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V-Coach Practice Study


What determines efficiency in practice? At what point does pain usually set in? Can technology help us be a better practicer?

Summary: The V-Coach Study investigates the efficacy of a practice app in regulating musician practice behavior.  We designed an app and enrolled music students at different universities to study their habits (how much they practiced, how much they recorded themselves, how much they used a tuner, metronome and drones etc).  Applied teachers were enrolled in order to have a more objective measure of progress.


Partners: Shockoe Mobile Solutions, University of Northern Iowa, Shenandoah Conservatory, Wayne State University, VCU Music.

Status: Enrollment closed. Currently in Data Analysis Stage

The Physiology of Violin Playing


What happens phsyiologically when we play the violin?

Summary: The Physiology of Violin Playing investigates what happens inside the body when we play the violin. The study involves violinists of different skill levels playing the exact same sequence of musical excerpts with metronome in the lab and looks at some of the following  data:

 * metabolic rate, heart rate, stress etc  (metabolic chamber)

* muscle contraction activity (electromyography)

* brain frontal lobe activity (fNIRS)


Partners: Shanshan Chen (VCU Biostatistics), Francesco Celi (VCU Endocrinology), UMBC 

Status: IRB approved, enrolling in the Spring of 2019.

Virtual Reality, Motion Capture, Wearables


What's on the horizon for teaching string players in the future?

Some of my research is not formalized, meaning I don't always have humans enrolled with a scientific protocol.  Things I mess around with in teaching and in the lab with other researchers in investigating new ways of learning and teaching the violin are:

           Virtual Reality

           Motion Capture


Partners: My students at VCU, Jill Ware and John Henry Blatter of VCU Arts, Tamer Nadeem of VCU Engineering

Picture Gallery from Research

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