Melissa Ryan

Assistant Professor
Phone: (603) 862-3241
Office: UNH Music, Paul Creative Arts Ctr, Durham, NH 03824
Pronouns: She/her/hers

Melissa Ryan joined UNH in 2021 as Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education. 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 musical learning by teaching with inclusive community music programs for underserved students in various parts of the country. 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 research interests include teachers’ perceptions of social justice in music teacher education, restorative justice teaching practices, and social and emotional learning through music.

Courses Taught

  • EDUC 500: Exploring Teaching
  • EDUC 500/935A: Exploring Teaching
  • EDUC 694: Courses in Sup Teach/Music
  • EDUC 900A: Intrnshp & Sem/Teaching
  • EDUC 901A: Intrnshp & Sem/Teaching
  • INCO 590: Student Research Experience
  • MUED 790: Teaching Elementary Sch Music


  • Ph.D., University of Miami
  • M.M., University of Miami

Research Interests

  • Arts, General/Other
  • Creative Arts
  • Music composition/arranging
  • Music education
  • Popular music
  • Social justice education
  • Social media

Selected Publications

  • Gee, J., & Ryan, M. (2024). Restorative Justice and Classroom Management in Elementary General Music Classrooms. Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, 42(2), 31-41. doi:10.1177/87551233231155126

  • Ryan, M. (2021). Flipping the script through Orff Schulwerk. The Orff Echo, 53(4), 10-14.