Beatriz Ilari

Chair, Music Teaching & Learning

Associate Professor

  • Program:
    Music Teaching & Learning
  • Division:
    Research and Scholarly Studies


Beatriz Ilari is Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Southern California where she teaches graduate courses in music psychology, the sociology of music, and research methods. She has conducted extensive research with babies, preschoolers, and school-aged children from the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. In her work, she uses a variety of approaches to study different aspects of musical development and growth of infants, children, and adolescents. Her research is interdisciplinary in nature.

She collaborates with scholars from diverse fields, including neuroscientists from USC’s Brain & Creativity Institute, and psychologists and educators from the Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS) team. She is currently the editor for Perspectives: Journal of the Early Childhood Music & Movement and Association (ECMMA), and serves on the boards of prestigious journals such as Journal of Research in Music Education, Psychology of Music, Musicae Scientiae, and Music & Science.

Professional experience


Peer-Reviewed Articles (Selected)

  • Ilari, B., Fesjian, C., Ficek, B., & Habibi, A. (2017). Improvised song endings in a developmental perspective: A mixed-methods study. Psychology of Music. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0305735617715515
  • Ilari, B. (2017). Musical parenting and music education: Integrating research and practice. Update: Applications of Research in Music Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/8755123317717053
  • Ilari, B. (2017). Scaramouche goes to preschool: The complex matrix of young children’s everyday music. Early Childhood Education Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10643-017-0842-1
  • Ilari, B. (2016). Music in the early years: Pathways into the social world. Research Studies in Music Education, 38(1), 23-39. 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 (62). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00062
  • 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


Edited Books & Book Chapters (Selected)

  • Ilari, B. (2017). Children’s ethnic identity, cultural diversity, and music education. In. R. Macdonald, D. J. Hargreaves, & D. Miell (Eds.), Oxford handbook of musical identities (pp. 527-543). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Ilari, B., & Young, S. (2016). (Eds.). Children’s home musical experiences across the world. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
  • Mateiro, T., & Ilari, B. (2016). (Eds.). Pedagogias brasileiras em educação musical [Brazilian pedagogies in music education]. Curitiba, Brazil: Editora Intersaberes.
  • 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, England: Routledge.


Academic degrees

  • PhD in music education, McGill University, 2002
  • M.A. in violin performance, Montclair State University, 1998
  • B.A. in music education, University of São Paulo, 1994