This article presents an autoethnographic account of the structures of inequality and legacies of colonial knowledge systems still active in Music departments in a cosmopolitan UK city from the point of view of the studentship. Institutions of Higher Education have increasingly acknowledged the dimensions of difference and exclusion in their spaces, personnel and curricula, mainly through the so-called policies of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. It is argued that these policies have failed to tackle the structural layers of discriminations in academia, creating instead an illusion of care. Drawing on the author’s involvement in the Music Departments of King’s College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and focusing on disciplinary practice in music studies, this article analyses the discourses of care invoked through EDI and how they intersect with the cultural logics of neoliberal capitalism. To this end, this article presents a series of student-lecturer conversations in an exercise of self-knowledge, with the aim to illustrate how music scholars strive to care in a context shaped by coloniality and austerity.