View customized groups of News & Events

Interested in certain topics?  Browse content from specific categories and tags by simply clicking on the pertinent word below each post. 

For example, clicking on the “Percussion” category will open a new page that shows all the posts that have been sorted under “Percussion” category.  


Dr. Michael Schutz Named a 2019 University Scholar

Maple Lab director, Dr. Michael Schutz, is one of six McMaster University professors named 2019 University Scholars!

This award recognizes the achievements of mid-career researchers. Recipients have distinguished themselves as international scholars and have demonstrated a commitment to the discovery, communication and preservation of knowledge, excellence in education and pedagogy, and to serving local and global communities.

Read the Daily News article about this achievement here

Thesis Students Present at NeuroMusic Conference

On November 10th 2018, all four of the MAPLE Lab’s senior honours thesis students presented their research at the 14th Annual Neuromusic Conference  “Music and Multimedia: From Song to Sonification.” 

(From left to right: Isabella LaMantia, Nic Ballarin, Cam Anderson, Rebecca Benjamin)

This year at NeuroMusic, Isabella presented a poster about her thesis “Personality and Perceived Musical Emotion,” Nic presented about his thesis “The effect of music listening on implicit racial attitudes,” Cam presented about his thesis entitled “Exploring the Effect of Timbre on Melodic Alarm Recognition,” and Rebecca presented about her thesis “Examining the effects of amplitude envelope on alarm recognition in an audio-visual delayed matching-to-sample task.” Well done, thesis students! 

Ontario Music Educators’ Association Conference – Counterpoint ’18

On November 1st-3rd, the Ontario Music Educators Association (OMEA) held its Counterpoint 2018 conference in Hamilton, ON. MAPLE Lab graduate and undergraduate researchers attended and collected data from experienced musicians for our Emotional Piano project. Thank you to all the musicians and educators who participated in this research project at Counterpoint ’18! 


Welcome new students!

The new school year is starting and the MAPLE Lab is excited for another year of research and learning! This year we are welcoming new undergraduate research assistants Melody Aslan, Nicholas Gierczak, Benjamin Kelly, Denise Lee, Logan Marquis, Graeme Noble, Divya Prasad, and Lydia-Marie Zomparelli. We are also happy to see some familiar faces returning: Cameron Anderson, Nic Ballarin, Rebecca Benjamin, Isabella Lamantia, Neerjah Skantharajah, and Alex Wong. You can find out more about them on our people page. Keep up with all of our new projects and events on our news and events page!

Dr. Schutz gives an invited talk at ECVP

Trieste, Italy

Dr. Schutz has been invited to participate in a special symposium this August at the 41st European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP).  This symposium is a Festschrift for Dr. Michael Kubovy, a renowned cognitive psychologist interested in the perceptual organization of sight and sound, with a particular focus on the arts. Dr. Kubovy was Dr. Schutz’s PhD supervisor at the University of Virginia, and the conference has invited selected alumni to present at this special event.  

Dr. Michael Kubovy


Presenting findings at the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition

Montreal, QC


This year Sharmila and Aimee will both be presenting their work at the 15th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC), held at Concordia University on July 25-28. Sharmila’s talk is titled “Designing effective auditory interfaces: Exploring the role of amplitude envelope” and it discusses the role of amplitude envelope in improving medical alarms. Aimee’s talk is titled “Exploring the relationship between structural and expressive cues in emotional communication” and outlines her most recent work on how composer- and performer-controlled cues influence listeners’ judgments of perceived emotion in Bach’s WTC.


Dr. Schutz teaches at the Honors Music Institute

Pennsylvania, USA

In July, Dr. Schutz will be teaching applied percussion at the Summer Music Camp for the Honors Music Institute at Pennsylvania State University. This competitive program is now in its sixth year and continues to excel at teaching high school musicians. Accepted students will participate in masterclasses, private lessons, chamber music, student recitals, and large ensembles.    


Talk at CSBBCS 2018

St John’s, Newfoundland

  Working in conjunction with the Ryerson SMART Lab, we will be giving a presentation titled “Hearing (and seeing) the beat of a different drummer: Event-related desynchronization in the action observation network” at the 2018 meeting of the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS). This is focused on the latest outcomes of our ongoing work with Dr. Frank Russo and the SMART Lab, and explores the idea that musical understanding is based in part on the brain’s simulation of the movements required to produce musical sounds.  It involved testing dozens of highly trained percussionists and comparing their neural responses to a well known excerpt performed by TSO Principle Percussionist John Rudolph.  

