Columbia College Chicago to Host APME US Conference 2021

PhotoCassandra O'Neal, one of this year's keynote speakers
The 2021 Association for Popular Music Education conference will offer a combination of live and virtual events from June 9-12, 2021, including a virtual student showcase.

Chicago–April 9, 2021 Columbia College Chicago is pleased to announce that it will host the 8th annual Association for Popular Music Education (APME) conference, which will take place from June 9-12, 2021. This year's theme is "Creating Space: Critical Reflections on Challenges and Opportunities for Popular Music Education." The conference will be a collaborative hybrid event, bringing together popular music educators, industry experts, performers, keynotes, and scholars from around the world to discuss and share ideas, inspirations, and practices within popular music education spaces at all levels of learning. 

APME has said, "Popular music has the power to heal and offer spaces to connect communities. However, popular music education has not always been responsive to issues of social justice, access, and economic inequities. In light of these challenges and opportunities, the APME conference will offer and create spaces for dialogue and critical reflection through presentations, discussions, and performances that give participants actionable ideas and inspiration to take back to their communities to enact change in their own spaces."

This year’s conference will be presented as a hybrid event with people presenting virtually from across the country and around the world as well as in person; all presentations will be streamed live. Additionally, for the first time, there will be a student showcase, with previously recorded student performances streamed alongside conference presentations.

Keynote speakers will include, in part, guitarist Dez Dickerson (Revolution), Emmy award-winning composer Carlos Rivera (The Queen's GambitGodless), keyboard player Cassandra O'Neal (Prince, The New Power Generation), engineer Alan Parsons (The Beatles, Pink Floyd), bassist Darryl Jones (Rolling Stones), and scholar Lucy Green (How Popular Musicians Learn: A Way Ahead for Music Education). APME will also offer a student showcase, which will feature students performing original material and cover songs. 

A tentative schedule can be found here. Travel and hotel information, as well as how to register, can be found here.

Questions regarding this year's APME conference at Columbia College Chicago can be directed to APME President, Kat Reinhert, at


Rhiannon Koehler
Communications Manager