@Percussion Podcast special episode featuring marimba gesture research


The @Percussion podcast hosted by Casey Cangelosi along with Megan Arns, Ben Charles, Laurel Black, and Tracy Wiggins featured discussion of our percussion-focused research. The weekly podcast invites a wide range of musicians to discuss topics related to percussion, music, and the arts in general.   This program focused on the marimba illusion research, talking about its psychological basis as well as its practical applications.  

The episode is now available as either a video broadcast below or as an audio podcast on iTunes and their blogspot page.

Dr. Schutz Featured on CBC’s The Nature of Things

portal_tnot_gen-headerOn December 1st the CBC debuted an episode of The Nature of Things with David Suzuki titled “I Got Rhythm: The Science of Song.”  The episode explored the science behind how music affects the body and the brain and also looked at the fascinating relationship humans have with music.  One segment featured an interview with Dr. Schutz discussing how pitch, modality, and timing cues contribute to the expression of emotion in music.  Dr. Trainor, another researcher from McMaster University, was also featured on the broadcast.  

For more information and to watch the full episode, click here.

Anna discusses new project at Clarinet Day 2016 (University of Toronto)

Toronto, Ontario

Anna Siminoski       Anna Siminoski presented at the University of Toronto’s Clarinet Day on October 23. She showcased her new research project that examines movements implemented by clarinetists and pianists when performing Brahms’ Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor. She studied gestures that do not directly effect sound production (e.g. head bobbing and body swaying) to see how they are used for co-performer communication and emotional expression to the audience. She also discussed the importance of music cognition for performing musicians.

Clarinet Day featured solo master classes with Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, in addition to clinics by UofT faculty and a “clarinet marketplace”.uoft_music_logo_tl

Music Cognition lectures at the Honors Music Institute

State College, PA

Honors Music InstituteCome learn about music cognition at the Penn State Honors Music Institute! These plain language summaries of hot areas within music cognition will take place from 2:40-3:20 in Esber Hall on July 18, 19th, & 20th.  Oriented towards our exceptional high school musicians, they are also open to the Penn State Community at large and are titled:


  • Monday July 18th: Seeing Music?  What performing musicians need to know about vision and perception
  • Tuesday July 19th: Communicating emotion in music: A complex dialogue between composers, performers, and audiences
  • Wednesday July 20th: How “feeling the beat” can help improve musical rhythm

Quirks Question Roadshow features Dr. Schutz discussing why major scales sound “right”

Perimeter Institute (Waterloo, Ontario)

CBC’s Bob McDonald talks with researchers to answer questions from the show’s listeners.  The taping took place at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario on June 4th, and air on  June 6th.

Popular with audiences since 1975, Quirks & Quarks is an award-winning Canadian weekly news program, attracting over 500,000 listeners for its Saturday broadcasts.  For more information visit the Quirks Question Roadshow page.

Listen to the full episode here.

“Research outreach” and rhythm perception testing at PASIC 2014

Indianapolis, Indiana

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.55.07 AMEight lab members travelled to Indianapolis, IN for five days to test expert percussionists on rhythm perception. Our goal was to better understand how the types of movements used in playing an instrument might lead to different listening experiences later in life.  We also staffed an “experiencing research” poster session discussing how research on music cognition can inform musical education and performance.  The lab is grateful to Petro-Canada for sponsoring Dr. Schutz’s 2014 Young Innovator Award providing support for this valuable endeavour.  For more information about this project click here.   Update: we presented preliminary results from this testing at PASIC 2015, and subsequently published our findings in the journal Psychology Research.  This papers is available for download from our publications page. Photo on 2014-11-20 at 9.28 AM #2


Meet lab members playing in the McMaster University Percussion Ensemble

We complement music research with music performance.

Humanities Media Computing visited the McMaster University Percussion Ensemble to talk with students about the group’s incredible musical growth.

The result is this engaging “info-mercial” featuring excerpts from recent performances, explanation about the group’s role in offering an artistic outlet for students from a variety of Faculties, and discussion of the ensemble’s role in community engagement.

The clip features interviews with several students who both play in the ensemble and work the Lab: Raven Hebert-Lee (Humanities), Monique Tardif (Science), Zach Louch (Humanities), Shawn Kerr (Humanities), as well as ensemble members Christine Chung (Health Sciences) and Stewart Crocker (Humanities).



MAPLE Lab research featured on Rita Celli’s popular Ontario Today program

During the 40 minute segment, Dr. Schutz discussed some of his music cognition research, played Bach’s Prelude in C minor from the Well Tempered Clavier, and answered questions from callers about music and the mind. You can listen to the program using the player below, or download it for off-line listening by “right clicking” the mouse on this link and choosing “save target as”.

TV demonstration of “musical illusion” research

Hamilton Life visited the MAPLE lab to record a demonstration of the “musical illusion” in which percussionists’ gestures change the perception of their duration.  This segment ran on the 11 o’clock news, and discussed both the psychological principles behind the illusion as well as its practical musical applications.

For more information on this project, click here.