Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music


Although the number of opportunities to learn popular music in the United States continues to grow, popular music education (PME) programs remain exceptional at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of institutionalized music education. This article provides insight into the unique characteristics of a number of PME initiatives currently operating in the United States. A historical background is established to provide context regarding the history of PME in the United States. Additionally, a focus on an expanding landscape for American PME is included, as is an examination of six specific initiatives that are particularly noteworthy. This review of popular music programs, initiatives, and institutions illustrates the rapid proliferation of PME programs in the United States that has occurred in the twenty-first century. As this brief snapshot of American institutions and organizations demonstrates, PME in the United States is alive with possibilities and promise.



Journal ISSN / Book ISBN

ISSN 2079-3871

Published Citation

Powell, B., Krikun, A., and Pignato, J. (2015). Something’s happening here: Popular music education in the United States. IASPM@Journal, vol.5 no.1 (2015). Journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music ISSN 2079-3871 | DOI10.5429/2079-3871(2015)v5i1.2en