Beyond the coursework and the structured curriculum, the Acoustical Studies program culminates with the Acoustics Design Practicum. Throughout the second year of study, beginning even in the summer interval, each student develops, executes, and publicly defends an individualized research and application project, in an area of acoustics suited to his/her specific interests.

The Acoustics Design Practicum is a graduate-level, student-motivated endeavor, with oversight, advising, and shepherding by both an internal and an external advising team, assembled by each student. As the capstone to the Acoustical Studies program, each practicum endeavor is a type of applied research investigation, analysis and/or design. Practicum proposals are developed (and approved) during the fall semester of the second year, and projects are substantially executed during the final spring term. Successful practicum pursuits effectively intersect ideas and content from the program, with each student’s specific interest areas in acoustics. Students will have ongoing assistance and guidance on selecting, developing and executing the practicum pursuit.

Some recent and ongoing areas of research investigation at Peabody, include:

  • Concert hall design, history and analysis
  • Relating objective acoustic metrics to perceived human experience
  • Acoustic design for expanding and changing music performance
  • Comparison and reliability between room acoustic measurements and models
  • Reliable and repeatable low-frequency room acoustic measurements
  • The impact of digital sampling rate on human perception in recorded classical media
  • Comparison of Speech Transmission Index (STI) measurement techniques
  • Analysis, assessment and adaptation of an historic church building for varied performance and community use
  • Tuning and intonation challenges in clarinets
  • Acoustics for multi-function, adaptable and flexible uses and spaces
  • Acoustic environments for learning
  • Acoustic environments for healing, recovery and sleep
  • Urban noise and the human condition

An illustration of a concert hall from a bird's eye view