Program in Music, Mind & Society

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The People


Program Steering Committee
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Program Implementation Team
SaraMSB Sara Lynn Beck, MS 
Sara is a Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology & Human Development, Developmental Sciences. Sara’s research focuses on how interpersonal synchrony and lyrical content contribute to prosocial behaviors following musical engagement in preschool-age children. She also studies children’s ability to control pitch when singing under varying conditions of auditory feedback. Learn more about Sara.
Miriam Lense at Vanderbilt Music Mind Society
 Miriam Lense, PhD 
Dr. Lense has a background in classical oboe, violin, and composition. Her research is focused on musical engagement in typically developing individuals and those with or at-risk for developmental disabilities such as autism and Williams syndrome. She is interested in the relationship between music and social engagement, with emphases on the use of rhythm in early social interactions, multisensory musical experiences, and the relationship between auditory sensitivities and emotional/behavioral problems. Learn more about Dr. Lense.

 Ashley M. Hirsch, MA 
Ashley leads research project management and operations for the Music Cognition Laboratory within the Department of Otolaryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Previously, Ashley assisted with communications & marketing, student engagement, and project & event management efforts for the Program for Music, Mind & Society.



 Founding Members
A Chancellor’s Initiative grant was awarded in 2015 to create a Program for Music, Mind & Society at Vanderbilt.

Authors on the proposal:

Ron Eavey, MD – Lead Organizer, TIPs proposal, Director, Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences
Elisabeth Dykens, PhD – Acting Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development
Mark Wallace, PhD – Dean of The Graduate School, Vanderbilt University
Philippe Fauchet, PhD, Dean of School of Engineering, Vanderbilt University
Reyna Gordon, PhD – Director, Music Cognition Lab, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Jay Clayton, PhD – Director, Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nicole Baganz, PhD, Former Research Instructor, Vanderbilt Brain Institute
Emelyne Bingham, MM, Senior Lecturer, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University
Marianne Ploger, MM, Associate Professor, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University