Research Projects

Rachel Crawford and Laura Schofield who are Music and Math Teachers in Lowell MA collaborate on developing curriculum for’s Groove Pizza- Listen to Podcast

IMG_1624      MSM_Logo     IMG_1622Making Music Count: From Action to Symbol

The activities in Making Music Count provide opportunities for teachers and students to explore and develop assumptions, intuitions and understandings regarding the mathematics in music. Many musical relationships involve the concepts of proportion, ratio, fractions and common multiples. These concepts are often challenging for children ages 8-12. We suggest here that the interactive computer music program Impromptu can become a mediator in helping students understand these important concepts by actually hearing the math.

Center for Autism Research and Education (CARE)care_betterscreenshot
Making Music Count:  A Math & Music Curriculum Project for the Thelonious Monk Institute’s Math Science Music Initiative
Cambodian Culture Project: Music/Dance/Videography

Discovering Cultural Identity and Self Identity: Creating Spaces for Cambodian-American Adolescents to explore their Cultural and Artistic Heritage

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Performamatics: Computational Thinking Through Computers and Music

Develop and disseminate ways to enhance students’ grasp of computational thinking by engaging them in fundamental concepts that unite computing and music. 

Performamatics is a collaboration between the UMass Lowell Computer Science, Art, Music, and English departments in the area of exhibition and performance technologies. The common thread in Performamatics projects is that many tasks, performed by multiple people, must come together on a tight schedule by a specific date to achieve a desired result. Performamatics also implies that each team member must “perform” his or her task in a way that can be integrated into a final product, regard less of whether that team member participates visibly in the culminating event.

Our approach leverages students’ near universal interest in music as a context and spring-board for rich computational thinking (CT) experiences. Prior work in an NSF CPATH project has shown this approach to be effective at creating value in both discipline-specific courses for Computer Science (CS) and Music majors and GenEd courses for all majors. New research will develop additional activities designed to deepen students’ experiences in both computing and music and techniques for evaluating learning through those activities. We also propose to disseminate our work through sponsored workshops for 4- and 2-year (community college) faculty.

Sound Thinking Class


This work is supported by NSF Award 1118435 Tues Type II Project: Computational Thinking Through Computers and Music

iPads in the Classroom: Is There an App For That?

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To promote the use of music technology in the classroom as a dynamic tool for engaging students in creative music making activities, the researchers propose to collaborate on the use of iPads in elementary and middle school classrooms and study the effect of their implementation on school students and partnership stakeholders. The researchers, who are from two different university music education programs, will investigate each of their program’s two school-university partnership sites. Technology-based professional learning communities (PLCs) will be created to collaboratively engage undergraduate and graduate students, cooperating teachers, and university faculty in field-based research on developing curriculum and teaching strategies supportive of students’ intuitive understanding of music using iPads.


The SoundScape program is an interdisciplinary, university based music intervention for high-functioning adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Ashleigh Hillier, Ph.D. (UML Department of Psychology) and I (UML Department of Music) direct the “SoundScape Program” at UMass Lowell. SoundScape is for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (e.g. Asperger’s syndrome) aged between 13-30 years. The SoundScape program runs in October each year, once a week for eight weeks from 4.00-5.30pm at UMass Lowell south campus. There is a $50 fee to participate in SoundScape (scholarships are available for those who cannot afford the fee). SoundScape also provides an informal parent group which meets at the same time and place.

SoundScape is one of the projects featured in the United Nations Institute for Caring Communities’ Music As a Global Resource Compendium

SoundScape Website