Popular music is a growing presence in education, formal and otherwise, from primary school to postgraduate study. Programmes, courses and modules in popular music studies, popular music performance, songwriting and areas of music technology are becoming commonplace across higher education. Additionally, specialist pop/rock/jazz graded exam syllabi, such as RockSchool and Trinity Rock and Pop, have emerged in recent years, meaning that it is now possible for school leavers in some countries to meet university entry requirements having studied only popular music. In the context of teacher education, classroom teachers and music-specialists alike are becoming increasingly empowered to introduce popular music into their classrooms. At present, research in Popular Music Education lies at the fringes of the fields of music education, ethnomusicology, community music, cultural studies and popular music studies. The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Music Education is the first book-length publication that brings together a diverse range of scholarship in this emerging field. Perspectives include the historical, sociological, pedagogical, musicological, axiological, reflexive, critical, philosophical and ideological.
Gareth Dylan Smith is Research Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London. He is founding co-editor of the Journal of Popular Music Education, lead editor of the forthcoming Punk Pedagogies in Practice, and co-author, with Hildegard Froehlich, of Sociology for Music Teachers: Practical Applications (second edition). Gareth’s research interests include identity, music and leisure, eudaimonism, autoethnographic research methods, and embodiment in performance. He plays drums with V1, Oh Standfast and Stephen Wheel.
Zack Moir is a Lecturer in Popular Music at Edinburgh Napier University and the University of the Highlands and Islands, UK. His research interests are in popular music in higher education, popular music composition pedagogy, and the teaching and learning of improvisation. He is an active composer and performer, and has published on the topics of popular music pedagogy, popular music making and leisure, and popular music songwriting/composition.
Matt Brennan is a Chancellor’s Fellow of Music at the University of Edinburgh and has served as Chair of the UK and Ireland branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). His current research interests are the drum kit, live music, and music and sustainability. He is the co-author of The History of Live Music in Britain (2013) and is currently writing a social history of the drum kit.
Shara Rambarran is Assistant Professor of Music at the Bader International Study Centre, Queen’s University, Canada. She received her PhD in Music from the University of Salford, UK. Her research interests include popular musicology, postproduction, digital technology, remixology, music industry, events management, education and law (Intellectual Property Rights). She is an editor of the Journal on the Art of Record Production and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality (2016).
Phil Kirkman is Principal Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University. He was previously Course Director for Music and for Professional Studies (PGCE) at the University of Cambridge. Before this, Phil worked for over a decade as a teacher, pastoral manager and department leader in UK secondary schools. He regularly consults and provides training for education professionals in the UK and internationally. Phil's current research interests include educational technologies, innovative pedagogy, dialogic education and practitioner research.