Research Projects

I am involved in a variety of ongoing research projects that investigate the social, historical, cultural, and anatomical implications of music performance and composition. 

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melodic variation in irish music

I am continuing to transcribe and analyze the historical trajectories of the practice of melodic variation in Irish Traditional instrumental dance music from the early 20th century to the present.

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Music and cognitive neuroscience

I am collaborating with neuroscientists and psychologists at the University of Oregon to begin an investigation that seeks to discover the anatomical bases for musicians' abilities to detect variation in melody in qualitative dimensions.

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Performance pedagogy

I continue to research and develop methods and approaches to help students of Irish traditional music improve clarity of rhythm, precision of ornamentation, and tune memorization so that they can perform comfortably in solo and group settings.


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illen odyssey