Singing With Educational Choral Music That Is More Gender Inclusive


  • Marisa Morin, B.Mus.Ed


  • Michael Shun, (Adjunct Lecturer, Music)


The project is focused on commissioning a piece of music to create new repertoire for educational choral music that is more gender-inclusive. This piece of choral music will emphasize flexibility in vocal parts and, as a result, allow for more inclusive classrooms for trans and gender-expansive (TGE) students. In addition, this piece of music will serve as an example for composers as to how educational choral repertoire can be more gender-inclusive. Beyond this specific project, the piece will play an important role in future research proposed for an Undergraduate Research Award in Fall 2022 through the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research to examine the ways in which school choral programs can better include TGE students.

The choral piece commissioned through this grant will be shared with several schools throughout New England to collect feedback from students and educators about their understanding of how educational choral repertoire can be more inclusive of TGE students. The final product of this grant will reach actual choral classrooms and students with lived experiences. This piece will contribute to a new repertoire of educational music that acknowledges the need for greater gender inclusivity while encouraging conversations about ways to cultivate more gender diverse classrooms and choirs.

“While transitioning to using gender-neutral language and working to eliminate the stereotypes associated with voice parts are important steps to creating more inclusive classrooms, developing a repertoire of music that supports gender diversity is also crucial.”

About Marisa and Michael

Marisa Morin is a sophomore Music Education major at the University of New Hampshire. Their research focuses on the representation and inclusion of trans and gender-expansive students in music classrooms. Michael Shun is a composer and adjunct lecturer of music theory and ear training at the University of New Hampshire. Their music focuses on navigating the genderqueer identity within the aesthetic of classical music. As an educator, Michael collaborates with the Maine Music Educators Association to arrange instrumental etudes to encourage more high school students to audition for Maine’s All-State festival. They also work with educators in New Hampshire to compose new music and coach young percussionists to develop their musical skills. Marisa and Michael both recognize the needs in their community for music classrooms to be more inclusive. They found information on the GRSIL small grant funding through Instagram stories shared by the UNH COLA account, and saw this as a great opportunity to catalyze Marisa’s research. While shifting to a more inclusive language is a good starting point, Marisa and Michael also believe creating new music for students to perform is necessary to instigate change in how we teach music and make it accessible for all students.