Ryan Hourigan (2010 Indiana Music Educators Association Outstanding University Music Educator of the Year, 2021 University of Michigan Kendall Award winner, 2023 Outstanding Alumni Award Eastern Illinois University School of Music) joined the faculty at Ball State University in the fall of 2006 after nine years of teaching music at the secondary and university level in Illinois. Dr. Hourigan holds degrees from Eastern Illinois University (B.M.), Michigan State University (M.M. Wind Conducting) and a Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of Michigan. Dr. Hourigan currently is professor of music education and is the former Director of the School of Music at Ball State University. He also has recently joined Focus 5 as a teaching artist specializing in arts integration for students with learning differences.
Currently in its third edition, Hourigan is the co-author (Alice Hammel) of Teaching Music to Students with Differences and Disabilities. This is a comprehensive text written by practicing music educators, music teacher educators and researchers in the field of teaching music to children with special needs. This third edition to be released in 2024. Hourigan and Hammel’s second book Teaching Music to Students with Autism is in it’s second edition released in 2020.
In 2009, Hourigan co-founded the Prism Project (prismprojectbsu.org). This program provides an opportunity for Ball State students to gain skills in the area of teaching students with special needs. This program has been duplicated in several communities and universities across the country including New Orleans (9th Ward), Louisiana State University, The University of Northern Iowa, and the Hartt School of Music, and two locations in Indiana.
Starting in 2012, Dr. Hourigan provided a series of presentations for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His workshop: Reaching Students with Autism Through the Arts: Implications for Inclusive Arts Classrooms is now on the National Roster of presentations through the Kennedy Center. For the last decade, he has traveled all over the world in association with the Kennedy Center assisting partners in education with their work with students on the Autism Spectrum. He has since been added to the National Speaker’s Bureau for the John F. Kennedy Center.
Dr. Hourigan has been published or is in press in most of the major music education journals including but not limited to the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education. His article (along with Amy Hourigan) entitled Teaching Music to Children with Autism was the most downloaded article for the Music Educators Journal for 2012.