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Christopher Cayari

Assistant Professor of Music, Purdue University

Christopher Cayari (he/they) is an assistant professor of music in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance at Purdue University, West Lafayette with a courtesy appointing in Curriculum & Instruction at the College of Education and an affiliation with the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. He holds a Ph.D. and M.M.E. in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL.

Christopher’s research trajectory focuses on online musical performance, YouTube, informal music learning, virtual communities, video game music, and online identity. Their secondary research agenda addresses marginalized voices in music education, specifically sexuality- and gender-diverse individuals (LGBTQIA+) and Asian Americans. Their autoethnography, Who Am I? I Am What I Am!—a one-person musical theater review challenging the misrepresentation and lack of representation of LGBTQIA+ voices in educational institutions—is available in the International Journal of Education & the Arts and was performed across the US, Canada, and the UK. They are also a performing member of the Trans Voices Cabaret-Chicago. Their activist work earned them the 2018 Outstanding Ally Award, given by the Purdue University LGBTQ Center

He teaches Music for the Elementary Classroom at Purdue and has developed partnerships with local elementary schools to help his students see music education environments. He also worked with the Tippecanoe Arts Federation to teach ukulele to local youth and conducted workshops and clinics about popular music, online music production, and music technology education across the US and internationally. He is an avid YouTube video creator. Christopher regularly publishes online performances, tutorials, and vlogs. He enjoys collaborating with his students to make user-generated content online, and his students have virtually performed with other musical collaborators from across the US and abroad.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Visual and Performing Arts, Purdue University