Texas Tech University

Performing Arts Research Lab MembersPerforming Arts Research Lab Members

Lab Members


Dr. David Sears

Dr. David R. W. Sears

I am Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Music Cognition, where I teach courses in arts psychology, arts informatics, and music theory. My current projects examine topics like music and language, music and emotion, and music on the radio, and my work often adapts behavioral and computational methods from fields like psycholinguistics and natural language processing. Recent publications appear in my Google Scholar profile.

Dr. Peter A. Martens

Dr. Peter A. Martens

Peter Martens is Associate Professor of Music Theory at Texas Tech University and serves as Associate Dean for Faculty, Research, and Creative Activity in the Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts. Dr. Martens holds a B.M. in Music Education and a B.A. in Classics from Lawrence University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the History and Theory of Music from the University of Chicago.  Dr. Martens's research investigates the communication of musical rhythm and meter as a compositional, performative, and perceptual joint venture, and he is author of the forthcoming edition and translation of a 17th-c. treatise on rhythm, Isaac Vossius's 1673 De poematum cantu et viribus rythmi (On the Music of Poetry and Power of Rhythm), Routledge, 2022.


Lab Manager

Elizabeth Acosta 

Elizabeth Acosta (Fine Arts, InterARts)

Elizabeth previously completed degrees in Applied Psychology of Music from the University of Leeds and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. She is continuing her interdisciplinary research with the InterArts track of the Fine Arts Doctoral Program, studying music and psychology. Her current research interests include exploring the role of sound in film, video games, and other audiovisual media and its effect on cognition and behavior.


Current Students

 Brad Cawyer

Brad Cawyer, Ph.D. (Conducting)

Brad comes to Texas Tech with more than a decade of experience in orchestral conducting, having completed a specialist's diploma at the Saint-Petersburg State Conservatory named after Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. While pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in the TTU School of Music, he is also completing graduate certificates in Interdisciplinary Arts, Music Cognition, and Opera Performance. Brad's research in PeARL has explored cross-modal correspondences with instrumental timbre, as well as the impact of traumatic brain injury on music cognition. Additional interests include experimental design and developing a cognitive theory of conducting.

 Devin Guerrero, Ph.D.

Devin Guerrero, Ph.D. (Fine Arts, Music Theory)

Devin received a bachelor's in music theory and in music education at the University of North Texas before working as an orchestra and choir director in Austin Independent School District. He recently earned his master's in music theory from the University of Colorado, Boulder. His current research interests include music and lyrics relation, perception in musical subcultures, phrase & meter in hip hop, topic theory in progressive metal, and improvisation in aural skills pedagogy. Devin enjoys playing bass in jazz, folk, classical, and pop styles.

Justin Glosson, Ph.D.

Justin Glosson, Ph.D. (Fine Arts, Musicology)

His current research interests include modal affect, shared rhetorical structure in ritual and performance practice, and early music performance practice. He enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, MMORPGS, improvising contemplative music, and composing for the harp.

Kathryn Kelley, Ph.D.

Kathryn Kelley, Ph.D. (Fine Arts, Critical Studies & Artistic Practice)

As founding president of Houston's nonprofit BOX13 ArtSpace for experimental exhibitions and art studios, as professor of art foundations at SHSU, and as practicing visual artist, the central concentration of Kathy's research for the past ten years explores behaviors that may strengthen creative processes, persistence, and psychological health.

Alissa Stolt, MM

Alissa Stolt, MM (Music Theory)

Alissa is in her second year of her Master of Music degree with a Music Theory concentration. Her research interests revolve largely around timbre, including timbre in popular music and the cognition of timbre.



 Kathryn Kelley

Lucas Hess, BA/MA Student (Psychology)

Lucas' research interests include how music affects the emotion recognition of people as well as applied audio and vigilance research in human factors psychology.

Hannah Percival, PhD


Hannah Percival, Ph.D. (Fine Arts, Music Theory)

Hannah has earned graduate degrees in counseling and piano pedagogy (in progress). During study breaks in PeARL, she is usually playing with fidget cubes while pondering puns.


Jonathan Verbeten

Jonathan Verbeten Ph.D. (Fine Arts, Musicology)

With a background in music history, jazz piano, and music theory, Verbeten brings a wide array of skills to the lab. When not working at the PeARL, he enjoys spending time with his two little girls and engaging with the Lubbock music scene by playing jazz gigs with his wife and their quartet.

Sylvia Weintraub

Sylvia Weintraub, Ph.D. (Fine Arts, Critical Studies, & Artistic Practice)

Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree at Texas Tech, Sylvia was a studio artist with a concentration in conceptualism and socially engaged art. At TTU, Sylvia is a member of the PeARL lab where she conducts research on online DIY and craft culture.