Practice, practice, practice: “This is your Brain on Excerpts”

Toronto, ON

RyersonRepetition is widely known as one of the building blocks of expert performance.  As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!  To assess the neural implications of practice, Dr. Schutz spent his 2015-16 sabbatical as a Visiting Professor at Ryerson University’s SMART Lab, which led to an ongoing project using EEG to explore use of the Action Observation Network (AON) when processing musical movements.  

This collaborative effort will build upon Dr. Russo’s previous work exploring the AON in other contexts, by examining whether it is triggered when trained percussionists watch musical movements they have previously performed repeatedly. If you are a percussionist and would like to participate, please click here for more information. 

Dr. Schutz performs at the Ontario “Day of Percussion” festival

DoP (full image)The festival featured performances from Jerry Noble (Dayton Philharmonic, Wright State University), Jonathan Ovalle (University of Michigan), Michael Wood (University of Waterloo), Nicholas Papador (Windsor University), Jamie Drake (TorQ), and Michael Murphy (University of Toronto).

Dr. Schutz gave a brief clinic discussing exercises for developing four mallet facility on the marimba, and then played two guitar transcriptions as part of a montage concert: Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega, and Prelude No 2 by Brazilian guitarist and composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Nicholas Papador (President of PAS Ontario) hosted this Day of Percussion event, which brought together many members of the Windsor percussion community, as well as percussionists and enthusiasts from around Southern Ontario.  

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

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).


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.

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)