Dr. Corso earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Division of Cognition, Language, Learning, and Culture, and a Master of Arts (M.A.), Division of Socio-Cultural Perspectives in Education, both with emphases in ethnomusicology and music education, from the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in ethnomusicology and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in anthropology, both with an emphasis in psychology, from the University of Illinois and an Associate of Arts (A.A.) in anthropology with an emphasis in music from Lincoln Land Community College.  Her graduate work first focused on the implementation of multicultural music education in general music settings and later shifted to music-dance communities of practice and informal learning processes amongst African-American children as they occurred outside school settings. 

In addition to her university teaching experiences at the University of Illinois, Arizona State University, and University of Arizona, Dr. Corso has taught Pre-K general music, choir, band, and orchestra in schools and served in school and district administrative positions in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, and Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona.  She has directed community choir and band ensembles and performed as a coloratura soprano and trumpet player in the Phoenix metropolitan area and joins local musicians and dancers of Irish and Zimbabwean musics in the Southwest and abroad when possible.

This combined background of research, teaching, and community engagement continues to refine Dr. Corso’s inquiry into “multicultural” music education and its definition and purpose, especially regarding epistemology, cognition, and philosophy.  It has led to her current work regarding the embodied cultural processes of learning traditional and vernacular musics and the translation of those practices into formalized music education settings.  She focuses on the traditional musics-dances of Ireland and the Irish trad diaspora in the U.S. and Shona mbira dzavadzimu of Zimbabwe and local music-dance communities of practice found in the Southwest.  To provide space for such study, she leads UA Music Education Without Borders, a community-service and education-oriented group of ethnomusicology ensembles—UA Tíolacadh Irish Ensemble, UA Chipo Mbira Ensemble, and UA Son Arizona Latin Ensemble—practicing and learning alongside student and community members.  

Dr. Corso is a regular presenter at conferences focused on the intersection between learning, music, and culture often found in international settings, such as “Pedagogy, Practices, and Future of Folk Music in Higher Education,” and her work is disseminated in similar publications, like The International Journal of Learning, Philosophy of Music Education Review, Social Studies Research and Practice, and the upcoming SAGE Encyclopedia of Ethnomusicology.

University of Arizona Faculty Affiliations

Africana Studies Program, College of Humanities

Applied Ethnomusicology and Intercultural Arts Research Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, Graduate College

Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, Graduate College

Professional Profile Links

FFSoM Directory 

UA Faculty Website

Research Gate

Chronicle Vitae

Google Scholar


UA Telephone: 520-621-1255

UA Email:

Corso Office Hours_UA Google Calendar

If you are part of the University of Arizona and wish to make an appointment during my available office hours, please use the Corso Office Hours calendar link above to meet with me in my office (Room 147 in the FFSoM Music Building). 

Corso Virtual Office Hours_UA Google Calendar

If instead, you prefer to meet virtually via phone or video, please use the Corso Virtual Office Hours calendar link above.  For a phone conference, please include a reliable phone number with which to contact you when you sign up, and I will call that number at your scheduled time.  For a video conference, please indicate the form of video-conferencing with which you are most comfortable and your user ID for connecting on that platform.  I am able to accommodate Skype, D2L Zoom, UA Google Meet, or FaceTime for video-conferencing.

Activities on Campus

Ensemble Brings Sounds of Ireland to UA

UA News, 03/14/2019

by Alexis Blue and Bob Demers


Arizona Illustrated, 11/30/2016

by Dan Kruse and Bob Lindberg

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