In addition to music and viola, my other passion is neuroscience, especially the study of music and the brain. I am especially interested in how neuroscience can help musicians get the most out of their daily practice and also how musicians’ brains differ from non-musicians’ brains.

Here are two recent papers that I wrote for the Journal of the American Viola Society:

Performing from Memory Doesn’t Have to be Terrifying: How Understanding the Science of Memory Can Help

Interleaved Practice: The Best Practice Method for Reliable Performance

TL;DR: if you don’t want to read the full articles above (although I encourage you to!), below are summary sheets for each:

Memorization Summary Sheet

Interleaved Practice Summary

While a graduate student at NEC, I wrote two papers on topics having to do with music and the brain, which you can read by downloading the PDFs below. Both need updates and revisions because of the constantly evolving research, so check back periodically for new and improved versions!

What Musicians can Learn about Practicing from Current Brain Research

The Differences Between Musicians and Nonmusicians Brains

If you’re looking for a quick (and more up to date) summary of the practicing paper, this is what you want:

Practicing Presentation Summary Sheet

And if you’re looking for a huge list of practice ideas (which is by no means exhaustive), here it is:

The Amazing List of Practice Techniques

I also co-authored a paper with Dr. Anthony Brandt and Dr. L. Robert Slevc, published in the fall of 2012, that argues that language is a kind of music, not the other way around like everyone always claims. You can download that paper here:

Music and Early Language Acquisition in Frontiers in Psychology

When it comes to purely musical scholarship, my primary area of interest is viola pedagogy, specifically how to prepare advanced violist for the challenges of their largely 20th-century solo repertoire. I wrote my dissertation on the topic, which you can download and read here:

Rethinking Viola Pedagogy: Preparing Violists for the Challenges of Twentieth-Century Music