Participatory Music in Music Educators Journal


American old-time jam in Kyoto, Japan

“Music Education for All through Participatory Ensembles,”  [Open access version at UF Repository here] appears in the December 2015 issue of Music Educators Journal. The article presents ideas from my immersion in participatory music—in particular from a chance to learn alongside Tom Turino as I helped him teach a class for music education graduate students for two summers (he was also my clawhammer banjo teacher). The article helps to pass on some of what I learned through reading, teaching, and doing participatory music out in the world.

Making participatory music, adopting participatory values, and bonding with others through music changes one, and I hope that many educators find time to explore the values, pedagogy, and repertoire of participatory music with their students.

Here are some resources to explore:

Dana Montiero’s Harlem Samba:

Turino’s book Music as Social Life: The Politics of Participation.

The Homebrew Ukulele Union:

Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music:
Tanya Lee’s dissertation on the Old Town School is also a great resource (and free, too):

An endless river of music, much of it participatory, is available on Alan Lomax’s YouTube channel:

Polly Yukevich’s Uke Project:

For those without access to MEJ, a previous talk I gave that was an early inspiration for the paper can be found here:

Here’s a special issue of the Journal of Community Music devoted to participatory music (behind a paywall):;jsessionid=3an8427esk18k.alice


About Matthew

Music education: media, technology, and participatory music.
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