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Dawn R. Mitchell White

Doctoral Candidate, University of South Florida

I am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida. I am majoring in Music Education with cognates in Conducting and Research Methods. I currently have papers under review with several academic journals and I have already been presenting at professional conferences in my field, such as the Florida Music Educators Association Annual Conference and the Suncoast Conference of Music Education. At the FMEA State conference, I was one of three doctoral students chosen to present my research in a major presentation. Some of my papers address music education for students with autism. As a mother to three adult sons with Autism Spectrum Conditions, I have seen first-hand the advantages that music education can afford a child on the spectrum. I opened a school of the arts for children with learning and developmental disabilities in 2003 and maintained it until 2018. The amazing work that transpired during that time gave me the impetus to return to college when my school closed. My hope is to share what I have learned with others and grow as a researcher. I sincerely desire to make music education better for children with disabilities and move the conversation forward.


  • –present
    Doctoral Student, University of South Florida
  • 2019–2021
    Doctoral Candidate, University of South Florida
  • 2003–2018
    Music and Academic Educator, Center for Education School of the Arts and Sciences
  • 2001–2003
    Music Educator, The Pepin Academies
  • 1997–2001
    Adjunct Bassoon Instructor, Clearwater Christian College
  • 2000–2001
    Music Educator, Hillsborough County Public Schools
  • 2000–2000
    Adjunct Bassoon Instructor, University of Tampa


  • 1999 
    University of South Florida, Master of Music
  • 1997 
    University of South Florida, Bachelor of Music
  • 1995 
    Hillsborough Community College, Associate in Arts

Professional Memberships

  • National Association for Music Education
  • International Society of Music Education
  • Florida Music Educators Association
  • Florida Bandmasters Association
  • Society for Music Teacher Education
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Autism Society of Florida