Archive for the ‘planning’ Category

Introducing The Gahu Project

Sunday, April 7th, 2019
picture of Gboba drum in the middle of a circle of dancers

pilot workshop at a Waterloo Region high school.

I am thrilled to be leading the research component of The Gahu Project. The Gahu Project is a racial justice community music initiative in the Waterloo Region of Ontario that brings together youth, professional artists and arts organizations to explore and discover the music of Ghana. Through a series of workshops, high school students will engage in conversations about racial justice and learn Gahu, a recreational and social dance music of the Ewe people of Ghana which combines drumming, dancing and singing. The event will culminate on Music Monday (May 6) as over 400 local high school students will gather at Kitchener City Hall Square and be led by Ghanaian master drummer Kwasi Dunyo in a mass musical experience of Ghanaian drumming, dancing and singing.

The research that I am undertaking uses arts-based participatory action research to centre the voices of African, Caribbean, and Black identifying (ACBI) students in examining how The Gahu Project affects high school climates from a racial justice lens. The goal of the research is to strengthen relationships among high school students while also understanding challenges and possibilities in creating more inclusive high school climates for ACBI students to thrive. The specific objectives are:

  1. To create participatory music performances that contribute to understanding and improving the high school climates that foster the wellbeing of ACBI students.
  2. To identify ACBI student experiences of wellbeing in relation to learning environments, relationships among the students and school staff, and school safety/physical environment.
  3. To generate policy and curriculum recommendations for WRDSB that will enhance its efforts to foster inclusive high school cultures and wellbeing of ACBI students across the district.

The research component of The Gahu Project is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Follow the Gahu Project on Instagram: @thegahuproject or #thegahuproject.


Moving to Wilfrid Laurier University

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

So thrilled to announce that I’ve accepted an appointment to join the music faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University. Here’s the official announcement. I’ll be helping build the undergraduate program in community music, the first of its kind in Canada, and I think perhaps also across North America. I am so excited to be a part of this!

instagram photo of Maureen Forrester recital hall at WLU from 2012

This was my first Instagram post in 2012, of Maureen Forrester Recital Hall at WLU.  This was also my first music conference early in my PhD studies. Looking back, that seems like an auspicious start!







you may now call me dr. dee

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

I defended my thesis at the end of August, and handed in the final document a week later.

I think that, technically, I’m not a doctor until my convocation in November, but unofficially:


And I am a doctor who now lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

I just had my childhood piano delivered from my parents’ house to mine today. My new studio needs work, but it’s looking promising:

picture of Deanna's studio (full of boxes)

Not quiiiiite homey yet, but with a little love and a lot of work, I think this will make a fine studio.

I also have plans in the works, including group classes, a vocal playlab, and mulling over the possibility of a no-commitment pop choir. I’m also beginning work on a solo interdisciplinary performance piece/research project.

I’m very excited for what’s to come.