Race and #RealTalk

The vision continues–using the barbershop singing (and listening) experience as a therapeutic tool by which we confront historic and contemporary issues of race in our country. Join us to participate in the formal study, “Race and #RealTalk: A Community Music Therapy Model for Addressing Racism in the United States.”

The history of racial exclusion in the barbershop community was a reflection of the reality that manifested in society at that stage of our cultural evolution in America. HALO believes that it can be a unique change agent, by which the barbershop community and the nation as a whole can press forward toward becoming a truly united people.  As we utilize and engage in the unique style of harmonic progression in barbershop singing to guide our discourse as well as the phenomenon of social bonding and trust that group singing facilitates, we can invest our energy in a difficult process of healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, and resolutions for peace.

Key Information

Please read this form carefully. To participate in the study, you will need to give consent by signing this form. Your participation in this research is voluntary. You will get a copy of this form.

Purpose of Study:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of a community music therapy program on participant’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors associated with racism. The six session program and culminating public concert performance, called Race and #RealTalk, incorporates a range of music experiences that facilitate dialogue between participants focused on racism in the United States. 

Period of Time Required:

You will attend six 2-hour biweekly sessions on Wednesday evenings– beginning, October 9, 2019 (fifth and sixth sessions are consecutive weeks: 12/4 and 12/11) — and participate in a culminating concert December 15, 2019. During these sessions you will engage in some instrumental improvisation exercises, participate in vocal warm ups, preparation of a song selection in the barbershop singing style, and review and reflect on assigned reading materials which will be the topics of group discussions. 

You can change your mind about participating in this study at any time. Your permission does not end unless you cancel it. To cancel it, please send a letter to the researchers listed on this form. Then you will no longer be in the study. The researchers will still use information about you that was collected before you ended your participation. 


The researchers will do everything possible to protect your privacy. Data collected will be securely stored and will only be viewed by the research team. You identity will never be revealed, and all information gathered from the series will be kept in strictest confidence. 


In addition to participating in the six-session program and culminating concert, you will also participate in two interviews – one at the beginning and one at the end of the program. Each interview will be recorded, and transcripts from these interviews will be used as part of the study to understand your experience of the Race and #RealTalk program. All interviews are kept in strictest confidence and should any element of your transcript be used in publications or presentations, you will be assigned a pseudonym. 

We will also audio record each workshop session and transcribe these recordings to help us understand what happens during groups. If we use excerpts of any sessions to illustrate themes or ideas that emerged from the Race and #RealTalk program, all participants’ dialogue included in these excerpts will be presented anonymously, with a pseudonym assigned to each participant. 

The culminating concert will be recorded by a videographer designated by the facilitators. Upon your optional consent indicated below, video materials from the concert may be used for educational and research presentation purposes. 

Discomforts and Risks:

The topics of discussion (racism and immigration in the United States) shared in sessions will be serious in nature, and you may find that you do not always agree with the perspectives of group members. While this is an important part of the program, it may also make you feel uncomfortable, and this discomfort may be momentary, or sustained, depending on the nature of the discussion. We will do everything we can to maintain an open, honest and civil dialogue and do so in ways that honor the beliefs of all group members.  

Potential Benefits:

You may benefit from participating in the study by developing positive relationships with a diverse group of community members and expanding your understanding of issues related to racism and immigration. These relationships may come from both the singing experiences and the discussions during sessions, as well as the shared experience of the culminating performance. 

You may also benefit by increasing your empathy toward people and groups with different opinions and perspectives to your own, while also improving your ability to engage in dialogue over similar topics both in and outside of the group. 

The findings from the study may advance our understanding of the benefits of music therapy in addressing social justice issues, and may also impact the education and training of music therapy students.

Audio and Video Recording:

This study involves the use of audio and video recording. The audio recording of all interviews and sessions will be used for data analysis purposes only, and will not be used publicly in any way. 

We may use the video recording from the culminating concert for classroom teaching, presentations at professional meetings, or publication in professional journals and books. Although your likeness may appear in these video materials, you will never be identified by name. If you elect not to consent for the video recording we will place the video recorder in a place that does not capture your image.

If you have questions about this research study, contact:

Shana Oshiro, MT-BC


(240) 535-7900

Anthony Meadows, PhD, MT-BC


(215) 206 6920

You may report a concern about a study, ask questions about a study, ask questions about your rights as a research subject, or report a research-related injury by contacting the Institutional Review Board listed below.

Krista Humphries, IRB Compliance Coordinator,

sucomply@su.edu, 540-665-4525

Kimberly Pritchard, PhD, ATC, IRB Chair,

kpritch@su.edu, 540-545-7376

Race and #RealTalk- Join Us!