Faculty of Music

Research Activity

Reading Group

The MLAL reading group meets during term time every other Wednesday at 4 pm at the Grad Club (http://gradclub.sogs.ca). Faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students from a range of disciplines across Western University discuss publications and research design questions relating to musical learning and expertise, with a special focus on perspectives from cognitive neuroscience.

If you are interested in joining the MLAL reading group list, please contact us at mailmlal@uwo.ca  


MLAL Retreats bring together faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students from a range of disciplines across Western University for introductions, presentations, reading groups and research design discussions. The aim is for individuals with research interests in the area of Musical Learning Across the Lifespan to meet others with similar interests, share expertise and facilities, and form research collaborations.

Previous Retreats
October 20, 2014  Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre, London
July 15–16, 2015  Windermere Manor Hotel, London
August 17–18, 2015  Windermere Manor Hotel, London
June 22–23, 2016 at Music Building, Western University

If you are affiliated with Western, McMaster or Edinburgh University and you are interested in attending an MLAL retreat, please contact us at mailmlal@uwo.ca 

Current Research Projects

As our research collaborations and pilot studies progress, we look forward to communicating our findings about musical learning both within academia and to the general public.

Motor correction and auditory detection of pitch perturbations in cello performance
Sally Norris (PhD student, NCA)
Ewan Macpherson (NCA)
Jessica Grahn (Psychology, BMI)
Jonathan De Souza (Music Theory, DWFoM)
Patrick Schmidt (Music Education, DWFoM)
Blair Ellis (PhD student, NCA)
Aaron Gibbings (PhD student, Psychology, BMI)
This pilot study will investigate auditory-motor skills in musicians by characterizing physical movements made by expert cellists when they correct their pitch intonation.

Improvised jazz performance and musical instrument familiarity
Kevin Watson (Music Education, DWFoM)
Kari Veblen (Music Education, DWFoM)
Betty Anne Younker (Music Education, DWFoM)
Demian Kogutek (PhD student, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences)
The purpose of this pilot study is to examine how degree of familiarity with a particular musical instrument may impact the content and perceived quality of an improvised jazz performance.

Does learning a second instrument affect timbre-specific brain responses?
Emma Holmes (Postdoctoral fellow, Psychology, BMI)
Lucy McGarry (Postdoctoral fellow, Psychology, BMI)
Elizabeth Kinghorn (PhD student, Music Education, DWFoM)
This pilot study will use a combination of techniques to examine which aspects of perception and brain activity change rapidly when musicians learn a new instrument.

The Impact of Hearing Loss on the Perception of Musical Experience in Adult Musicians
Jonathan Vaisberg (PhD student, NCA)
Amy Wang (Masters student, DWFoM)
Cathy Benedict (Music Education, DWFoM)
Ewan Macpherson (NCA)
Susan Scollie (NCA)
This pilot study seeks to understand the consequences of hearing loss on music listening and participation by obtaining qualitative descriptions of hearing-impaired musicians’ experiences of playing and performing music.

Acoustic Environments and Vocal Production
Elizabeth Kinghorn (PhD Student, Music Education, DWFoM)
Kevin Watson (Music Education, DWFoM)
Jessica Grahn (Psychology, BMI)
This project investigates the effects of different acoustic environments on singers’ rehearsal strategies.

Musical Expertise and Melody Perception
Emma Holmes (Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology, BMI)
Kristen Wallentinsen (PhD Student, Music Theory, DWFoM)
Ingrid Johnsrude (Psychology, BMI & NCA)
Jonathan De Souza (Music Theory, DWFoM)
This project examines how musical expertise affects the perception of melodies.

Visiting Researcher
Emma Moore (PhD Student, IMHSD, Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh)
Molly Henry (Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology, BMI)
Jessica Grahn (Psychology, BMI)
Katie Overy (Music Education, DWFoM)
From September to October 2015, Emma Moore, a visiting PhD student from the IMHSD, University of Edinburgh, spent a month in the BMI’s Music and Neuroscience lab, gave a lecture on the Music Psychology course in the DWFoM and a gave guest lecture at the MLAL Public Symposium on October 17, 2015.