Places and Purposes of Popular Music Education (Book)

Perspectives from the Field

Edited collection including contributions from scholars and popular music educators in response to the question “what are the place and purpose of popular music education?” The book aims to broaden and diversify the conversation and community around popular music education globally. 7 b&w illus.

Category: Music, Popular Music


This book provides a manuscript-megaphone for a variety of perspectives on popular music education, including those we do not usually hear from, but who are doing far and away the coolest, most relevant and most interesting things.

It includes rants, manifestos, and pieces that are pithy and punchy and poignant, which have resulted in a wide tonal variety among chapters, from more traditionally scholarly pieces replete with citations and references, through descriptions of practice, to straight-up polemics. It is more about beliefs, experiences and motivation, about frustrations, aspirations and celebrations. The chapters are intended to whet appetites, prime pumps, open eyes, and keep cogs turning. This book is organized into four parts:  Beyond the Classroom, Identity and Purpose, Higher Education and Politics and Ideology. This book is intended for academics of all ages and stages, but the writing is often deliberately non-academic in tone.

The book will appeal to those working in popular music studies, communication studies, education research, and should be of interest to those involved in policy decisions at national and regional levels. It is also directly relevant to researchers looking music industry and music ecosystems nationally, regionally and internationally, as education and popular music industry, DIY and community sectors continue to enmesh in complex and evolving ways.

Dr. Bryan Powell is an assistant professor of Music Education and Music Technology at Montclair State University, USA. Bryan is the founding co-editor of Journal of Popular Music Education and the executive director of the Association for Popular Music Education.

Gareth Dylan Smith is assistant professor of Music, Music Education at Boston University, USA, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses. Gareth plays drums with Stephen Wheel, Build a Fort, the Eruptörs and Black Light Bastards; he writes about drumming and eudaimonia, and is founding co-editor of the Journal of Popular Music Education.

Acknowledgements xi

Introduction xiii

   Gareth Dylan Smith and Bryan Powell


1. ‘Something to Talk About’: Intersections of Music, Memory, Dialogue and Pedagogy at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 5

