Beatriz Ilari

Assistant Professor

  • Program:
    Music Teaching and Learning
  • Division:
    Scholarly and Professional Studies


Beatriz Ilari is assistant professor of music education at USC’s Thornton School of Music.

Prior to her appointment at USC, she taught violin, strings, and general music in schools and community-based programs in the United States, the Czech Republic, and Brazil. She also served as associate professor of music education at the Federal University of Paraná – Brazil (2003-2010), and visiting associate professor of Latin American studies at the University of Texas in Austin (2010 – Lozano Long Associate Visiting Professor).

She holds degrees from McGill University (PhD in music education), Montclair State University (M.A. in violin performance), and University of São Paulo (B.A./Arts Licentiate in music education).

Her main research interests lie in the intersection between music, childhood, cognition, and culture. She is currently a research fellow at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute, and a co-investigator on the AIRS – Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing initiative. In addition to publishing 5 books in Brazil, her research has appeared in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Journal of Research in Music Education, Frontiers in Psychology, Research Studies in Music Education, Music Education Research, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Early Child Development and Care, Tavira (Spain), Revista da APEM (Portugal), and Revista da ABEM (Brazil).

Ilari is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Research in Music Education, Psychology of Music, Research Studies in Music Education, and Musicae Scientiae. She is the editor of Perspectives: Journal of the Early Childhood Music & Movement, and immediate past editor of the International Journal of Music Education.

Professional experience


  • Ilari, B. (in press, 2016). Music in the early years: Pathways into the social world. Research Studies in Music Education. DOI: 10.1177/1321103X16642631
  • Ilari, B., Keller, P., Damasio, H. & Habibi, A. (2016). The development of musical skills of underprivileged children over the course of one year: A study in the context of an El Sistema-inspired program. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00062
  • Ilari, B. & Habibi, A. (2015). Favorite songs, melodic elements and a familiar tune: performance of children from Brazil and the United States on components of the ATBSS. Musicae Scientiae, 19(3), 265-281. DOI: 10.1177/1029864915597566
  • Habibi, A., der Sarkissian, A., Gomez, M. & Ilari, B. (2015). Developmental brain research with participants from underprivileged communities: Strategies for recruitment, participation and retention. Mind, Brain & Education, 9(3), 179-186.
  • Ilari, B. (2015). Rhythmic engagement with music in early childhood: A replication and extension. Journal of Research in Music Education, 62(4), 322-343. DOI: 10.1177/0022429414555984
  • Habibi, A., Ilari, B., Crimi, K., Metke, M., Kaplan, J.T., Jos i, hA.A., Leahy, R.M., Shattuck, D.W., Choi, S.Y., Haldar, J., Ficek, B., Damasio, A. & Damasio, H. (2014). An Equal Start: Absence of Group Differences in Cognitive, Social and Neural Measures Prior to Music or Sports Training in Children. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00690
  • Costa-Giomi, E. & Ilari, B. (2014). Infants’ preferential attention to sung and spoken stimuli. Journal of Research in Music Education, 62 (3), 188-194. DOI: 10.1177/0022429414530564
  • Kirschner, S. & Ilari, B. (2014). Joint drumming in Brazilian and German preschoolers: Cultural differences in synchronization skills, but no prosocial effects. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45(1), 137-166. DOI: 10.1177/0022022113493139
  • Ilari, B. (2013). Concerted cultivation and music learning: Global issues and local variations. Research Studies in Music Education, 35(2), 179-196. DOI: 10.1177/1321103X13509348
  • Ilari, B. (2013). Music and Babies. In H. Montgomery (Ed.). Oxford Bibliographies Online in Childhood Studies. New York: Oxford University Press. Available at: http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/page/childhood-studies
  • Ilari, B., Chen-Hafteck, L. & Crawford, L. (2013). Singing and cultural understanding: A music education perspective. International Journal of Music Education, 31(2), 202-216. DOI: 10.1177/0255761413487281
  • Ilari, B. & Broock, A. (2013). Musical participation and community building through music: The experience of Sambebê. Perspectives in Early Childhood Music and Movement, 8(1), 5-10.
  • Ilari, B. (2010). A community of practice of student teachers in music: the case of Musicalização Infantil. Research Studies in Music Education, 32(1), 43-60.
  • Ilari, B.S. & Sundara, M. (2009). Musical listening preferences in early life: Infant responses to accompanied versus unaccompanied singing.  Journal of Research in Music Education, 56 (4), 357-369.

Books & Book Chapters

  • Ilari, B. & Young, S. (edited book in press). Children’s home musical experiences across the world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?cPath=1037_5718_9337&products_id=808072
  • Ilari, B. (in press). Children’s ethnic identity, cultural diversity and music education. In R. MacDonald, D. Miell, & D. Hargreaves (Eds.). Oxford Handbook of Musical Identities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Helfter, S. & Ilari, B. (2015). Activating empathic creativity in musicking through university-community partnerships. In P. Burnard & E. Haddon (Eds.). Activating Diverse Creativities for Changing Higher Music Education: Contemporary Research and Practices (pp. 137-158). London & New York: Bloomsbury.
  • Ilari, B. (2014). Musical thinking in the early years. In S. Robson & S. Quinn (Eds.). The Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Thinking and Understanding (pp. 318-331). London: Routledge.
  • Ilari, B. (2012). Musical cultures of girls in the Brazilian Amazon. In P.S. Campbell & T. Wiggins (Eds.). Oxford Handbook of Children’s Musical Cultures (pp.131-147). Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Young, S. & Ilari, B. (2012). Musical participation from zero to three: towards a global perspective. In G. McPherson & G. Welch (Eds). Oxford Handbook of Music Education (pp. 279-295). Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Ilari, B. (2011). Twenty-century parenting, electronic media, and early childhood music education. In S.L. Burton & C.C. Taggart (Ed.). Learning from Young Children: Research in Early Childhood Music (pp. 195-214). Lanham: Rowan and Littlefield & MENC.

Academic degrees

  • PhD, McGill University, 2002
  • M.A. in violin performance, Montclair State University, 1998
  • Arts Licenciate - Music, University of Sao Paulo, 1994