Jashen Edwards

PhD Student
Music Education
Office: TC 121
Email: jedwa4@uwo.ca


Jashen Edwards recently graduated from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University with a Masters degree in Music Education. His research focuses on the personal and social dynamics at play during group improvisation and collaborative composition. Exploring the intersection between music education and community music, and cultural democracy and social justice arts education, his research highlights how group improvisation and collaborative composition ignites imagination, advances self-efficacy, and promotes the ability for participants to find, value, and validate their own and others unique contributions to the greater whole.

Hoping to encourage local music teachers to integrate improvisation and composition activities in their practice, Jashen organized “Composing in the Classroom: Models & Designs for the Creative Music Teachers” – a three-day hands-on workshop/conference for forty-eight music teachers throughout Chicago and Evanston.

As a composer, teacher, and community music facilitator, Jashen seeks substantive ways to engage and excite participants’ musical minds through the process of composition. He has worked in a variety of settings including the Bay View Opera House, San Francisco Symphony, Ile Omode School in East Oakland, Hamilton Homeless Shelter for Children and Families, and Our Lady of The Visitacion. Under the direction of Dr. Maud Hickey, Jashen has co-facilitated a Garage Band composition program at Cook County Juvenile Detention Center Chicago. Dr. Hickey and Jashen have co-authored a paper about the effects of musical mentoring in a juvenile detention center and presented their findings at the ISME conference in Glasgow, 2016.

Jashen’s compositions include music for stage, circus, and concert settings. He is the Founder/Music Director of sounds of life ®, a composition centered music curriculum. A graduate of UC Berkeley, 2012-13 DAAD fellow, and McNair scholar, Jashen’s work promotes the notion that musicking is a human right, and that every voice can use sound, rhythm, melody, and harmony to be heard.