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Susan A. O’Neil

Susan A. O’Neil

Principal Investigator – MODAL Research Group

Email: sao@sfu.ca          Phone: 778-782-4115
Office: EDB 7503 – Faculty of Education – 8888 University Drive Simon Fraser University


Susan O’Neill is an Associate Professor in Arts Education in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University in Canada. She has been working in the area of artistic learning and musical development for ovear 20 years with an emphasis on fostering youth arts and music engagement in ways that explore and contribute to expansive learning opportunities, motivation and transformative engagement, positive values, well-being, personal and social identities, intergenerational relationships, digital media and multimodal creative collaborations, and cultural understandings. She is Director of Multimedia Opportunities and Diversity in Artistic Learning Research (MODALresearch.com), Research for Youth, Music and Education (RYMEyouth.com) and the Arts Matter Learning Projects. She has been awarded visiting fellowships at the University of Michigan, USA (2001-03) and the University of Melbourne, Australia (2012). She is Research Commissioner for the International Society for Music Education (ISME) and Senior Editor of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association (CMEA) Biennial Book Series, Research to Practice. She has published widely in the fields of music psychology, youth development, and arts education.

Research activities

  • Mapping Artistic Learning in Diverse Contexts
  • Creating Expansive Learning Opportunities In and Through the Arts
  • Transformative Arts and Music Engagement in a Digital Age
  • New Directions for Musical Futures: Inquiry, Reflection and Dialogue
  • Intergenerational Arts and Singing Programs: Creative Collaborations for Connection and Communication

Awards and fellowships

  • Understanding Artistic Learning and Youth Arts Engagement in a Digital Age (SSHRC Insight Grant 435-2012-0837, $396,999) Principle Investigator (Co-Investigators: Yaroslav Senyshyn, SFU; Sandra Bosacki, Brock University, Valerie Peters, Laval University)
  • Artistic Learning Dialogues (Supported by ArtsStarts, Arts Umbrella, Vancouver Biennale, Sarah McLachlan School of Music, Access to Media Education (AMES), Langley Fine Arts School)
  • Arts Matter Learning Projects (Presidents Research Grant, Simon Fraser University; $15,000)
  • Intergenerational Arts Program: Past, Present and Future of Work on the Waterfront (SSRHC Partnership Development Grant 890-2011-0154, $199,970) Co-Investigator (Principle Investigator: Peter Hall)
  • Transformative Arts Engagement (SSHRC and Vancouver Biennale, $20,000) Principle Investigator
  • Research for Youth, Music and Education (RYME): Youth Participation in Music (SSHRC Standard Research Grant 410-2008-729, $94,000) Principle Investigator (Co-Investigators Yaroslav Senyshyn, SFU; Carol Beynon, UWO)
  • Exploring Multimodal Learning Opportunities and Generativity in an Intergenerational Singing Program (Advancing Interdisciplinary Research on Singing (AIRS), SSHRC Major Collaborator Research Initiatives, $2.5 million) Co-Investigator (Project Leader: Rachel Heydon, UWO; Principle Investigator, Annabel Cohen, UPEI)
  • Youth, Music and Sociocultural Ecologies: Towards a Theory of Transformative Music Engagement
  • New Directions for Musical Futures: Inquiry, Reflection, Dialogue and the Three B’s (Braiding, Blending, Blurring)

Graduate Research Assistants (2011 – 2012):

  • PELUSO, Deanna (PhD) Project Coordinator: Research for Youth, Music and Education (RYME) and MODAL Research Group (Multimedia Opportunities and Diversity in Artistic Learning)
  • SPARKS, Jim (PhD) Arts Matter Learning Projects and Artistic Learning Dialogues
  • COBB, Gordon (PhD) Arts Matter Learning Projects, Videographer
  • ERICKSON, David (PhD) Music Matters at Minnekhada Middle School
  • DELONG, Ian (PhD) CMEA Biennial Book Series Editorial Assistant
  • DYER, Sue (M.Ed.) Intergenerational Arts Programs
  • CAROLAN, Claire (M.Ed.) AIRS and Intergenerational Arts Programs
  • EHSANI, Bahar (M.Ed.) Interview Study of Youth Engagement in Music
  • WONG, Wen Dee (M.Ed.) Vancouver Biennale
  • CHAN, Corey (M.A.) Literature Reviews

Undergraduate Research Assistants (2011 – 2012)

  • AMBRIZ, Jesus
  • GUYOT, Melanie
  • McCAHON, Samson
  • SMIT, Laura
  • VU, Kristine
  • ZHANG, Hope
  • ZHANG, Shanshan