top of page

Lunchtime Research Forum

Previous Forums:

April 17th, 2023: Ran Jiang will be presenting “A Structuralist Explanation Of the ‘Piano Craze’ Phenomenon In Contemporary China."


“Piano craze” is a phenomenon in China that there has been a dramatic rise in the population of Chinese piano youth learners from the 1980s to nowadays (Bai, 2021). Although studies in music education like Bai (2021) comprehensively investigate phenomena of how structure and agency influence individuals’ choices in piano education for the next generation, few of them examine the issues addressed in such phenomena beyond music education. Thus, there is great potential to provide a structural account of the explanation to generalize underlying mechanisms behind the dispersive individualist causes. A structuralist explanation focuses on the mechanism that a certain social structure drives the individuals’ behaviours within the structure (Calnitsky, 2018; Haslanger, 2015). In this study, the use of three social structures will explain the prevalence of the “piano craze” phenomenon in contemporary China. This paper aims to theoretically demystify piano and piano education, and intends to suggest that policymakers should primarily eliminate the inequality of the employment market instead of maintaining the privileges of piano education per se. Further, using a structuralist account to explain an educational phenomenon like the “piano craze” may have its referential significance by revealing social injustice issues that may happen in any context worldwide.



February 6th, 2023: Joel Martinez Lorenzana will be presenting “Music Education and the Platform Society."


In contemporary society, a battle is being waged on several fronts to regulate and mediate public discourse and human interactions, including music education. “[S]ocial and economic interaction increasingly happens through a digital infrastructure that is global and highly interconnected” (Van Dijck et al., 2018, p. 8). The digital infrastructure is referred to as a platform, “a programmable architecture designed to organize interactions between users" (p. 9). However, the organization and mediation in a platform is not neutral, as the system carries a logic that shapes how society is organized (Gehl, 2011). In this paper, I will analyze some effects that platformization is having in the educational sphere, especially in music education. Through textual and media analysis, I will use an interdisciplinary approach, using elements of media studies including connectivism (Siemens, 2005; Goldie, 2016) and learning ecology, to think about how education is being reshaped in the age of platforms.



January 9, 2023: Elisabeth Roberts will be presenting “Musical Scavengers: The Role of the Search in the Age of Recorded Music”.


In his book Music and Capitalism, scholar Timothy Taylor asserts that the practice of “Search” is an important aspect of contemporary music consumption. Although the practice of collecting music is not new, both the searcher and the object of the search have fundamentally changed in the wake of recorded sound. Ample literature discusses the history and socio-political ramifications of recorded sound, but its relationship to narrative and identity has not been investigated as thoroughly. In this project, I explore the concept of the musical “scavenger,” suggesting that recordings have changed the nature of the Search” in music from documentation to identity assimilation. I draw on scholarship in anthropology, philosophy of materialism, history of nostalgia, and recording criticism to illustrate how recorded musical “objects,” originally intended to serve as affirmations of narrative, have now become the materials of identity building itself. 



November 28, 2022: Patrick Huang will be presenting “Musica Universalis Across Eurasia: A Comparison between Ancient Graeco-Roman and Early Chinese Tradition“ via Zoom.


Ancient Greece and China are two shining civilisations with great achievement in musical theory and its possible relation to cosmology. The earliest survived source in Ancient Greece was written by Nicomachus, which associated seven musical pitches within two conjoint tetrachords to seven deities and heavenly objects. The Chinese counterpart, interestingly, was compiled Liu An around a similar historical period. Liu’s theory, however, emphasised on the five basic pitches in traditional Chinese pentatonic scale, and related them to five ancient sages, five planets, as well as five basic elements, and five directions etc. in Chinese thinking to structure a larger system.


Both Nicomachus and Liu were highly influential and being widely accepted and developed by later theorists. However, both systems are more or less far-fetched regarding the specific correlations between musical astronomical ‘orders’, and therefore have to be modified or interpreted accordingly. Therefore, in my presentation, I will briefly compare those two systems, in order to delve into these following questions:

  • What are the main similarities and differences between Nicomachus and Liu An’s thinking on harmonic intervals, and what causes such distinctions?

  • What were the social contexts of the development of such correlation between music and astronomy, and how those theories were accepted by later scholars within such context?

  • When such general theory does not fit the observed data, how did their successors explain such discrepancies?



September 19, 2022: Elisabeth Roberts will be presenting, "Merit, not Genius: The Problem of Romanticized Disabilities and the Genius of Blind Boone" on Monday, September 19th from 12:30-1:30.

