Skip to main content
Christopher Cayari

Christopher Cayari

Associate Professor // Music // Rueff School

Associate Professor / Music // Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance

Affiliated Faculty // Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies // SIS

Office and Contact

Room: PAO 2108


Phone: (765) 494-9373


Music Education

Christopher Cayari is an associate professor of music education 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. Previously, he was the Director-Producer for Wisconsin Singers and an Associate Lecturer at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Christopher’s research focuses on mediated musical performance, YouTube, informal music learning, virtual communities, video games, and online identity. His secondary research agenda addresses marginalized voices in music education, specifically LGBTQIA+ individuals and Asian Americans. His research received the Outstanding Dissertation Award 2015 from the Council of Research in Music Education and has recently appeared in International Journal of Education and the Arts, International Journal of Music Education, Oxford Handbooks, Bloomsbury Handbooks, Music Education Research, Tech Trends, General Music Today, and the International Journal of Community Music. Christopher has presented across the United States and internationally in Canada, China, Philippines, Australia, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

He teaches Music for the Elementary Classroom at Purdue and has developed partnerships with local elementary schools to help his students see musical education environments. He also has worked with the Tippecanoe Arts Federation to teach ukulele to local youth. 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 for YouTube, and his students have virtually performed with other musical collaborators from across the US and abroad. He is also the vocal coach for the American Music Repertory Ensemble, a Purdue Jazz Band.

Christopher is an activist for marginalized populations, and he uses music and education as platforms for social change. His autoethnography, Who Am I? I Am What I Am!, a 45-minute research based musical theater review that challenges the misrepresentation and lack of representation of LGBTQIA+ voices in educational institutions, has been performed across the US, UK, and Canada. His activist work has earned him the 2018 Outstanding Ally Award, given by the Purdue University LGBTQ Center. He is also currently a faculty fellow and learning community staff member for the gender inclusive community at Purdue.


Music Education