About UsAction Ideals / Governance / Steering Committee / History


The MayDay Group was founded by Thomas A Regelski and J Terry Gates in the winter of 1993. They invited twenty music education theorists and methods experts in the USA, Canada and England to meet in Buffalo, New York on May 1-2, 1993 with the intention of critically reexamining the status of practice in music education.  By 1997 the MayDay Group website came online, and in 2002, the group’s first open-access journal, Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, under the original editorship of Thomas Regelski, was born.

Since its inception, the MayDay Group has held annual colloquia aimed at furthering critical thought in the music education profession based on the group’s Action Ideals.

The MayDay Group’s name, perhaps unusual for a group devoted to music education,  reflects the following:

First: The first meeting was on May 1, 1993.

Second: MayDay is the international distress signal, and we believed at the time that the profession was in distress. The MayDay Group intended from the beginning to be international, partially as a way to lift the discussion above national politics, partially as a way to broaden the base of experience upon which each of its members can draw.

Third: MayDay is a springtime celebration of renewal and fertility in some cultures, but it is also a date that has been used in some countries to commemorate revolutionary action. The MayDay Group intends to move its agenda forward, reflecting renewal and action.


For a personal history of the MayDay Group, written by J. Terry Gates in 1999, click here.