Talk on auditory stimuli and their implication on audio-visual integration at IMRF

Toronto, ON

We will present the latest results of our ongoing survey of sounds project at the 19th Annual International Multisensory Research Forum (IMRF) in downtown Toronto. Dr. Schutz’s talk is titled “Generalizing audio-visual integration: What kinds of stimuli have we been using?” and it will focus in particular on the relationship of the survey project to audio-visual integration research.  The conference also features keynote talks by Dr. Charles Spence (Oxford) and Dr. Ladan Shams (UCLA).     

Sharmila and Aimee receive travel grants from SEMPRE

    Aimee and Sharmila each received travel grants valued at €245 (CAD $370) from the Society for Education and Music Psychology Research (SEMPRE). This grant will go towards their travel and accommodation at the 15th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC) in Montreal. The conference will take place this July and both students will be presenting their research findings. Congratulations, Aimee and Sharmila!  


SSHRC funds new project exploring music and emotion ($185,000)

This award is an Insight Grant supporting a new project, titled, “Moved by Music: Exploring emotional communication across two centuries of musical history.” This project will provide a new perspective on how today’s listeners perceive musical structure, which has changed and evolved over several hundred years. The grant provides $185,000 over 5 years of support for students, conference travel, and equipment. To learn more about SSHRC Insight grants, click here.  

Poster presented at International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) 2018

  The latest findings of a collaboration with Dr. Laura Silverman of the University of Rochester were presented at the 2018 meeting of INSAR (International Society for Autism Research). This poster, titled “Audiovisual integration abilities in ASD using music-based stimuli”, features a study in which adolescents with ASD were tested on the marimba illusion. Learn more about the stimuli we used here!

Discussion of interpersonal synchronization by expert percussionists at NEST 2018

Storrs, CT

  On April 21st, 2018, Dr. Schutz gave a presentation at the New England Sequence and Timing (NEST) Conference at the University of Connecticut. NEST is a rhythm conference hosted by Edward Large and the Music Dynamics Lab. The title of the talk is “Can professional musicians intentionally desynchronize?  A natural case study of expert percussionists in a natural performance context” and it highlights an important naturalistic drumming study our lab conducted here at McMaster. To see the visualizations used in the study, take a look at our demo by clicking the button on the right.    

The MAPLE Lab is proud to sponsor DOP 2018

London, ON

Percussive Arts Society   On Sunday, April 8th, 2018, Dr. Schutz attended the 2018 Day of Percussion (DOP) hosted by the University of Western Ontario. This year the lineup featured performances by DUO PercussionLarnell Lewis, Rick Lazar of Samba Squad, and more. In previous DOP festivals, Dr. Schutz has also given invited performances and clinics.  This year we are happy to once again support the DOP with our ad (pictured on the right)! Thanks to the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) for yet another fun and educational day!  

MAPLE Lab end-of-year potluck


Last week our lab had a potluck and games night to celebrate the end of the year. Among the many delicious dishes at the potluck was a MAPLE Lab apple pie baked by our QQ student Nic Ballarin… or should we say Chef Nic! (Click the picture to see it in full size.)

To all of our grad students, thesis students, and QQs, thank you for another fun and fruitful year of research and learning! 

Undergraduate thesis poster session 2018

Hamilton, ON

Our thesis students did an amazing job showcasing their research at McMaster’s Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour undergraduate thesis poster session on Tuesday, March 27th! Great work, Carmen and Joyce.

Carmen Dang – Surveying amplitude envelope: A novel data visualization
Joyce Chan – Bach into exploring timing in musical emotion



Carmen is accepted into Ryerson University’s SMART Lab

  Congratulations to our talented and accomplished thesis student, Carmen Dang, for getting accepted into Ryerson University’s SMART Lab. The SMART Lab is directed by a close collaborator of our lab, Dr. Frank Russo, under whose supervision Carmen will be completing a Master of Arts in Psychology with a project focused on facial mimicry. Best wishes for a new chapter ahead, Carmen!