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Charlene Ryan

Associate Professor, On sabbatical leave, Fall 2020
EducationBMus, BMusEd, MMus, PhD
OfficeKHS-354-B, Kerr Hall South
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 557635
Areas of ExpertiseEarly childhood and elementary music education; Music performance anxiety; Community building.

Charlene Ryan is an associate professor of the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University. She is an early childhood/elementary music educator and has worked extensively in this field - in higher education, grade school, and in community programs for young children. Before joining Ryerson in 2016, she served as associate professor of Music Education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and previously, chair of Music Education at McGill University.  She has won numerous awards, including the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Berklee Urban Service Award, and a major research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her research interests have focused on the experience and development of performance anxiety in young musicians. Her work has been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, the International Journal of Music Education, Psychology of Music, Medical Problems of Performing Artists, the Canadian Music Educator, the International Journal of Stress Management, and Teaching Music.

Ryan has a keen interest in community building and is the author of Building Strong Music Programs: A Handbook for Preservice and Novice Music Teachers (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2009), which is used in teacher education programs across the continent and was recognized as an Outstanding Academic Title by the Association of College and Research Libraries. She has served as chair of the Learning and Development Special Research Interest Group of the National Association for Music Education, chair of the Music Research and Teacher Education Council of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association, and is past-president of the Quebec Music Educators Association. Dr. Ryan serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Music Education and is the Editor of the Canadian Music Educator.

  • Ryan, C. (Column Editor) (2016). Research Matters. Massachusetts Music Educators Journal, 64 (2), 50.
  • Ryan, C. (Column Editor) (2015). Research Matters. Massachusetts Music Educators Journal, 64 (1), 48.
  • Ryan, C. (2015).  Straight talk for music teachers about performance anxiety.  Ala Breve: The Official Publication of the Alabama Music Educators Association (October/November), 57-58.
  • Ryan, C. (2012). Performance anxiety: What students tell us; what teachers can do.  Massachusetts Music News (February).
  • Boucher, H. & Ryan, C. (2011).  Performance Stress and the Very Young Musician.  Journal of Research in Music Education, 58 (2), 329-345.
  • Ryan, C. & Andrews, N. (2009).  An investigation into the choral singer’s experience of music performance anxiety.  Journal of Research in Music Education 57 (2), 108-126.
  • Ryan, C. (2009).  Performance anxiety in developing musicians.  Massachusetts Music News (April).
  • Ryan, C., Wapnick, J., Lacaille, N, and Darrow, A.-A. (2006).  The effects of various physical characteristics of high-level performers on adjudicators’ performance ratings.  Psychology of Music 34 (4), 559-572.
  • Ryan, C. (2005).  The experience of musical performance anxiety in elementary school children.  International Journal of Stress Management 12 (4), 331-342.
  • Wapnick, J., Ryan, C., Campbell, L., Deek, P., & Lemire, R. (2005).  Effects of excerpt tempo and duration on musicians’ ratings of high-level piano performances.  Journal of Research in Music Education 53 (2), 162-176.
  • Ryan, C. and Costa-Giomi, E. (2004).  Attractiveness bias in the evaluation of young pianists’ performances.   Journal of Research in Music Education 52 (2), 141-154.
  • Wapnick, J. Ryan, C., Lacaille, N., Darrow, A. (2004).  Effects of selected variables on musicians’ ratings of high-level piano performances.  International Journal of Music Education 22 (1), 7-19.
  • Ryan, C. A. (2004).  Gender Differences in Children’s Experience of Musical Performance Anxiety. Psychology of Music 32 (1), 89-103.
  • Wapnick, J. Ryan, C., Lacaille, N., Darrow, A. (2003).  Effects of selected variables on musicians’ ratings of high-level piano performances.  Proceedings for the International Symposium on Research in Music Behavior.
  • Ryan, C. A. (2003).  Arts Week: How it Raised the Profile of the Arts in My School. Teaching Music.
  • Ryan, C. A. (1999).  Musical Performance Anxiety: Are Elementary Band Students Affected? Opus (May), 8-9.
  • Ryan, C. A. (1998).  Exploring Musical Performance Anxiety in Children.  Medical Problems of Performing Artists (September), 83-88.

Books and book chapters:

  • Ryan, C. (2009). Building Strong Music Programs: A handbook for pre-service and novice music teachers.  Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education.
  • Choice magazine “2010 Outstanding Academic Title”
  • Ryan, C. (2007).  An investigation into the experience of musical performance anxiety in elementary school children.  In Investigacao Em Psicologia Da Musica: Estudos Criticos, Ed. Helena Rodrigues and Christopher Johnson.  Published by Edicoes Colibri, Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estetica Musical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa.