Tawnya D. Smith


Assistant Professor of Music, Music Education


BM: Bowling Green State University, MM: Illinois State University, CAGS: Lesley University, PhD: University of Illinois


855 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 215


Tawnya Smith started service at Boston University in 2014 as a dissertation advisor and online course facilitator, became a full-time lecturer in 2016, and assistant professor in 2017. Prior to that time, she served as an instructor in Music Education at Ball State University. She has taught courses in both music and art education. Before teaching at the university level, she taught band, chorus, and general music in the public schools and later directed a community music learning program in Illinois, where she also maintained a private studio as a horn and brass instrument specialist.

Dr. Smith is an integrative researcher who explores expressive arts principles to promote holistic learning that is grounded in the learner’s authentic and developing self. Her background in music education has led her to experiment with free musical improvisation and multi-modal art response as a means for learners to explore the self in a community setting. She has an extensive qualitative methodology background and has collaborated on a number of research projects in music and arts education.

Tawnya has published articles in the International Journal of Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Frontiers in Education, String Research Journal, Journal of Applied Arts and Health, Music Educators Journal, and Gender and Education. She has contributed book chapters to Haunted Melodies: Trauma and Music Education; The Oxford Handbook of Musical Performance; Art as Research, Key Issues in Arts Education; Queering Freedom: Music, Identity, and Spirituality; and Music, Wellbeing, and Spirituality. She is co-author of the book Performance Anxiety Strategies and co-editor of Narratives and Reflections in Music Education: Listening to Voices Seldom Heard. She currently serves as both the Editor and Music Section Editor for the International Journal of Education & the Arts, is a co-facilitator of the Music Teacher Health and Wellness Area for Strategic Planning and Action for the Society of Music Teacher Education, and serves on the American String Teachers Association Wellness Committee. She has also presented numerous research papers and practitioner workshops at state, national, and international conferences.