Melissa Ryan headshot

Dr. Melissa Ryan appointed Assistant Professor of Education

Dr. Ryan had the following to say about her new position, “The UNM Department of Music is a truly special place, and I am beyond thrilled to join this welcoming and thriving community. Upon arriving, I felt energized and inspired by the carefully crafted community fostered by music students, faculty, and staff. I am excited to find my place within UNM and contribute to its legacy of music-making, teaching, and learning both within the region and beyond.”

“We are so excited to have Dr. Ryan join us at UNM. She will be a tremendous asset to our team. I know that the music educators across the state are eager to welcome her” says. Dr. Michael Hix, Chair of the Dept. of Music.

Dr. Ryan comes to UNM from the University of New Hampshire. She is dedicated to advancing the musical engagement, pedagogical learning, and social awareness of future and current music students and teachers. She has taught music in Hawaii, China, Nashville (TN), and Miami (FL) in elementary and secondary classroom settings. Additionally, Dr. Ryan has facilitated students’ musical learning by partnering with inclusive community music programs in under-resourced communities across the U.S. Dr. Ryan’s passions include creating actively inclusive musical experiences for all students and fostering agency and personhood through liberatory teaching practices.

As a practitioner, Dr. Ryan provides professional development opportunities for teachers at a local and state level. Utilizing her Orff, Modern Band, and World Music Pedagogy training, she facilitates workshops for current and future music teachers on classroom topics such as creativity, composition, movement, inclusivity, and world music curriculum.

Dr. Ryan earned her Ph.D. (2020) and M.M. (2017) from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. She regularly presents her research at state, national, and international conferences. Some of these include the International Society for Music Education conference, National Association for Music Education conferences, Mountain Lake Colloquium, and the Desert Skies International Symposium on Research in Music Learning and Teaching. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Update: Applications of Research in Music Education and The Orff Echo. Her research interests include teachers’ perceptions of social justice in music teacher education, restorative justice teaching practices, and music teachers’ pedagogical creativity.

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