Faculty of Music

Ph D. Profiles

Matthew David Becker

PhD Candidate, Music Theory

Research Interests / Specializations: Matthew David Becker (MMus University of Saskatchewan; BMus McMaster) is a contemporary classical composer and a PhD Student in Composition at Western who started to show an interest in composing during his teen years, where he drew a lot of inspiration from classical music, film music, and commercial music. Recent projects include an orchestral composition that is to be premiered in March 2014 by the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, a work that was composed during his studies at Western. Research interests include composing lush works for chamber ensembles, and becoming more involved in the domain of electroacoustic music.

Jillian Bracken

Doctoral Candidate, Music Education

Research Interests / Specializations: Ms. Bracken’s in-process dissertation examines how parents communicate guidelines for their children’s consumption of music and what kind of intergenerational legacy is created within families through the communication and enforcement of music restrictions and allowances. Outside of her dissertation research, her other research interests include community music, sociology of/and music, vocal pedagogy, and musical theatre history.

Lauren Cooke

PhD Candidate, Music Theory

Research Interests / Specializations: My research focuses on analytical methodologies involving narrative or dramatic criticism, mimesis, and analogy and conceptual metaphor to discuss musical structure

Jennifer Hutchison

PhD Candidate, Music Education

Research Interests / Specializations: Jennifer’s research focuses on musical agency and engagement across generations using non-traditional forms of music education programs. Her research combines support from a psychological framework of the Self-Determination Theory with a sociological perspective of agency in order to examine the relationship of engagement and musical agency for the prospect of enriching musical education programs

Heesun Elisha Jo

PhD Candidate, Music Education

Research Interests / Specializations: Understanding how cultural meanings of creativity, identity construction, and diasporas intersect. Taking on a diasporic perspective, she hopes to place a renewed emphasis on differences, hybridity, and transformations that involve re/de/constructions of identities. In her proposed research, musical practices serve as a venue for exploring immigrant groups' identities that are socio-culturally situated, and continuously fabricated.

Renee Kruisselbrink

Doctoral Student, Piano Performance

Research Interests / Specializations: Renee J. Kruisselbrink holds a Masters degree in piano performance from the University of Toronto and is a Gold Medal graduate, also in performance, from Wilfrid Laurier University. Now in her first year of the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in piano performance at Western University, Renee studies with Prof. Stéphan Sylvestre and Dr. Brett Kingsbury. Renee's research project focuses on the nationalist and religious meaning in selected piano works of Sergei Rachmaninov. Entitled Rachmaninov's Piano Works and Russian Cultural Identity on the Edge of Revolution: Elegy, Unity, and Memory during the Imperial Crisis of the 1890s through 1910s, the project will explore the piano works both in their original context and contemporary performances. A winner of many performance and academic awards, Renee maintains a private music studio in Kitchener-Waterloo, and is active as a solo and collaborative performer. She is the pianist of Trio AquaDulci.

Peter Lea

PhD Candidate, Music Theory

Research Interests / Specializations: His current research interests include the music of George Crumb, late twentieth-century music, transformational theory, intertextuality, and animation of music-theoretic processes.

Emilie Marshall

Doctoral Student, Music Theory

Research Interests / Specializations: My dissertation, “The Structural Role of Spectra in Vivier’s Late Works,” explores the harmonic and temporal influence of French Spectralism in Lonely Child (1980), Bouchara (1981), Wo bist du Licht (1981) and Trois airs pour un opéra imaginaire (1982). In particular, I examine the intricate relationships between timbre and harmony, harmonicity and inharmoncity, rhythm and duration, and how Vivier’s treatment of spectra (what he calls les couleurs) exploits these relationships to create new form-defining textures. Also, tone representation, soundscape, speech sound metaphors, semiotics and philosophy of music.

Elizabeth Mitchell

PhD Candidate, Music Education

Research Interests / Specializations: Liz’s master’s research, entitled “Therapeutic Music Education: An Emerging Model Linking Philosophies and Experiences of Music Education with Music Therapy” (2007), explored university music students’ experiences of personal growth within their private studio lessons and connected these experiences with music therapy theory. Recognizing a continuing need for increased professional discourse between the fields of music therapy and music education, Liz plans to continue to explore these themes in her doctoral research. In particular, Liz is interested in the processes through which music-making, and the relationships formed through music-making, within both community-based and university contexts, create and maintain personal wellbeing. Other academic interests include community music therapy, social justice, choral and voice pedagogy, special education, and music therapy in mental health.

Nur Intan Murtadza

Doctoral Candidate, Music Education

Research Interests / Specializations: World Music Pedagogy, Improvisation, Cultural Theory, Sociology of Music, Community Arts and Ethnomusicology

John Pippen

PhD Candidate, Musicology

Research Interests / Specializations: Performance, the body, labour politics, and new music’s unique cultural history all come together in a study that argues for a new artistic movement, a postmodern avant-garde.

Nan Qi

PhD Candidate, Music Education

Research Interests / Specializations: Immigration issues, community music, social justice, lifelong learning, music psychology and piano pedagogy

Daniel Rosen

PhD Candidate

Research Interests / Specializations: Daniel Rosen's research centres around the creation of Electronic Dance Music (EDM), specifically through record production. His dissertation is on the musical creativity of recording practice in EDM creation, a topic few scholars have tackled. Daniel is also involved in legal scholarship surrounding copyright law in Canada and how it relates to EDM creation and use. Daniel has written for the academic journal Dancecult.

Abigail Shupe

PhD Candidate, Music Theory

Research Interests / Specializations: Newtonianism in Rameau’s Génération Harmonique, philosophers such as Descartes and Newton and history of music theory

Andrzej Tereszkowski

PhD Candidate, Instrumental and Electroacoustic Composition

Research Interests / Specializations: Literary theory of Mikhail Bakhtin to narrative musical forms by applying the Dialogic framework to composition

Matthew Tozer

PhD Candidate, Composition

Research Interests / Specializations: My current research interest is in the hybridization of traditional forms and instruments in a 20th century manner. I am currently at work on a composition for Viola da Gamba and String Chamber Orchestra for my PhD dissertation. The structure of this work is a unique hybridization of concerto and dance suite elements in structure and detail, and is intended to showcase noteworthy differences in the performance technique and timbre of the viola da gamba from today’s modern string instruments. My past research interests have been in the concept of time, specifically, the distortion or suspension of the sense of time. I’m interested in the way in which one musical idea or motif can slowly transform over a long period of time into another one, but have the rate of change be so slow that is almost inaudible. I have experimented with this idea in some of my past compositions for string quartet and mixed chamber groups and would like to continue to explore this avenue upon completion of my dissertation