   Jason Hanley

2. Learning to be Active: The Formative Power of Music as a Catalyst for Political Activism 11

   Stuart Moir

3. Mariachi Master-Apprentice Program: Familia During the COVID-19 Pandemic 17

   Sergio Alonso

4. People and Popular Music in an English Prison: Transforming Criminal Justice 24

   Natalie Betts

5. Popular Music Pedagogy in a United States Prison: Lessons from a Western Rural Facility 30

   Tiger Robison

6. Developing a Certifiable and Relevant Popular Music Curriculum for Early School-Leavers in Ireland 34

   Martin Ryan

7. Project Gametime: Hip-Hop and After-School Programmes 40

   Kenrick Wagner

8. In Conversation with Eleanor Rashid, Music Practitioner 43

   Eleanor Rashid and Gareth Dylan Smith

9. Reciprocal Benefits of Music Cities and Modern Band 46

   Bryce Merril and Tom Scharf

10. Berklee City Music Programme: Teaching and Learning Through Contemporary Popular Music 52

   Krystal Prime Banfield

11. A New Generation: An Intrinsic Case Study of a Club DJ’s Formal Learning Experiences 58

   Eva J. Egolf

12. Playing with Vocal Processing Technologies: Fostering Interaction with Children with Special Educational Needs 63

   Roshi Nasehi

13. The Oneonta Hip Hop Collective: Students Owning the Moment 68

   Joseph Michael Pignato

14. Rockway and Formal–Informal Online Music Learning in Finland 74

   Niklas Lindholm

15. How Do We Get Girls and Non-Binary Students to Play Guitar Solos? 79

   Kayla Rush

16. Learning to Become a Band, Learning Popular Music 85

   Tobias Malm

17. Popular Music is Not the Answer 90

   Abigail D’Amore


18. Life as a Cabaret: Singing Our Ideal Self into Being 101

   Felix Graham

19. My Therapist Said It’s FINE: The Duality of Being a Music(ian) Teacher 107

   Sheena Dhamsania

20. Pursuing Popular Music Shapes Me as a Scholar, Musician and Human 110

   Christopher Cayari

21. I’ve Learned Three Chords. Now What? 115

   Roger Mantie

22. Intersections and Roundabouts: Connecting In-School and Out-of-School Experiences to Teaching Practices 120

   Steve Holley

23. Different from the Norm: Teaching Band in Alabama 126

   Shane Colquhoun

24. Popular Music Education as a Place for Emergent Pedagogies 131

   Meghan K. Sheehy

25. Think Big, Start Small: Enacting Change in Higher Education 137

   Martina Vasil

26. Becoming a Popular Music Educator: A Personal Journey 142

    Matthew Clauhs

27. Confessions of a Deadhead Music Educator: Connecting Worlds 148

   James Frankel

28. A Personal Journey with Popular Music in Paraguay 153

   Sol Elisa Martinez Missena

29. From Bowing my Double Bass to Pushing My Push: A Swedish Journey from Music Education to Popular Music Educator 157

   Erik Lundahl

30. From A. R. Rahman to Ed Sheeran: How Informal Learning Practices can Inform Music Teaching 162

   Shree Lakshmi Vaidyanathan

31. What’s Words Worth: A Short Polemic on the Citation of Lyric 168

   Andy West

32. Inclusion or Exclusion? The Disconnect Between School Music Programmes and Students’ Lived Musical Experiences 171

   Aixa Burgos

33. Finding Her Voice: A Female DIY Musician’s Pedagogical Spaces and Practices for Popular Tamil Film Music in Chennai, South India 175

   Nina Menezes

34. Teaching Queer 182

   Mia Ibrahim

35. Computer Science && Popular Music Education 187

   Jared O’Leary

36. We Are Music Technology (and How to Change Us) 192

   adam patrick bell

37. Connecting Black Youth to Critical Media Literacy Through Hip-Hop Making in the Music Classroom 198

   Jabari Evans


38. Crushed by the Wheels of Industry 207

   Martin Isherwood

39. Towards Popular Music Education as an Institutional Norm 213

   Lloyd McArton

40. Ideological Extrojection: The De-Neoliberalization of UK Music Education 219

   Jason Huxtable

41. On the Pulse of Change Through Popular Music Nourishing Teachers’ Professional Identities 225

   Siew Ling Chua

42. The Conservatory as Exploratory 230

   Richard Smith

43. Is Higher Popular Music Education Still Relevant? 235

   Gemma Hill

44. Music Teacher Education in the United States is Failing its Students 239

   Candice Davenport Mattio

45. Imagining a Credential for Music Technology Education 245

   Daniel Walzer

46. The Price of Admission: Amateurism, Serious Leisure and the Faculty Band 250

   Virginia Wayman Davis

47. Vocal Diversity and Evolving Contemporary Voice Pedagogy 256

   Ana Flavia Zuim

48. Student and Tutor Life Worlds and Impossible Standards in Higher Popular Music Education 261

   Hussein Boon

49. Places and Spaces of Popular Music Production Pedagogy in Higher Education 267

   Brendan Anthony

50. Fostering a Sense of Belonging in the Recruitment of Underrepresented Students at Purdue University 273

   James Dekle

51. Awakening Spirituality in Brazilian Higher Music Education 279

   Heloisa Feichas

52. Embracing Innocence, Uncertainty and Presence in Popular Music Performance 285

   Jay Stapley

53. How I Relearned to Give a Shit 290

   David Knapp


54. We Are Not Neutral: Popular Music Education, Creativity and the Active Creation of a Graduate Precariat 301

   Zack Moir

55. Toward the Political Philosophy of Hip-Hop Education and Positive Energy in China 307

   Wai-Chung Ho

56. Structural and Cultural Barriers to Relevant Popular Music Education in India 314

   Nilesh Thomas and Saurav Ghosh

57. Popular Music Education as a Liberating Education 320

   Flávia Narita

58. Young, Gifted and Black Q.U.E.E.N.: Nuancing Black Feminist Thought within Music Education 326

   Jasmine Hines

59. Decolonizing Higher Music Education: Person Versus Persona 332

   Adriel E. Miles

60. My Vision for Popular Music Education 338

   Nathan Holder

61. External Examining: An Insider Perspective on a Neocolonial Practice 343

   Gareth Dylan Smith

62. Cripping Popular Music Education 349

   Jesse Rathgeber

63. Excessive Pedagogical Moments: A Deaf-Gay Intersectional Duet 355

   Warren Churchill

64. Race, Caste, American Democracy and Popular Music Education 361

   David Wish

65. The Problem of Conversion in Music Teacher Education in the United States 367

   Radio Cremata

66. Expanding the Reach of Music Education through Modern Band 373

   Scott R. Sheehan

67. Lessons from Community Music and Music Therapy: Beyond Familiar Comparisons 378

   Bryan Powell

68. Adolescence, Education and Citizenship: Tracing Intersecting Histories and Reimagining Popular Music Pedagogies 383

   Noah Karvelis

69. #SongsOfBlackLivesMatter: Co-creating and Developing an Activist Music Education Praxis Alongside Youth 389

   Martin Urbach

70. From Black Lives Matter to Black Music Matters: Crossing the Rhetorical Divide 396

   Ed Sarath

Notes on Contributors 399

Index 411

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