Andrea Calilhanna

Research Student -  PhD 

Research Program: Brain Sciences

Thesis Title

Teaching Musical Meter Through Visualisations and Sonifications of Mathematical Music Theory using Computer Software Applications to School-Age Students.

Research Project

My PhD aims to develop the work in my thesis ‘Teaching Musical Meter to School-Age Students Through the Ski-Hill Graph’ (2018) which showed that modern meter theory (Cohn, 2019) is informed by the listener’s psychoacoustic and embodied experience of sound rather than notation. I demonstrate how modern meter theory can convert into a coherent and practically implementable pedagogical curriculum with various advantages for music students of all ages. As discussed in my thesis (2018) meter, as taught in schools, tertiary institutions and music studios, at some point defers to notational understandings rather than to focus on sound. Notation-based understandings of meter propagates two problems which I aim to address in my research: the disconnect between music theory, pedagogy and learning, and the absence of the scholarly discussion of the world’s music because most music is not notated. To do this, my research also explores other important musical concepts such as rhythm, pitch, tonality, texture and timbre to demonstrate how Cohn’s (Yale) mathematical music theory and Andrew Milne’s (WSU) specially designed applications provide a viable solution.


  • Master of Music (Musicology) The University of Sydney, 2018
  • Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary Teaching - Music) Queensland University of Technology
  • Diploma of Music (Griffith University); Licentiate Diploma of Music Australia
  • Associate Diploma of Music Australia; Acoustical Society of America (Full Member)
  • Member of the Music Teachers' AssocIation NSW (Council)
  • Fellow of The Collegiate of Specialist Music Educators.
  • Piano adjudicator; piano accompanist; and 30 years' of music teaching experience.


For a full list of my publications, please click here.

Phone+61 2 9772 6107
LocationWestern Sydney University Bankstown campus (Bullecourt Ave, Milperra)