Call for Contributions

The Places and Purposes of Popular Music Education

Popular music education means, according to context, youth music, guitar bands, pop-rock, urban musics, hip-hop, songwriting, music industry, DIY, punk, informal learning, facilitation / non-formal learning, online and leisure-time music-making, performance career preparation, production and engineering, and more. Popular music is sometimes conflated with vernacular music, and at other times with urban music, “bedroom” production, garage bands, or aligned with fan studies or celebrity culture. It overlaps with popular music studies, music education, jazz education, musical theatre, punk pedagogies, hip-hop pedagogy, communication studies, entrepreneurship, identity studies and more.

Issue 2 (3) of the Journal of Popular Music Education (November/December 2018) contains a White Paper written by board members of the Association for Popular Music Education that outlines what is currently understood by the term, popular music education. The white paper’s authors include caveats acknowledging their relative lack of diversity (all are from the US or UK and all are white, between the ages of 40 and 70), as the white paper is inevitably far narrower in scope than popular music education globally conceived. The editors aim for this book to extend and expand the vision of the Association for Popular Music Education by bringing more voices into the conversation around what popular music education is, what it does, for whom it works, when, how, where and why.

A primary interest of the editors in curating this volume is to highlight and emphasize connections, rather than to reinforce silos that prevent progress and stifle discourse in and across the fields intersecting and overlapping with popular music education. This book will therefore draw together authors from diverse disciplines, perspectives and subject areas to articulate what for them are the places and purposes of popular music education. We invite authors to consider, unpick and critique the philosophies, ideologies, biases and professional pressures that inform their perspectives on any and all aspects of popular music education.

We invite concise essays (of roughly between 1,000 and 2,000 words). Some essays will include citations, frameworks, or other hallmarks of scholarly writing while others will focus more on the perspectives, practices and experiences of the author/s and might not include any citations. This collection will not include descriptions of curricula or specific classroom practices. We especially encourage submissions that outline a clear vision or philosophy, take a provocative stance, and that emphasize the specific, personal views of contributors. 

The deadline for submitting essays is January 1, 2020 with an anticipated publication date in 2021. The Places and Purposes of Popular Music Education is under contract with Intellect Books. Please send any questions and/or submit essays for consideration to Bryan Powell and Gareth Dylan Smith at (