Music Education Seminar Series

Join us for an annual series of lectures, presented by the Music Education Department at the Don Wright Faculty of Music. Please check back often as more speakers are confirmed.

Contact Music Education Department for more information.

2018-2019 Events

November 15 – 17, 2018
Gareth Dylan Smith and Bryan Powell

Research Seminar: Gareth Dylan Smith and Bryan Powell
"Doublespeak in Higher Music Education in England: Culture, Marketization and Democracy"
Thursday, November 15,  12:30  p.m., TC 307

Graduate Colloquium: Gareth Dylan Smith
“Punkademia and Eudaimonia”
Friday November 16, 3:30 p.m., TC 101

Music Education Workshop: Gareth Dylan Smith and Bryan Powell
"Informal Music Learning in Schools and Community"
Saturday, November 17, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., TC 307 (Open to Teachers)

Gareth Dylan Smith is Manager of Program Effectiveness at Little Kids Rock, and Visiting Research Professor at New York University. He is at the forefront of research in popular music education, serving as Editor for Journal of Popular Music Education and The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Music Education (2017), with numerous journal articles and book chapters published in the field.

Bryan Powell leads Higher Education Initiatives for Little Kids Rock. Bryan is former New York City Public School music teacher, working in an East Harlem public school for 11 years. Bryan also teaches music education classes at various colleges an universities in the NYC metropolitan area. Bryan is the founding co-editor of Journal of Popular Music Education, a peer-reviewed, academic journal that seeks to define, delimit, debunk, disseminate, and disrupt practice and discourse in and around popular music education.


January 31 - February 2, 2019
Eva Saether

Research Seminar
Thursday, January, 12:30 p.m., TC 307

Graduate Colloquium
“Habitus Crises, Politics of Diversity, and Sensuous Scholarship: When Music Asks the Questions”
Friday, February 1, 3:30 p.m., TC 101

Music Education Workshop
Saturday, February 2,  9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., TC 307 (Open to Teachers)

Biography: I am Professor in Music Education with Educational Sciences as profile. With a musical point of departure in Swedish traditional fiddle music, I have developed a research profile that focuses on intercultural perspectives on musical learning and creativity(ies). In 2003 I defended my doctoral thesis ”The Oral University. Attitudes to music teaching and learning in the Gambia” – a research project that laid the foundation for further development of musically informed research methods. Further research interests are social sustainability and collaborative learning. I teach educational sciences at the music teacher education program, and supervise students at graduate, master and PhD levels.


March 7 – 9 , 2019
Lee Higgins

Research Seminar
Thursday, March 7, 12:30 p.m., TC 307

Graduate Colloquium
"Contemporary Issues in Community Music: Practice & Theory"
Friday, March 8, 3:30 p.m., TC 101

Music Education Workshop
"Approaches to Practice: Group Improvisation"
Saturday, March 9, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., TC 307 (Open to Teachers)

Professor Lee Higgins is the Director of the International Centre of Community Music based at York St John University, UK. He has held previously positions at Boston University, USA, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, UK and the University of Limerick, Ireland. Lee has been a visiting professor at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany and Westminster Choir College, Princeton, USA.


Past Speakers

Sandra Stauffer: Listening and Composing in the Classroom
Sandra Stauffer is Professor of Music Education in the School of Music and Senior Associate Dean in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Prior to joining the ASU faculty, she was a faculty member and chair of music education at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Her research focuses on creativity in music, particularly among children and young adults, place philosophy and its connections to music and education, and narrative inquiry in music.

Deborah Bradley: Why Social Justice in Music and Education?
Dr. Deborah Bradley currently teaches at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. She previously was Assistant Professor of Music Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She retired from UW-Madison in 2010, and taught at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and Emmanuel College from 2010-2014. She also previously taught at U of T from 1997-2005. Her teaching and research are in the areas of World Music Education (Choral and General Music), and Anti-Racism Education.

José Luis Aróstegui: Global Challenges in Music Education
José Luis Aróstegui is Professor at University of Granada--Spain--, Music Education at the University of Granada. His formal training is in Western classical music, education and qualitative research. During 2001-2003, he held a postdoctoral fellowship sponsored by the Ministry of Education of Spain at the University of Illinois, USA.

Maud Hickey: Creative Thinking in Music
Maud Hickey is an Associate Professor of music education in the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Hickey’s research interest lies in the teaching of, as well as assessment of, musical creativity as manifest through improvisation and composition, and most recently has connected this research interest with work with detained youth. She is a six-year recipient of a quarter of a million-dollar grant from the Chicago Community Trust to work with and research juveniles in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center as they compose music.

Christopher Cayari: Fostering Virtual Musicianship in the Music Classroom
Christopher Cayari is an assistant professor of music education at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. He holds a Ph.D. and M.M.E. in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL. Christopher’s research interests include mediated musical performance, YouTube, informal music learning, virtual communities, and online identity, and was a recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Council of Research in Music Education.