Pianist and composer John William Boone (1864–1927) has been historically characterized by his disability, encapsulated in his stage name, “Blind Boone.” Nineteenth-century mainstream society heralded him as a “genius,” appearing to overlook typical views of Black, disabled musicians as “freaks.” Even today, contemporary critics still consider Boone’s musical feats as the work of a “genius.” While seemingly complimentary I propose that the “genius” stereotype carries dehumanizing subtexts. Blind musicians like John Boone have challenged these normative biases, and in learning how his disability enabled a unique fluency in music, his achievements can be considered in an inclusive way.


I draw on scholarship in disabilities studies, cognitive psychology, and phenomenology to first explain how the “genius” stereotype emerged from Western culture’s fixation on sight and individuality as moral virtues. I then explore three elements common to Boone’s concerts: his virtuosic repertoire, his imitations of other instruments and non-musical sounds, and, finally, his ability to play back music he had only heard once. I conclude that deconstructing the “genius” of John Boone allows his accomplishments, not his disability, to become the centerpiece of his career.



March 30, 2022: Pat Feely will be presenting “I’ve Given Up Trying to Find a Quiet Spot”: Adult Beginner Guitarists Self-Regulated Learning Challenges on Wednesday, March 30th from 12:30-1:30. Here is Pat's abstract: 


The purpose of this study was to explore the self-regulated musical learning challenges reported by adult beginner guitarists, to understand how those challenges are negotiated, and to proffer ways of instruction that align with and support those challenges. The six dimensions of self-regulated learning identified by McPherson and Zimmerman (2002) were used as a priori topologies (LeCompte & Preissle, 1993) for coding. Participants from a community guitar orchestra responded to three practice reflection questions weekly over a twelve-week interval. Data indicated that most participants were intrinsically motivated, yet persistent disruptions hindered them from successfully managing their practice time and environment. Possible methods of instruction that take into consideration the life stage challenges faced by adult learners are explored.



March 2nd, 2022: Our second lunchtime research forum is coming up after reading week! Patrick Huang will be presenting: Description of Regional Music Differences in Antiquity: A Comparative Study of Ancient Greece and Early China on Wednesday, March 2nd from 12:30-1:30.



January 26, 2022: SOGSIM is excited to announce its first Forum event of the semester!




SOGSIM is excited to bring back the Lunchtime Research Forum! This semester we will be going virtual to accommodate our community near and far. The forum is a space for graduate students to share research or research ideas and receive feedback from peers. This is a great opportunity to not only share your research in a comfortable environment and get feedback, but to meet people across the school of music! Stay tuned for updates about Lunch Forum for next semester.

All forums will be held virtually over Zoom this semester on Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30. 

Once the presenters are scheduled, the SOGSIM Lunchtime Research Forum Coordinator will email RSVP links to attendees. 

Further questions or comments about the Forum? Get in touch with Donna at:








Hello graduate music students!


My name is Selin Uctu Atiseri and I’ll be coordinating the lunchtime research forum for SOGSIM this year! The forum is a space for graduate students to share research, ideas, music, and receive feedback from peers. This is a great opportunity to not only share your work in a comfortable environment, but to meet people across the school of music!


For the forums this year, we will have four presentation options:


  1. Pre-recorded video—For students who have “fully formed” research, we would like to provide the opportunity to record a professional video. SOGSIM will take care of securing recording equipment and a quiet location to film high-quality videos. These videos will be viewed at the lunchtime forums, but can also be included on students’ professional platforms, websites, or job applications.

  2. Real-time video—This option could also apply to students who have “fully formed” research, but would like their presentation to be filmed in real time.

  3. Sharing is caring—We would like to hear from students who have research ideas, but would like to get suggestions and feedback as they move forward. These presentations would not be previously recorded and students can come and share their drafts, research-in-progress, or ideas.

  4. Performance—This option would be for students who would like a practice-run before any type of concert, recital, or jury.


All forums will be held on Mondays from 12:30-1:30. This year, presenters can choose to present in person, online, or with a hybrid set-up. Last year, we had many presenters invite people who could not attend in person, so a hybrid option could meet the needs of everyone who wants to attend!


We are hoping to have students from all departments participate! If you are interested in presenting, please email me at:


Once we schedule presenters, I will send separate emails with RSVP links for those who want to attend.


Thank you and see you soon!


Thank you,

Selin Uctu Atiseri

bottom of page