Assignment for Tuesday & Thursday, November 18 & 20

With only two full weeks of class left (weeks of November 17 & December 1), we are now zooming on the last essential tasks left for this course.

1. Group experiment project: For next Tuesday, you should try to get as much of the experimental design completed as possible so that we can run your experiment as a pilot. Post the link and invitation to the pilot study on the Forum page of the Virtual Lab as soon as it is ready and at the latest by class time on Tuesday. All students will be required to complete the pilot study for the other team and post questions/comments/concerns as a reply to the Forum post. We will use class time to complete this task and do some troubleshooting, so bring earphones!

I will be posted the template for the structured abstract report as well as sample reports from past offerings of this course on the Virtual Lab next week.

2. Individual project: On Thursday, we will use class time for a panel discussion of your individual projects. Each student should be ready to make a 5-10 minutes presentation and answer questions/comments from their peers. In preparation for this presentation, you will need to do/prepare the following:

a. Review the feedback on your lit review; I will post individual feedback on all projects by the end of the day, Friday, November 14. Post questions/comments using the reply function, as necessary.

b. Re-formulate your research question taking into consideration your background research. Is there a specific aspect of the topic that seems more fruitful to pursue? Are there previous findings that suggest a particular path of exploration for your topic? Which sources might be most helpful in guiding your work toward developing your own perspective on this question?

c. Do some follow-up database research using more specific keywords suggested by the source(s) most closely related to your re-formulated question. Alternatively, you might search for sources in an area that you didn’t get a chance to explore in your lit review, if it suggests itself as especially promising at this point.

d. Post your re-formulated question and the citations & abstracts of the new sources you have identified on your individual project page.

e. Prepare an action plan for completing your individual project. In particular, think about the format of your final presentation. The format will vary based on your individual interests, the nature of your question, and the state of research. While each of you will be presenting your project to a “mock” panel of judges as if you were applying for a grant to pursue research, it is not expected that the research would necessarily include an experiment. You might find that what is needed is field observation, collecting primary sources, preparing a large-scale survey, or some other research activity. I invite you to be imaginative and let your research question guide you to the most appropriate format.

Your panel presentation on Thursday will be a summary of thoughts and findings generated by these steps. You may use the projector or prepare a handout if it will facilitate your presentation, but this is not required. However, you should prepare notes of what you want to say to make the presentation as clear and efficient as possible.

Assignment for Thursday, November 13

For Thursday, continue working on the implementation of your group project (pilot study). Review the instructions (STEP 5) carefully, in particular the supplementary materials and online experiments (STEP 4); there are also links to online experiments on the Resources page of the Virtual Lab. Remember to post draft materials on your group page for feedback.

We will again do troubleshooting and divide the time evenly between the two pilot studies.

YalMusT New Resources & Workshops

YalMusT are greatly expanding our yearly workshop offerings this year.  In addition to notation workshops (Sibelius and Finale) we are offering a series of workshops in conjunction with the new Open Music Initiative that are designed to introduce you to open source hardware and software for musical notation, editing, production, etc.  This is software you can download and use for free that can replace many for-cost programs.  Additionally, we are teaching a number of DIY hardware workshops where participants can learn about analog sound synthesis while actually making simple synthesizers.  To keep up-to-date on what is happening you have a plethora of choices.

The official YalMusT pages below contain lots of useful information about our labs, offerings, classes, and more.

YalMusT Site:

YalMusT Workshops:


Additionally, we started two mailing lists this year that you can sign up to receive announcements about the weeks goings-on.  To subscribe to general YalMusT announcements (one email per week) please see the following link.

Subscribe here:

(List address:

To subscribe to OMI workshop and meet-up announcements, please click the following link:
(List address:
And lastly (but not leastly) if you are on The Facebooks™ and prefer to receive your information in social event form, please click on the following links and like our pages.  We will post relevant event information to both.

Assignment due Tuesday, November 11

REMEMBER that there will be no class meeting on Thursday, November 6, due to the annual conference of the American Musicological Society (AMS) and the Society for Music Theory (SMT), which is taking place in Milwaukee, WI. You are strongly encouraged to use class time (and space) to work on your experimental design.

This week will be devoted to implementation, with the goal of stating to collect data the following week. Read the posting for STEP 5, which includes contact information as well as supplementary materials (e.g., Honing & Ladinig on strategies to run successful online experiments).

Also, I strongly recommend that you post preliminary materials on your group project’s section of the course blog (e.g., test questions, description of stimuli for participants, instructions, debriefing information, etc.). That way, I will be able to provide feedback (I will have access to the internet while at the conference).

Good luck!

Assignment for Tuesday & Thursday, November 4 & 6

Remember that there will be no regular class meeting on Thursday, November 6, due to the annual conference of the American Musicological Society (AMS) and the Society for Music Theory (SMT), which is taking place in Milwaukee, WI. HOWEVER, you are strongly encouraged to meet with your group to continue your work on experimental design; you may use the class space or meet in any place that is convenient for the work that needs to be done.

