Coordinator of the Education and Pedagogy Sector and Professor, director of the Piano Pedagogy Research Laboratory and coordinator of the musical education sector, School of Music

1995 – PhD Education Foundations, University of Montreal
1997 – Post-Doctoral Studies in Piano Pedagogy, University of Montreal

Pérez 309

Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3483

Work E-mail:


Cross-appointment in Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses. 

Gilles Comeau received his Ph.D. on the Foundations of Music Education in 1995 and completed Post-Doctoral studies in piano pedagogy from 1995-1997 with Marc Durand and Gilles Manny. Dr. Comeau has been the beneficiary of many research grants, including a large grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to set up a 1.2 million dollars research laboratory in piano pedagogy. As head of this infrastructure, he has established partnership with many other research laboratories and research institutes and set-up different multidisciplinary research groups that study various aspects of piano learning and piano teaching: music reading, motivation, physiological aspect of piano performance, piano-playing health injuries, video-mediated learning. He has written various scholarly research papers and his research findings have received coverage in popular media outlets (television, radio and newspapers). He has authored many books, including Piano Pedagogy: A Research and Information Guide;Comparing Dalcroze, Orff and Kodály; the five volume series Histoire illustrée de la musique pour les jeunes musiciens and over 20 education kits to be used by music and arts teachers.

Courses taught

  • Brain and Music
  • Pain and Injury Prevention for Musicians
  • Basics in Piano Pedagogy
  • Research in Music Reading
  • Research Methodologies in Music Pedagogy

Current scholarly and professional activities

  • Member of the Senate, St-Paul University
  • Associate member of the International Laboratory of Brain, Music, and Sound Research (BRAMS)
  • Editor of Focus on Research, an on-line scientific journal of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Associations (CFMTA)
  • Member of the scientific committee of La revue musicale de l'Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique (OICRM)
  • Member of the editorial board of the journal Arts Biomechanics
Ongoing research

Total grants (external and internal): $ 4,017,475

Total external research funding (1990- ): $ 3,352,548

Total internal research funding (2001-2015): $ 664,927

Projects funded by (SSHRC) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada:

2017: Conférence Internationale sur les études dalcroziennes (International Conference of Dalcroze Studies - ICDS) : l'improvisation sous toutes ses frmes (Principal applicant : Josée Vaillancourt).

2016-2019: Music performnce: When things go wrong, can somatic teaching result in improved performance and increased comfort while playing.

2015-2020: La lectere musical : du débutant à l'expert.

2015: Musician : Born or Made? Symposium

2011-2013: L’apprentissage de la lecture musicale chez les jeunes pianistes

Projects funded by MITACA ACCELERATE internship submission:

2009: Measuring young piano students’ degree of motivation and their interest in piano-related activities

2007-2010 : The development of music reading skills in young piano students.(Co-applicants Ramesh Balasbramaniam, Alain Desrochers)

2003-2005 : L’objet d’étude de la pédagogie du piano

Funds for the Piano Pedagogy Research Laboratory:

  • Ann Southam Reading Fund
  • Robert Taylor’s Musician Health Fund
  • Sylva Gelber Foundation
Selected publications


Comeau, G.Comparaison de trois approches d'éducation musicale: Jacques-Dalcroze, Orff ou Kodaly? 1995. Translation in English (1996), translation in Chinese (2012).

Comeau, G. et al., Piano pedagogy: A research and information guide, New York, Routledge, 2009

Comeau, G., Covert, R., Histoire illustrée de la musique pour les jeunes musiciens, Volume 1 to 5, Ottawa, ON, Centre franco-ontarien de ressources pédagogiques, 1999.

Articles (since 2012)

Beacon, J., Comeau, G., Payeur, P., & Russell, D. (2017).  Assessing the suitability of Kinect for measuring the impact of a week-long Feldenkrais Method workshop on pianists’ posture and movement. Journal of Music, Technology, and Education, 10(1), 51-72.

Mielke, S., & Comeau, G. (2017). Developing a literature-based glossary and taxonomy for the study of mental practice in music performance. Musicae Scientiae, 16p.

Comeau, G. (2017). Colorful illustrations in piano method books: A pilot project investigating eye focus. Canadian Music Educator, 16p.

(Reprinted from Music Teachers National Association e-Journal, 2014, pp. 2-26.)

*MTNA e-Journal Article of the year, 2015

Dempsey, D., & Comeau, G. (2017). How professional pianists experience music performance anxiety. Piano Pedagogy Forum, 18(1), 17p.

Woronchak, M., & Comeau, G. (2016). The value of reflective journaling with advanced piano students. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 17(6), 792-805.

Comeau, G., & Huta, V. (2015). Addressing common parental concerns about factors that could influence piano students’ autonomous motivation, diligence and performance. Intersections, 35(1), 27-52.

Comeau, G. (2015). Les nouvelles technologies: des outils prometteurs pour la recherche en pédagogie musicale. Orphée Apprenti, Les Cahiers du GRiAM. 5, 16-24.

Parkes, E., Comeau, G. (2015) The Inuit keyboarding project: A cross-cultural distance teaching experience, Journal of Technology in Music Learning. 5(2).

Mielke, S., Comeau, G. (2015). Away from the piano: Literature review of the role of mental practice. Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations.

Comeau, G. (2014). Colorful illustrations in piano method books: A pilot project investigating eye focus*. Music Teachers National Association e-Journal. 2-26.

*MTNA e-Journal Article of the year, 2015

Comeau, G., Huta, V., Liu, Y., Work ethic and motivation in Chinese and North American children learning to play the piano, International Journal of Music Education.

Wheatley-Brown, M., Comeau, G., Russell, D., An analysis of terminology used to describe tension and relaxation in piano technique, Arts Biomechanics.

Emond, B., Comeau, G. (2013). Cognitive modelling of early music reading skill acquisition for piano: A comparison of the Middle-C and intervallic methods, Cognitive Systems Research.

Nassrallah, F., Comeau, G., Russel, D., Cossette, I. (2013). Coordination between breathing and difference movement markers during pianists' performance tasks, Perceptual & Motor Skills. 116(1), 1-20.

Comeau, G. (2012) Playing by ear in the Suzuki Method: Supporting evidence and concerns in the context of piano playing, Canadian Federation of Music Teacher's Association. 62(3), 31 p.

Comeau, G., Suzuki's mother-tongue approach: Concerns about the natural learning process, Canadian Federation of Music Teacher's Association. 63(1), 15 p.

Ahken, S., Comeau, G., Hébert, S., Balasubramaniam, R. (2012) Observable eye-movement patterns during the processing of linguistic and musical syntactic incongruities, Psychomusicology: Music, Mind & Brain. 22(1), 18-25.

Fields of Interest

  • Analysis of Piano Book Series
  • Piano Performance Measurement
  • Motion-Visualizing Software
  • On-Site and Distance Piano Teaching
  • Music Reading in Method Books
  • Measuring Music Reading Performance
  • Eye-Movement Patterns
  • Music Prodigies
  • Deaf Children
  • Measuring Students’ Motivation
  • Playing-Related Injuries
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Hearing Sensitivity Among Student Musicians
  • Evaluating Somatic Training
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