JMU professors receive funding to develop a web-based music platform


by Erica Kukanich ('23) and Lynn Radocha ('18)


Michael Stewart, Professor of Computer Science, and David Stringham, Professor of Music and Director of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Office of Creative Propulsion, received $40,725 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music.

Stewart and Stringham will compare three different methods to engage students using a web-based platform that will measure the students’ processes of creating, performing and experiencing meaningful personal connections with music.  

“This funding will support the continued development and research of a platform that increases access to quality instrumental music education for students across the state and nation,” Stewart said. With limited funding for arts education nationally, this work aims to support instructors in evaluating individual performance achievement – an improvement on the current practice where most often, instrumental music students are assessed in groups.

“Faculty and students are leveraging their extensive expertise in Human-Computer Interaction — making this platform practical and engaging for students and teachers,” explains Stringham. “It will be more than just an application or a research project — it will become an indispensable resource in music education.”

“An example of JMU’s commitment to the liberal arts, the cross-disciplinary work between computer science and music paves the way for students to have full access to diverse and unique music,” Stewart said.

Benjamin Guerrero, a Preparing the Future Faculty Fellow in JMU’s Office of Access and Inclusion, is leading the content development process for this project.

The project has been presented at the university, state, national, and international levels. The MusicCPR is supported by CVPA, CISE, individual donors, Madison Trust, 4-VA, and the National Association for Music Education. This support has made this project possible. In addition, it supports the proof-of-concept phase and the first version to seek funding for broader impact with the help of other funding agencies.

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Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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