‘Hip-hop wasn't something a teacher ever gave me’: exploring hip-hop musical learning*

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the aim of diversifying popular music education scholarship, this article explores the phenomenon of hip-hop musical learning as experienced by eight American hip-hop musicians who describe how as well as with whom they learned to create and perform. The study explores issues related to learning processes, social relationships, and the role of individuality in hip-hop culture. Findings explore elements of self-teaching; learning through listening, creating, competing, and collaborating; and relating the individual to the broader hip-hop culture. I discuss the findings in comparison to facets of informal music learning as well as previous hip-hop scholarship and introduce a conceptual model related to the processes and relationships of hip-hop musical learning. Finally, I offer considerations for music teaching and future scholarship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-329
Number of pages13
JournalMusic Education Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 27 2018


  • Hip-hop
  • informal music learning
  • popular music
  • vernacular music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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