During Tuesday’s class meeting, we will review some methodology materials and take some time to discuss your work in progress, as needed. Please prepare the following:

1. If you have not already done so, complete you reading on Sixty Methodology Potholes and complete the corresponding task.

2. Read the materials on Sampling and complete the two tasks (types of sampling and sampling issues).

You should also browse through the handouts from today, and make note of any information pertinent to your group project. In particular, pay close attention to the materials on designing questionnaires.

Finally, as you continue your work on completing STEP 4 of the group projects, review the instructions carefully. Post the latest version of your protocol on your group’s blog and update as needed, including sound clips and questionnaire questions. This will make my review and feedback more efficient, especially as I will be away for most of next week. You should also read the new posting on STEP 5, which includes contact information as well as supplementary materials (e.g., Honing & Ladinig on strategies to run successful online experiments).

STEP 5: Implementation (Drafts Due Tuesday, November 11)

The draft of your experiment is due next week, Tuesday, November 11. Try to make this draft as complete as possible, including embedding all testing instructions and questions on Qualtrics, as well as participants’ questionnaire and debriefing. If some of your stimuli are not ready, put place-holder questions. We will review your work in class on Tuesday and do some troubleshooting. The goal is to give your experiment a test-run by the end of the week, so that data collection can start at the latest on Monday, November 17.

Both experiments should include the following components:

– Statement about the pedagogical nature of the project and the anonymity of the data collection process.

– Statement that participants should free free to stop at any time, without adverse effect to them. You may also share that incomplete data sets will not be used in the analysis.

– Participants’ questionnaire (at any point you feel is most appropriate; an option we did not discuss is to have it in the middle).

– Debriefing & free response option: Explain what the experiment was seeking to explore more specifically at the end and provide participants with the option to send comments.

– Contact information in case participants want to receive a copy of the report (with a time period when it will be available).

As you near the end of the experimental design phase, you might want to take some time to review the methodology handouts that were distributed in class. Are there any concepts that relate to your study that is not clear enough to you? Is there any methodological issue arising from your planned procedure that resembles an issue described in the handouts?

Here are the instructions prepared by Pam Patterson on how to post your stimuli on classes*v2 and integrate them in your survey:

Instructions On Uploading Audio Files and Capturing the URL

Don’t hesitate to seek expert help from the support staff at Yale! Here are the contacts of people we have consulted with:

Mike Laurello, School of Music ( OR Will help you with most aspects of stimuli preparation and music technology for pre- and post-processing of data.

Scott Petersen, MusTLab ( Scott is the supervisor of the Department of Music’s technology lab (4th floor). You can contact him for any issue related to using the lab.

Sherlock Campbell, CSSSI ( Can help you with everything statistics as well as Qualtrics. Don’t forget that there are also consultants in the center who will be able to answer your questions and guide you through the steps of data analysis, if needed.

Pam Patterson, ITS ( Pam is an administrator for the course blog and can help you with any issues related to the course blog as well as using classes*v2 for your study (see above).

Rémi Castonguay, Gilmore Library ( Can help you with database research if you need additional background sources and when it is time to relate you findings back to previous findings.

Here are a few additional instructional resources:

David Huron on Types of Behaviors

NOTE that part 5, on “self-report”, is especially relevant for our work. You can find many more useful videos on empirical music research with David Huron here.

Yale’s link to

Also, two sources on doing web-based research; the first one is especially helpful as it provides some strategies to improve success and reliability of data collection:

Honing & Ladinig (2008), “The potential of the internet for music perception research: A comment on lab-based versus web-based studies

Germine, Nakayama, Duchaine, Chabris, Chatterjee, & Wilmer (2012), “Is the Web as good as the lab? Comparable performance from Web and lab in cognitive-perceptual experiments”


The internal clock and subjective tempo: Effects of arousal and aging

To read the poster, click here.

First author: Kelly Jakubowski

Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK

Co-authors: Andrea Halpern, Lauren Stewart


Summary: Human time judgments are affected by various psychological factors. Our study tested whether factors known to influence time perception would also affect the tempo at which a familiar tune ‘sounds right’(hereafter referred to as ‘subjective tempo’). Two experiments tested the effects of 1) physiological arousal and 2) age on subjective tempo for common tunes such as Happy Birthday. It was hypothesized that 1) arousal induced via exercise would increase subjective tempo relative to a control task (anagrams)and that 2) subjective tempo would decrease with age. All participants completed a perception task, in which the tempi of tunes heard aloud were adjusted in real time, and an imagery task, in which the speed of a click track was adjusted to match the tempi of imagined tunes. Subjective tempo was positively associated with increased arousal, but was not related to age. Results are discussed in relation to pacemaker-accumulator models of timing and theories of cognitive slowing.

