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There has been a good deal of discussion of the validity and place of popular music within the school and post-school curriculum, and how the study of popular music can best be approached.

Popular music can be taught as a subject in its own right, but is more commonly found as a component of other courses. For example, in the school systems of Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia, popular music may be studied within music, social studies, and media studies. In the tertiary sector, it is usually found within departments of music, media/ communication studies, and cultural studies. Such courses usually emphasize Anglo-American pop/rock music and its associated genres, representing a form of musical hegemony. There are two major areas of discussion and debate: the status of the field, primarily in terms of its inclusion in the school curriculum, and pedagogy-how it should be taught. Another topic of interest has been the relationship between attitudes towards school and pupils’ tastes in popular music.