Meghan Hynson was first exposed to Balinese gamelan (gong ensemble) while studying for her undergraduate degree in music education and oboe performance at Boston University. Intrigued by the sound of the gamelan, she soon began studying Indonesian ensemble music, took private lessons on Balinese gendèr wayang (metallophone duo or quartet), and was awarded a scholarship to travel to Bali to follow her passion for Indonesian music and culture.
She eventually earned her MA and PhD in ethnomusicology at UCLA, writing her dissertation on Balinese shadow puppet theater. Having taught at Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Monmouth University, Dr. Hynson is currently adjunct assistant professor of ethnomusicology at the University of San Diego, where she directs the Balinese gamelan ensemble and teaches courses in global music.
Fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, the national language of that multi-cultured nation, Dr. Hynson has spent over a decade living and studying in Southeast Asia. In 2019, Dr. Hynson toured internationally as a vocalist for the Indonesian pop band, the Dangdut Cowboys, under the invitation of the U.S. State Department. She typically spends several months each year at her second home in Mas Village, Bali, doing research and furthering her study of the island’s rich traditions.
During her career, Dr. Hynson has developed world music curricula and outreach programs for K-12 schools, worked with major museums and international world music festivals, and spoken out for global diversity through music via campus and community activities.