New chapter summarizing practical benefits of scientific research in the latest Cambridge Companion

CC-to-PercussionThe latest offering in Cambridge University Press’s acclaimed series on musical topics, the Cambridge Companion to Percussion discusses the evolution of percussion from historical, scientific, academic, and applied perspectives. Edited by noted percussionist Dr. Russell Hartenberger, this book includes contributions from many of today’s leading performers and composers including William L. Cahn, William Moersch, Garry Kvistad, Rick Mattingly, Colin Currie, Aiyun Huang, Russell Hartenberger, Steven Schick, Bob Becker, Steve Reich, Peter Erskine, B. Michael Williams, Adam Sliwinski, and Michael Bakan (a complete list appears at the link below).

Dr. Schutz’s chapter Lessons from the laboratory: The musical translation of scientific research on movement summarizes numerous studies on movement and music, emphasizing their practical implications for percussion performance and pedagogy. The chapter offers a plain language discussion of how to best use scientific research on movements to improve performance and pedagogy. The book is scheduled for release in North America in May 2016. Click here for more information.

Lecture recital – Multi-modal music: A percussionists’ perspective

Davis, California

The University of California MERCI (Music Experience Research Community Initiative) program sponsored a special lecture/recital at UC Davis.  Dr. Schutz performed a variety of solo literature for percussion illustrating the musical basis for our team’s research including pieces  for marimba, vibraphone, and snare drum.  These solos illustrate the musical principles guiding the  lab’s ongoing work on multi-sensory integration in musical performance and perception.  It also served as an opportunity for the audience to learn about solo percussion literature, and discuss future research opportunities at the intersection of music performance and cognitive science.

This talk was being co-hosed Dr. Petr Janata (UC Davis) and Dr. Ramesh Balasubramaniam (UC Merced).  An archived video of the performance is now available courtesy of MERCI, and can be found at or by clicking the image below. 

UC Davis lecture recital screen shot

New insights on experts’ rhythm perception to be presented at PASIC in 2015

San Antonio, Texas

pasic15logoThrough a partnership with the Scholarly Research Committee, we ran testing stations at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) in 2013 and 2014 as part of a large-scale project exploring the effects of musical training on music perception.  Across these years, lab members tested  over 150 percussionists, and engaged in an outreach effort to explain the relevance of lab projects for performing musicians, educators, composers, and scholars alike.

We presented some of the preliminary results of these tests at PASIC 2015 to share our insights with the PAS community – many of whom ran in our previous experiments.  Through this process we have gained a better understanding of the complex relationship between movement, training, and perception, and we were pleased to share these insights with a musical community well positioned to make practical use of them.  The talk took place at 2pm on Thur, Nov 11th in room 217.  Click here to read the Percussive Notes “preview article”.

Flute and percussion recital in Convocation Hall with flautist David Gerry as part of Lunchtime Recital series

David Gerrymarimba-clipart-16268237flute-clip-art-clipart-fluteDr. Schutz and David Gerry performed in the School of the Arts Lunchtime Recital Series at Convocation Hall.  The program featured a variety of works for flute and percussion, including Homage to Keith Jarrett and Gary Burton (Barbar Kolb), First Flight (Michael Colquhoun), and Adriadne for Flute and Percussion (Lou Harrison). In addition to the duos, Gerry performed two solos:  Wake Up! For piccolo and alarm clock (Dehnhard) and Valentine Piece (Gorecki).  Schutz also performed two solos including Trilogy: Three movements for solo vibraphone (Huesgen), and Blues for Gilbert (Glentworth).


“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


Dr. Schutz performs on renowned composer Judith Shatin’s latest album Time to Burn

Booklet-Pg1_07_1-8Dr. Schutz was featured on Judith Shatin’s latest album, performing with percussionist I-Jen Fang and oboist Aaron Hill.  He premiered this piece at PASIC in Austin, Texas after co-commissioning it with Fang.  This was Shatin’s third solo album with Innova, and is available through both Amazon and iTunes.  To preview this work, visit

Shatin noted that when writing she was “fueled by my rage and sadness at the burning that has erupted around us. One is hardpressed to keep track of it all. The past decade has been an era of renewed holocausts driven by ethnic and religious hatred. The rampant intolerance in our world is reminiscent of the ‘burning time’ of the Inquisition or the burning of witches.”  The sheet music is also available for purchase at


Performance at the Ontario Day of Percussion (University of Guelph)

Guelph, ON

Day of Percussion

Photo by Zoltan Harsanyi

Dr. Schutz gave an invited performance at the Ontario Day of Percussion, sponsored by the Percussive Arts Society (PAS).  The 30 minute recital included solo performances on vibraphone, marimba, and snare drum, as well as duets with flautist David Gerry, and percussionist Stefan Kitai. Dr. Schutz also participated in a snare drum workshop organized by Jay Boehmer, aimed at high school students from around the area.  He is looking forward to becoming more involved with the Ontario chapter of PAS now that he has established permanent residency and is able to begin free-lancing once again.

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).



Dr. Schutz Keynote speaker and performer at the NeuroMusic Conference Concert featuring TorQ

Dr. Michael Schutz both lectured and performed several solos (as well as one ensemble piece with TorQ) at the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind’s (MIMM) NeuroMusic Conference Concert titled The Multisensory Percussionist. Theresearch component of this lecture/concert reviewed lab projects using percussion instruments to explore both audio-visual and sensorimotor integration, including a new rhythm perception study in which the members of TorQ served as (highly trained) participants!

Dr. Schutz & the TorQ Percussion Ensemble at the MIMM NeuroMusic Conference Keynote Concert. (From left to right: Dan Morphy, Adam Campbell, Dr. Michael Schutz, Richard Burrows & Jamie Drake)