Nicholas Patrick Quigley

Who am I?

I try to make "teaching" an inaccurate title to describe my professional work. As a music educator, I aim to facilitate and empower student-centered and student-directed music/expressive arts making. I often teach in nature's classroom, leaning on the environment as a co-teacher. This helps overcome the issues inherent to teaching a la carte (without a dedicated music classroom in the schools I serve). When we do make music indoors, we primarily work with classroom instruments and browser-based music technologies. In the spirit of co-teaching, I also rely on Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication and Lerman's Critical Response Process to foster a humane classroom environment while scaffolding students' abilities to voice their thoughts in cooperative creativity.

While my day job is teaching music, I love research, and I see in it the potential to help people and transform society. Clearly what we (in my case, music educators) do en masse is not sustainable. How can music education facilitate learning about local environments and global climate catastrophes? How can music education empower Earth-saving political action? How can music educators implement expressive arts practices to promote healing in addition to music learning? I eventually would like to investigate many questions like this. Until then, on my ResearchGate profile, you will find the collaborative work I have done so far focusing on DIY musicians, early-career music educators, and expressive arts practices that naturally mingle with traditional pedagogies.

I've been writing songs since I was 12 but going to college led me to compose classical music using traditional Western notation. Now as a civilian, I have moved on to making music that suits my roots more comfortably. On Bandcamp (and wherever you usually listen to music) you will find my discography flowing between classical elements, ambient electronics, echoey guitars, soundscape recordings from Southeastern New England, and now with Why Is This Happening to Me? my voice singing and speaking texts from my healing practices.


Nicholas Patrick Quigley (they/he) is an educator, musician, and expressive arts facilitator. They have self-produced multiple records of original compositions, soundscapes, and electronic music. A professionally licensed educator in Massachusetts, Quigley currently serves the Randolph Public Schools as an elementary general music specialist. Their dedicated service extends beyond the classroom as a Play On Music Festival Co-Organizer.

Nicholas has presented research and professional development for educators in school district settings and multiple academic conferences. Their research on DIY musicking and pedagogies centering on expressive arts integrations and trauma-informed teaching have appeared in the Journal of Popular Music Education, Massachusetts Music Educators Journal, and Teaching Music, respectively. 

Quigley is a member of the academic music honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda, and has earned degrees from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (BM, Music Business), Boston University (MM, Music Education), and Salve Regina University (CAGS, Professional Applications of the Expressive and Creative Arts). Their critical praxis is rooted in soil, leisure, and an understanding that sustainable, transformative, life-giving musicking is a universal birthright.