Sean Robert Powell

Professor of Music Education

Chair of the Division of Music Education


Administration, Music Education

Contact Information

Office Location: 
Music Building
Office #: 

Sean Robert Powell is Professor of Music Education and Chair of the Division of Music Education at the University of North Texas. He teaches graduate courses in sociology, philosophy, qualitative research, and music teacher education.

Dr. Powell is Chair of the Society for Music Teacher Education and is a member of the Editorial Review Boards of the Journal of Research in Music Education and Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, serving as guest editor for a special issue of the latter. He previously served on the boards of the Journal of Music Teacher Education and Music Educators Journal.

An active scholar, Dr. Powell’s research interests include competition, structure/agency, identity, post-qualitative inquiry, critique of neoliberal education policy, music teacher education, critical theory, psychoanalysis, continental philosophy, and the sociology of music education. He is author of The Ideology of Competition in School Music and co-editor of Sociological Thinking in Music Education: International Intersections (both books published by Oxford University Press). His work has been published in the Journal of Research in Music EducationBulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education; Research Studies in Music Education; Journal of Music Teacher Education; Arts Education Policy Review; Music Education ResearchAction, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education; and the Journal of Band Research, and he has presented research, workshops and guest lectures at national and international venues. Dr. Powell has contributed chapters to the Oxford Handbook of Music Teacher Education in the United States, Narratives and Reflections in Music Education: Listening to Voices Seldom HeardUnderstanding Teacher Identity: The Complexities of Forming an Identity as a Professional Teacher, The SAGE Handbook of School Music Education (forthcoming), and Methodological Musings: Performative and Aesthetic Values of Narratives in Music Education (forthcoming).

Dr. Powell received the Doctor of Education in Music Education degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the former Coordinator of Music Education at the Schwob School of Music of Columbus State University. Prior to his career in higher education, Dr. Powell was a band director in the public schools of Tennessee.