A (somewhat) continuously updated account of what's going on . . .


7/26 Recipient of the Ministry of Research and Innovation's Early Researcher Award ($140,000 for the development of a research team):

McMaster University's three award winners (Joanna Wilson, Gianni Parise, and Michael Schutz) along with MPP Sophia Aggelonitis and Dr. Mo Elbestawi.




Invited Fellow at Rice University's Exploring the Mind Through Music Conference


4/9 Inaugural performance with the Hamilton Philharmonic (James Sommerville, musical director).


3/24 Invited lecture at BRAMS (International Laboratory for Brian, Music and Sound Research) in Montreal, Québec.




Residency at Michigan State University (co-hosted by the Cognitive Science and Music programs).




Panel discussion and performance at 2011 What Next? Festival (Art Gallery of Hamilton)



11/9 Lecture at Butler University (Indianapolis, IN) as part of the Woods Lecture Series


10/30   Lecture at University of Rochester Medical Center (Rochester, NY)


10/27   Lecture at Ryerson University (Toronto, ON)


10/8 Lecture at Northwestern University/Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL).  Konrad Körding, host.



Unable to display player for CBC interview


Guest appearance on Rita Celli's popular Ontario Today program.  During the 40 minute segment, I discussed some of my 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 above, or download it for by off-line listening by "right clicking" the mouse on this link and choosing "save target as".

3/30 First full-length concert of the McMaster Percussion Ensemble (8pm in Convocation Hall).


NSERC Discovery grant The role of amplitude envelope in auditory-visual integration was funded.  The award is for five years (2010-2015) in the amount of $95,000. 




Autism and audio-visual integration grant proposal with Dr. Laura Silverman (University of Rochester) is funded by NIH.  Dr. Silverman is the  PI on this award, and I will be a consultant assisting with aspects of her research involving audio-visual integration.


1/8 Writer Edward Willett bases his weekly science column on McMaster's Jan 4th press release in a segment titled The Scientific Case for Live Music Listen here:

Unable to display player


The press release is also picked and reposted in a number of different forums, including The Womb, DIY Audio, and several other sources.

1/7 Hamilton Life visited the lab to do a special TV segment on my research, which aired on the 11 o'clock news.  View this segment here:


1/6 Interview on CHCH's Morning News Live:

1/4 McMaster University PR office put out a press release about my recent publication in Percussive Notes discussing a "musical illusion"

Visual information can have a profound impact on how we experience live music, creating an illusion where percussive sounds seem longer or shorter than they really are . . .

Read the complete release at the McMaster Daily News site



12/17      Arts Research Board (ARB) proposal entitled Are percussive sounds processed in a special manner? funded for $7,000 to provide computers, software, and high-end audiometric headphones to allow the Maple lab to begin running experiments.


Performance of Groundloops: For Percussion and Internet with Peter Traub (composer/internet artist) at PASIC 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.



Nov 2009 Percussive Notes

Publication of "Acoustics, Perception and the Musical Experience" in the November issue of Percussive Notes.  This article expands on my talk at PASIC 2008, exploring whether longer and shorter striking gestures actually create longer and shorter notes.   

It also demonstrates the importance and relevance of music cognition to music instruction at all levels (public school band programs, private lessons, university/conservatory training, etc.)

Download the pdf

10/16  Presentation at Acoustics Week in Canada, entitled Tone envelope: A cue for audio-visual unity.

10/1 Publication of "Visual determinants of a cross-modal illusion" in Attention, Perception & Psychophysics Download the pdf

9/23 Featured in "Alumni Spotlight" article published by the Penn State University School of music, discussing my unorthodox approach to music that blends research, performance, and teaching.

Download the article as either a jpg or pdf

8/3 Presentation at Society for Music Perception and Cognition Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.  My talk was titled Associating sounds: Tone envelope, timbre, and associative memory, and discussed a collaboration with Jeanine Stefanucci (University of Utah) exploring whether percussive sounds are processed by the brain in a special manner.

7/1  Begin new, tenure-track position as Assistant Professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario


    Final concerts in Central Virginia

My last performance with the Roanoke Symphony was a bittersweet moment.  I am looking forward to my new life in Ontario, but will miss playing with this group of talented musicians led my Maestro David Wiley.  I have been fortunate to freelance regularly with a wide variety of groups around the state, and enjoyed making music in such a beautiful part of the country.  Thanks to all of my colleagues and students for making my five years in Virginia so fulfilling! 




Completion of the Ph.D degree from the University of Virginia.  My thesis entitled Cross-modal Integration: The search for unity extended my previous work on the role of visual information in music by demonstrating that percussive sounds are processed in a privileged manner.  It is an extension of the "musical illusion" I first documented as part of my MM thesis at Northwestern University.



   Pictured with my proud  
    (and relieved!) mother



Congratulations to VCU senior Kevin Estes on a wonderful senior recital! Kevin's program included Canaries (Carter), Velocities (Schwantner), American Suite for Unaccompanied Snare Drum (Gauthreaux), Log Cabin Blues (G.H. Green), and several selections by his marimba trio. 

Kevin was also offered admission into all four of the graduate programs for which he auditioned, and has accepted a teaching assistantship at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro where he will begin his Masters degree in Percussion Performance in the Fall of 2009.  Great work Kevin!