Personality influences career choice: Sensation seeking in professional musicians

Peter Vuust, Line Gebauera, Niels Chr. Hansenb, Stine Ramsgaard Jørgensena,
Arne Møllera, and Jakob Linneta. 2010. Personality influences career choice: Sensation seeking in professional musicians. Music Education Research, 12, 2, 219-230.

ABSTRACT: Despite the obvious importance of deciding which career to pursue, little is
known about the influence of personality on career choice. Here we investigated
the relation between sensation seeking, a supposedly innate personality trait, and
career choice in classical and ‘rhythmic’ students at the academies of music in
Denmark. We compared data from groups of 59 classical and 36 ‘rhythmic’
students, who completed a psychological test battery comprising the Zuckerman
Sensation Seeking Scale, the Spielberger StateTrait Anxiety Inventory, as well as
information about demographics and musical background. ‘Rhythmic’ students
had significantly higher sensation seeking scores than classical students,
predominantly driven by higher boredom susceptibility. Classical students
showed significantly higher levels of state anxiety, when imagining themselves
just before entering the stage for an important concert. The higher level of anxiety
related to stage performance in classical musicians was not attributed to group
differences in trait anxiety, but is presumably a consequence of differences in
musical rehearsing and performance practices of the two styles of music. The
higher sensation seeking scores observed in ‘rhythmic’ students, however, suggests
that personality is associated with musical career choice.

An ABC of drumming: children’s narratives about beat, rhythm and groove in a primary classroom

This newly published study will interest several of you…

Mackinlay_2014_An ABC of drumming_Children’s narratives about beat, rhythm and groove in a primary classroom

In this paper, Elizabeth Mackinlay (School of Education, University of Queensland) uses a bricolage of arts-based research and writing practices to explore narratives by Grade 4 children about their experiences in a drumming circle called ‘Bam
Bam’ as represented in a text they created with me called An ABC of drumming. The
term ‘narrative’ is used here in a contemporary sense to simultaneously invoke a socially
and musically situated and constructed story (Chase, 2005 p. 657); as an ‘account to self
and others’ (Barrett & Stauffer, 2009, p. 7) about drumming in a particular place, with a
particular group of children during a particular set of events; and, to explore narratives
of drumming as the ‘shared relational work’ of myself as a drummer, teacher, researcher
and ‘story-teller/story-liver’ (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990, p. 12) alongside the children.
In synchronicity with the ABC of drumming produced by the children, the paper itself
is framed and written creatively around letters of the alphabet and variously includes
poetry and data or research poetry; ethnographic ‘thick descriptions’ (Geertz, 1973) of our
drumming circle; and, visual and textual expressions by the children. By doing so, her
aim is to move collectively from ‘narrative as a “story-presented” to narrative as a “form
of meaning-making”, indeed, a form of “mind-making”’ (Barrett & Stauffer, 2009, p. 10)
about the children’s experience of drumming and the drumming circle itself. The central
question underpinning this paper then is, what makes children’s experience in a drumming
circle meaningful, and how do they make sense of such meaning?

Moving to music: effects of heard and imagined musical cues on movement-related brain activity

Front Hum Neurosci 2014 Sep 26;8:774
Moving to music: effects of heard and imagined musical cues on movement-related brain activity

Schaefer RS1, Morcom AM2, Roberts N3, Overy K4,5
1 SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA , USA; 2 School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 3 Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC), Queen’s Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 4 Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, Reid School of Music, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 5 Don Wright Faculty of Music, Department of Music Education, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Music is commonly used to facilitate or support movement, and increasingly used in movement rehabilitation. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that music imagery, which is reported to lead to brain signatures similar to music perception, may also assist movement. However, it is not yet known whether either imagined or musical cueing changes the way in which the motor system of the human brain is activated during simple movements. Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare neural activity during wrist flexions performed to either heard or imagined music with self-pacing of the same movement without any cueing. Focusing specifically on the motor network of the brain, analyses were performed within a mask of BA4, BA6, the basal ganglia (putamen, caudate, and pallidum), the motor nuclei of the thalamus, and the whole cerebellum. Results revealed that moving to music compared with self-paced movement resulted in significantly increased activation in left cerebellum VI. Moving to imagined music led to significantly more activation in pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) and right globus pallidus, relative to self-paced movement. When the music and imagery cueing conditions were contrasted directly, movements in the music condition showed significantly more activity in left hemisphere cerebellum VII and right hemisphere and vermis of cerebellum IX, while the imagery condition revealed more significant activity in pre-SMA. These results suggest that cueing movement with actual or imagined music impacts upon engagement of motor network regions during the movement, and suggest that heard and imagined cues can modulate movement in subtly different ways. These results may have implications for the applicability of auditory cueing in movement rehabilitation for different patient populations.