Congratulations to Susanna Klein (BM ’93), assistant professor of violin and coordinator of strings, who has been honored with a VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund award. With the backing of the university, Klein plans to study musicians’ abilities to regulate and monitor their practice habits by developing a mobile app for use during practice.
With 15 years of orchestral experience, Klein has been motivated to engage in research that leverages developments in health and digital technology. She aims to improve how musicians learn in order to lessen the rate of playing-related injuries. Klein believes a healthy practice regimen is not only key to being a better musician, but also key to better understanding the world.
“It’s really about self-efficacy,” she says, “and slowing down enough to analyze your behavior and form habits that you can be proud of.”
The PeRQ Fund, awarded by VCU, is granted to faculty seeking support for new, emerging or continuing research. For the mobile app project, Klein received $50,000 in funding to support her research. Her proposal, budget and partnership development was facilitated by the Arts Research Institute. She is collaborating with Assistant Professor of Music Education Sandy Goldie, Viola Instructor Molly Sharp and a partnering mobile company to bring the concept to fruition.
“Arts research is broad,” says Klein. “I think it’s creative output, whether it’s writing a piece of music, or performing. It’s bringing something abstract into the concrete. It’s seeing how the arts are connected to other industries. It’s also about pedagogy, and understanding how the arts fit into the human experience.”
Photo by Terry Brown.