Elizabeth Gould: Before and After: Queer Temporalities in LGBTQ Studies and Music Education
Elizabeth Gould is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. She teaches philosophically based courses in music and music education, and serves as liaison to the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. Previously, she served on the music faculties of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Boise State University. Her research interests include gender and sexuality in the context of feminisms and queer theory.

Jim Karas: Creativity and Improvisation as a Foundation for Music Literacy
Jim Karas is an instrumental music teacher at Lefler Middle School in Lincoln, NE.His duties include teaching Band, Orchestra and Jazz Band. Dr. Karas earned his degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Bridgeport (CT), and Western Connecticut State University. He also attended the Hartt School of Music. Prior to working at Lefler, Dr. Karas held a position as Visiting Scholar and Lecturer in the UNL School of Music. He taught Instrumental Methods courses and supervised student teachers and practicum students. As a secondary educator, his school experience includes time in the Marinette Public School System (Marinette, WI) and Stratford Public Schools (Stratford, CT).

Carlos Abril: Invoking the Creative Spirit in the Music Classroom
Carlos Abril is professor of music and director of undergraduate music education at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he teaches courses in general music methods, children's musical cultures, philosophy of music education, and cultural diversity in music education. His research focuses on sociocultural issues in music education, music education policy, and music perception. His work is published in numerous research journals, professional magazines and books.

Mark Hopkins: Creativity in the Band Classroom
Dr. Mark Hopkins is an Associate Professor in the School of Music at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He is responsible for teaching undergraduate and graduate Conducting, Music Education foundation courses, leads the Wind Ensemble, and oversees Wind Music Studies and Performance at Acadia University. In addition to his academic duties, Dr. Hopkins is much in demand as a guest conductor and music education consultant.

Randall Allsup: Remixing the Classroom: Toward an Open Philosophy of Music Education
Randall Allsup holds degrees in music performance and music education from Northwestern and Columbia University. Randall graduated from Teachers College in 2002 and was later awarded "Outstanding Dissertation of the Year" by the Council on Research in Music Education for Crossing Over: Mutual Learning and Democratic Action in Instrumental Music Education. Before returning to Teachers College as assistant professor, now associate, Randall was coordinator of music education and director fo bands at Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY.

Andrea Creech: Rocking into later life: Using music to support positive ageing
Andrea Creech has extensive experience as an academic (psychology and adult education), professional musician, music teacher and researcher. She has returned to Canada to serve as professor and Canada Chair in Music at the University of Laval, Quebec. Previously, she was a Reader in Education and Faculty Director of Research at the Institute of Education, University of London, Associate lecturer (psychology) for the Open University and Guest Lecturer at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Creech has held principal positions in orchestras in the UK and Canada and subsequently was founder and director of a Community Music School in the Republic of Ireland.

Geir Johansen: (Self-) Critical Music Education – How Should We Relate to the “New Wave”
Geir Johansen is professor of music education and music Didaktik at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway. Among his research interests are curriculum implementation, talent education, music teacher education, and educational quality in higher music education along with conservatoires in society, all within the overall perspective of the sociology of music education. He has published articles in international journals as well as chapters in books and anthologies, and presented papers at various international conferences. He holds a bachelor, master and Ph. D. in music education.

Nasim Niknafs: In a box: The story of an underground Iranian musician
Nasim Niknafs, an Assistant Professor of Music Education in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, acquired her doctoral degree from Northwestern University in music education. Born and raised in Iran, she graduated from University of Art in Tehran in piano performance, following which she completed two Masters degrees in music education at Kingston University, London and New York University.

Joseph Abramo, Ed. D. is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Music Education in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut, where he teaches undergraduate courses in instrumental methods and graduate courses in the theoretical foundations of music education and popular music and informal learning, and supervises student teachers.

Dr. Patrick Jones: Leadership and Organic Curricular Change in Higher Education
Dr. Patrick M. Jones is Director of Veteran Enrollment Practice for Syracuse University, professor of music in the Syracuse University Setnor School of Music and its former Director. He has served in a variety of administrative roles at Syracuse University and elsewhere at departmental, school, college, and university levels, has held leadership positions in national and international scholarly societies, and is a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Community Music and Visions of Research in Music Education.

Lori Dolloff: Reflections on Who Tells Whose Stories
Since 1994, Lori Dolloff has been a professor at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. She is Coordinator of the Music Education Department and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in choral conducting, music teaching and narrative research methods.

Carlos Xavier Rodriguez, Associate Professor of Music Education in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan

Robert Duke, Marlene and Morton Meyerson Centennial Professor and Head of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin

Contact us


Patrick Schmidt, Chair, Music Education
patrick.schmidt@uwo.ca