MODAL Research

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MODAL: Multimodal Opportunities, Diversity & Artistic Learning
Abbreviation MODAL
Formation 2008
Type Research Project
Purpose Educational
Headquarters Simon Fraser University
  • Canada Burnaby, BC
Coordinates 49°16′48″N 122°54′57″W / 49.27999°N 122.915876°W / 49.27999; -122.915876
Official language
English and French
Project Director
Dr. Susan O'Neill
Research Collaborators
Dr. Yaroslav Senyshyn and Dr. Carol Beynon
Project Coordinator
Deanna C. C. Peluso
Teacher Research Affiliates
Dr. Kevin Besplug and Dr. Elena Ursu
Parent organization
Simon Fraser University
Affiliations University Western Ontario

MODAL is a Canadian research project that researches youth participation and engagement in artistic activities. MODAL is a partnership between Simon Fraser University and co-investigators from University of Laval and Brock University. MODAL is funded by an Insight Grant from the SSHRC.[1]

About MODAL Research[edit]

MODAL Research researchers share a common vision of multimodal learning, multimedia literacies, and integrated arts education as key ingredients in educating young people in today’s digital and globalized world. Our name MODAL emphasizes the interdisciplinary approaches and interconnectivity of perspectives that we bring to our research, which forms a multimodal ensemble “suggestive of discrete parts brought together as a synthesized whole, where modes, like melodies played on different instruments, are interrelated in complex ways” (MODE, 2012).


MODAL Research describes their aims as "we believe that the closer a consumer of knowledge is to the generation of knowledge, the better the uptake of the knowledge, especially when there are different perspectives and worldviews involved. We therefore aim to involve youth in thinking about key issues that impact on their artistic learning and arts engagement and facilitate the exchange of knowledge among youth, academic, and non-academic stakeholders, including: youth and families, artists and arts educators, school district administrators, provincial arts organizations, youth clubs, faith-based organizations, business and industry including technology and digital media, youth media and arts events planning organizations and community policy-makers that affect youth"

RYME - Research for Youth, Music & Education[edit]

RYME' - Research For Youth, Music & Education, is a partnership project with MODAL Research. 'The research for RYME was funded by SSHRC[1] and global partnerships with universities and academic institutions. While MODAL Research exists as its own research group, RYME continues to run in parallel with MODAL's research projects.

Simon Fraser University's Youth Participation In Music Project is a part of the RYME research group and is a partnership between Simon Fraser University's Faculty of Education and the University of Western Ontario's Don Wright Faculty of Music. "A key aim of the research is to develop a more comprehensive approach to music education and young people’s music participation through a “culture of inquiry,” where young people can reconsider musical practices through the lens of critical cultural literacy".[2]

About the people of RYME[edit]

Background of the project director[edit]

The RYME project director, Dr. Susan O'Neill[3] is an international music psychologist and educator who has "expertise in various research approaches involving both quantitative and qualitative methods, longitudinal studies, large-scale survey research, and in-depth qualitative interview studies"[4] Dr. O'Neill's research in youth, music and education was expanded during her time as a Senior Lecturer at Keele University, UK, where she was the director of Young People and Music Participation Research Project[5]

RYME Research collaborators and research project team[edit]

Name University Role Term Start
Dr. Susan O'Neill Simon Fraser University Project Director
Dr. Yaroslav Senyshyn Simon Fraser University Research Collaborator
Dr. Carol Beynon University of Western Ontario Research Collaborator
Deanna C. C. Peluso, M.Ed. Simon Fraser University Project Coordinator
Ian DeLong Simon Fraser University Graduate Research Assistant April 2010
David Erickson Simon Fraser University Graduate Research Assistant April 2010
Jim Sparks Simon Fraser University Graduate Research Assistant April 2011
Bahar Ehsani Simon Fraser University Graduate Research Assistant June 2011
Wen Dee Wong Simon Fraser University Graduate Research Assistant September 2011
Claire Carolan Simon Fraser University Graduate Research Assistant September 2011
Corey Chan Simon Fraser University Graduate Research Assistant January 2012
Samson McCahon Simon Fraser University Undergraduate Research Assistant September 2011
Kristine Vu Simon Fraser University Undergraduate Research Assistant September 2011
Melanie Guyot Simon Fraser University Undergraduate Research Assistant September 2011
Hope Zhang Simon Fraser University Undergraduate Research Assistant January 2012
Laura Smit Simon Fraser University Undergraduate Research Assistant January 2012

Teacher research affiliates[edit]

Name University
Dr. Kevin Besplug Simon Fraser University
Dr. Elena Ursu Simon Fraser University

RYME Research associates[edit]

Name University Country
Dr. Lee Bartel University of Toronto Canada
Dr. Sandra Leanne Bosaki Brock University Canada
Dr. Lucy Green Institute of Education, University of London United Kingdom
Dr. Gary McPherson University of Melbourne Australia

Partnerships and funding[edit]

The research project is in partnership with:

University affiliations[edit]


Research For Youth, Music and Education (Youth Participation In Music) is funded by SSHRC - The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.[6]

SSHRC Awards granted[edit]

  • 2009: Major Collaborative Research Initiatives - Dr. Susan O'Neill[7]
  • 2008: SSHRC Standard Research Grants - Youth Participation in Music - Awarded to Dr. Susan O'Neill[8]

Past research[edit]

Previous research projects of Research for Youth, Music & Education include:

Keele University, United Kingdom[edit]

The Young People and Music Participation Project at Keele University:


  1. ^ a b Western News Communications. Research to help young people tune in, Western News, London, ON, 2 September 2008. Retrieved on 2010-02-12.
  2. ^ *Youth Participation In Music - Research Project Profiles at Simon Fraser University
  3. ^ Queen's University - Gender, Education, Music & Society Biographies
  4. ^ University Of Western Ontario - The Don Wright Faculty of Music - Faculty Biography: Susan O'Neill.
  5. ^ Google Books: Mahoney, J. L., Larson, R. W. & Eccles, J. S. (2005). Organized activities as contexts of development: Extracurricular activities, after school and community programs. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., Publishers.
  6. ^ ProActive Disclosure for SSHRC's Grants and Contributions/Divulgation proactive des subventions et des contributions du CRSH 04/01/2008 - 06/30/2008
  7. ^ Winning Research: Major Collaborative Research Initiatives - SSHRC
  8. ^ SSHRC Awards Search Engine: Details of Project - Youth Participation in Music. Applicant: Dr. Susan O'Neill, Dr. Carol Beynon, Dr. Yaroslav Senyshyn
  9. ^ O’Neill, S. (2001). Young people and music participation project: Practitioner report and summary of findings (Report by the Unit for the Study of Musical Skill and Development). Keele University. Retrieved from Youth, Music and Education website:
  10. ^ Keele University, UK - School of Psychology: The Young People and Music Participation Report

External links[edit]