Jee Yeon Ryu, PhD ’18


Jee Yeon Ryu, PhD ’18

Jee Yeon Ryu completed her PhD in Curriculum Studies at The University of British Columbia, specializing in music education. As a piano teacher-researcher, she incorporates a variety of artistic genres into her teaching and researching practices, including music, poetry, video, and creative writing. In her dissertation titled, Exploring music and piano playing with young children: A piano teacher’s pedagogical stories, she shared a collection of photographs, videos, and stories about her piano teaching and learning experiences to illustrate the importance and value of piano teachers’ pedagogical stories in the development of piano pedagogy for young children and piano teacher education. Dr. Ryu’s artistic/scholarly works are published in Music Education Research, International Journal of Education Through Art, Poetic Inquiry: Enchantment of Place, Handbook of Arts-Based Research, and LEARNing Landscapes Journal.

Meeting Jee Yeon Ryu

What is your most memorable experience from your time in the Faculty of Education?

In the Faculty of Education at UBC, I met many wonderful, inspiring scholars and artist-researchers, and learning about new ways of integrating music, research, and creative writing has been one of my most memorable experiences for me. I especially thank my supervisor, Dr. Peter Gouzouasis, for exploring music teaching and learning, storytelling, and what it means to be a musician-teacher-researcher with me. To my committee members: My gratitude to Dr. Rita Irwin, for introducing the beauties of a/r/tography, and Dr. Carl Leggo, for embracing me into the world of poetry and poetic living.

Where has your education from the Faculty of Education taken you in your career?

In engaging with creative ways of combining the existing research in early childhood music with music, poetry, and storytelling, I learned to think more deeply about the nature of music for young children, what it means to play the piano, and how young beginner students develop musical skills. With all the new skills, knowledge, and experiences gained from the Faculty of Education, I am now working towards creating and sustaining pedagogic communities of reflective piano teacher-researchers.

Where do issues of inclusion find a place in your life or at work?

In our piano lessons, I encounter infinite possibilities in young children’s interests, ideas, questions, and curiosities for music and piano playing. As a piano teacher, I aspire to practice more creative, inclusive ways of developing piano curriculum and pedagogy that support, inspire, and celebrate children’s unique, individual ways of learning to play the piano.

Do you have any words of wisdom for current students? Newly graduated folks?

To current students:

Most of the special topic courses and/or seminars by visiting scholars are often one-time opportunities for graduate students. Look out for any upcoming new classes and the Noted Summer Scholars. You might discover unimaginable inspirations and possibilities from the most unexpected connections.

To newly graduated folks:

As a new graduate myself, I found that sharing my research with other teachers, students, and parents is much needed and appreciated. Whether through publications, presentations or casual conversations, there are many ways to help others who can use and benefit from our experiences. Let’s keep making what we found meaningful, invaluable, and informative from our doctoral journeys accessible to our communities.