4/5 Congratulations to Longwood senior Natalia Halsey on successfully completing her senior recital!  The program included works by Ney Rosauro, Paul Goldstaub, John Beck, and others.

4/4 Presentation at Virginia/DC Day of Percussion in Winchester, Virginia (Earl Yowell, host).

3/15 Publication of invited article "Deconstructing Motion Paths" in a special issue of Canadian Acoustics dedicated to the Multi-modal nature of music (Frank Russo, guest editor).  Download the pdf

2/1 Congratulations to Longwood senior John Hogge on successfully completing his senior recital! The program included works by J.S. Bach, John Beck, and Tim Huesgen as well as jazz standards by Monk, Gillespie, and Hancock.  John will finish his BA in Music at the end of this academic year.

1/1  Joins Innovative Percussion team as artist/endorser





12/16   Research highlighted by Dr. John Hain in "Drumming up Research" (December issue of Percussive Notes).

12/12 -14  Holiday pops spectacular with George Dyer and the Roanoke Symphony.  Concerts were conducted by an unusual combination of David Wiley (RSO music director), Santa Claus himself, and Darwin the conducting robot (courtesy of Virginia Tech's robotics students)

    Photos by Jim Stroup

11/6 PASIC 2008 presentation very well received!  Thanks to everyone who attended and asked really great questions. For more information, read the session overview.  


8/15 Publication of invited review article Seeing Music?  What musicians need to know about vision.  This article discusses dozens of ways in which visual information can affect our perception of music.  It was the result of an invitation from Bill Thompson (President of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition).                                download the pdf


Penn State Summer Music Camp (appearance co-sponsored by Sabian )

7/11 Presentation at Music, Language, and the Mind (Boston, MA)

7/3 Presentation at Acoustics08 (Paris, France)

4/11 Cymbal/mallet clinic and Longwood University performance at Project:Percussion. 

Photo: Dean Hoffmeyer (copyright Richmond Times-Dispatch, used with permission)

Read article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch

4/5 Presentation at the 2008 Virginia/DC Day of Percussion (Oakton, Virginia)

3/30 Clinic on Developing Four Mallet Technique at the 2008 Maryland/Delaware Day of Percussion (Baltimore, Maryland)

Guest artist at Goucher College (Baltimore, MD).

See Goucher's online summary of the event


2/26 Mark Ford visits Longwood University (Farmville, Virginia)


See posting on Dynasty's website:

2/9 Online research article highlighted in Gary Cook's "From the President" column of February's Percussive Notes.  Cited as an "excellent example of provocative research," Dr. Cook mentions my online article as "a stimulating look . . . on the role of visual information in music perception."  The article is freely available at

Valley Symphonic Concerts Series (Staunton, VA)

Mendelssohn - Symphony No. 3

Kodaly- Galanta Dances

Stravinsky - Firebird Suite (1919)



1/1 Latest draft of article The Mind of the Listener posted online.




11/15   Presentation at the 2007 Auditory Perception, Cognition, and Action Meeting (Long Beach, CA)

10/7 Roanoke Symphony Orchestra The Great American Concert (Bluefield, West Virginia)

10/6 Performance at the Roanoke Arts Festival

8/28 Joins the Faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA).

My primary duty will be teaching applied percussion for classical and jazz percussion majors.  My new colleagues include Kris Keeton and Rares Caluseriu - formerly Assistant Principal Percussionist with the Aachen Symphony (Germany).  I will continue serving as Director of Percussion studies at Longwood University.
With Kris Keeton, VCU Assistant Professor of Percussion

7/31 Chair for session Music: A Multi-Modal Experience at the 2007 Society for Music Perception and Cognition international conference (Montreal, Canada).  Presenters included:

    Dan Levitin (Canada)
    Michael Schutz (USA)
    David Huron (USA)
    Frank Pollick (Scotland)
    Scott Lipscomb (USA)
    Zohar Eitan (Israel)




Performance at Ash Lawn Summer Opera

7/2 Presentation at 2007 Sound and Music Computing Workshop in Stockholm, Sweden (hosted by KTH)

5/24  Acoustical Society Presentation selected for feature in online Press Room. read the article

5/14 Appointed Chair of the PAS Music Technology Committee

5/7 Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Series (Carmina Burana & Daphnis and Chloe) 

4/27 Guest artist, Penn State University (State College, Pennsylvania)

3/30 Longwood performs at Project:Percussion 2007 (Richmond, Virginia)

3/22 Host/organizer for Simkins series lecture by David Huron  at Longwood University (Farmville, Virginia)

3/10 Cymbal clinic at 2007 Virginia/DC Day of Percussion

3/8 Performance of Concerto for Marimba (David Long) with the Longwood Wind Ensemble in celebration of Longwood's brand new 5.0 octave Malletech marimba, donated by patron Waverley Cole!

Left to right: Gordon Ring (Director of the Longwood University Wind Ensemble), David Long (composer), Waverley Cole (donor), Michael Schutz

11/8 World premier of Judith Shatin's "Time to Burn" at PASIC 2006 in Austin, Texas.

Left to right: Scott Perry (oboe), I-Jen Fang (percussion) and Michael Schutz





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