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Charlene Ryan

Associate Professor
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, la Revue Musicale OICRM, the Journal of Dance Education, 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 Frontiers in Psychology|Performance Science, and is the Editor of the Canadian Music Educator. She is also the author of several children's books, including Hannabelle's Butterflies (Creative Sound Press, 2020), Katherine Lost (Creative Sounds Press, 2021), and The Milk Crate Club (Creative Sound Press, 2021), all of which center about the joys and challenges experienced by young musicians.

  • Ryan, Charlene (2022). Performance anxiety in young contemporary musicians. Journal of Popular Music Education, 5(3), 313-335. https://doi.org/10.1386/jpme_00064_1, external link
  • Ryan, C., Boucher, H., & Ryan, G. (2022). Children's feelings about piano performances across a year of study. International Journal of Music Education. Advance online publication https://doi.org/10.1177/02557614211066342, external link
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2021). The Canadian Music Educator, 63(2).
  • Ryan, C. (2021). Editor's message. The Canadian Music Educator63(2), 2.
  • Ryan, C. & Andrews, N. (2021). High school band musicians: Performance anxiety and post-secondary plans. Journal of Band Research, 57(1), 54-71.
  • Jeong, S.S.E & Ryan, C.A. (2021). A Critical Review of Child Perfectionism as it Relates to Music Pedagogy. Psychology of Music. Advance online publication https://doi.org/10.1177/03057356211042080, external link
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2021). The Canadian Music Educator, 62(4).
  • Ryan, C. (2021). Editor's message. The Canadian Music Educator62(4), 2.
  • Ryan, C., Boucher, H., & Ryan, G. (2021). Performance preparation, anxiety, and the teacher: Experiences of adolescent pianists. Revue Musicale OICRM, 8(1).
  • Feltham, L., & Ryan, C. (2020). Exploring pedagogical practices for engaging boys in ballet, Journal of Dance Education, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/15290824.2020.1841206, external link, opens in new window
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2020). The Canadian Music Educator, 62(3).
  • Ryan, C. (2020). Editor’s message. The Canadian Music Educator, 62(3), 2.
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2020). The Canadian Music Educator, 62(2).
  • Ryan, C. (2020). Editor’s message. The Canadian Music Educator, 62(2), 2.
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2020). The Canadian Music Educator, 62(1).
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2020). The Canadian Music Educator, 61(4).
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2020). The Canadian Music Educator, 61(3).
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2020). The Canadian Music Educator, 61(2).
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2019). The Canadian Music Educator, 61(1).
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2019). The Canadian Music Educator, 60(4).
  • Ryan, C. (Ed.). (2019). The Canadian Music Educator, 60(3).
  • Ryan, C. (2020). Editor’s message. The Canadian Music Educator, 62(1), 2.
  • Ryan, C. (2020). Editor’s message. The Canadian Music Educator, 61(4), 2.
  • Ryan, C. (2020). Editor’s message. Canadian Music Educator, 61(3), 2.
  • Ryan, C. (2020). Editor’s message. The Canadian Music Educator, 61(2), 2.
  • Ryan, C. (2019). Editor’s message. The Canadian Music Educator, 61(1), 2.
  • Ryan, C. (2019). Editor’s message. The Canadian Music Educator, 60(4), 2.
  • Ryan, C. (2019). Editor’s message. The Canadian Music Educator, 60(3), 2-3.
  • 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. http://online.pubhtml5.com/pban/mfho/#p=2, external link, opens in new window
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0022429410386965, external link, opens in new window
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0022429409336132, external link, opens in new window
  • Ryan, C. (2009). Performance anxiety in developing musicians. Massachusetts Music News, (April), 52.
  • Ryan, C., Wapnick, J., Lacaille, N., & 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. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0305735606068106, external link, opens in new window
  • Ryan, C. (2005). The experience of musical performance anxiety in elementary school children. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(4), 331-342. http://doi.org/10.1037/1072-5245.12.4.331, external link, opens in new window
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F002242940505300206, external link, opens in new window
  • Ryan, C., & Costa-Giomi, E. (2004). Attractiveness bias in the evaluation of young pianists’ performances. Journal of Research in Music Education, 52(2), 141-154. https://doi.org/10.2307%2F3345436, external link, opens in new window
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0255761404042371, external link, opens in new window
  • Ryan, C. A. (2004). Gender differences in children’s experience of musical performance anxiety. Psychology of Music, 32(1), 89-103. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0305735604039284, external link, opens in new window
  • 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. Rowman and Littlefield Education. *Selected by Choice magazine as the “2010 Outstanding Academic Title”
  • Ryan, C. (2007). An investigation into the experience of musical performance anxiety in elementary school children. In H. Rodrigues & C. Johnson (Eds.), Investigacao em psicologia da musica: Estudos criticos. Edicoes Colibri: Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estetica Musical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Children's books:

  • Ryan, C. A. (2021). The Milk Crate Club. Creative Sound Press.
  • Ryan, C. A. (2021). Sections of Sound. Creative Sound Press.
  • Ryan, C. A. (2021). Big and Small Sounds. Creative Sound Press.
  • Ryan, C. A. (2021). Up and Down Sounds. Creative Sound Press
  • Ryan, C. A. (2021) Katherine Lost. Creative Sound Press.
  • Ryan, C. A. (2020) Hannabelle’s Butterflies. Creative Sound Press.