Laura Canelo Cohen

Laura Canelo Cohen, Doctor of Musical Arts student

Enhances remote music lessons

Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Faculty mentor/advisor: Dr. Christine Getz and Dr. Jean-Francois Charles
What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Doctor of Musical Arts in Flute Performance / May 2021
Please describe your research: My research uses the spectrogram, a visual representation of sound, as a pedagogical tool to improve sound consistency and flexibility on the flute.
In simple terms, why does this research matter? For centuries, tone pedagogy has been based on intuition, and we, the teachers, have relied on the ear and the use of subjective verbal descriptions to help students develop their sound. My research has the potential of enhancing flute tone pedagogy by using a visual representation of sound that shows objective and clear information about tone. It provides the musician visual cues for making the necessary adjustments in achieving tone consistency and flexibility.
How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I was able to participate in research during my first year at the University of Iowa. I had the opportunity to conduct ethnographic research in Jewish music, religion, and culture. Since then, I have completed research in a diverse range of topics.  It has been an enriching and invigorating experience from the first day!
How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Being exposed to so many different academic sources and learning about the ways in which I can engage in research as a musician has expanded the way I think about musical research and education. It has allowed me to understand that the possibilities are not limited to the established methods, but that I can challenge and deepen them, both in pedagogy and performance. It has helped me succeed as a student and as an artist.
What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? My career goal is to continue to inspire new ways of approaching flute pedagogy and music education. I plan on continuing to collaborate in chamber music and solo performances and help shape the next generation of flutists by teaching at the college level.
Does your research have connections to or implications for COVID-19? Please explain. Yes. With the current pandemic my research promises to be a timely solution for students who are taking remote music lessons all around the world. The visual representations of the flute sound provided by the spectrogram application will help teachers instruct their students remotely and will increase the student’s efficiency in practice from lesson to lesson.


Every good and perfect gift comes from God.”

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