Ryan Burwell


Over the past decade, Ryan has been a high school teacher, curriculum coordinator, and educational consultant. He loves exploring connections, and has developed interdisciplinary courses which use film and music to teach lessons in science, math, sociology, and psychology. Since leaving classroom teaching last year, he has spent most of his waking hours at the Centre for Social Innovation where he is working with Twenty One Toys to develop empathy-based educational resources.


Underpinning all of Ryan’s work is his belief that music and play are ideal environments for collaborative learning. He has produced eight albums and two live DVDs of student music, and is currently working on an album with the entrepreneurial community at the Centre for Social Innovation. In addition to being wonderful forums for creative expression, these projects have convinced Ryan that the lessons provided by music extend well beyond music itself.



Teaching Musically

Ryan will share the elements of music that have resonated most richly with him and his students, and will suggest ways of applying these elements to teaching practice. Focusing on the skills of improvisation and composition, he will try to convince you that curriculum design needs to be thought of like the pentatonic scale, and that you don’t need to be a music teacher to teach musically.