Wynnpaul Varela holds a PhD in Education specializing in music studio instruction and age-related differences in musical self-regulation, or how individuals take ownership of their music learning. Based in Montreal, his doctoral studies were closely linked with Queen’s University, working as a research assistant on a major SSHRC Partnership Grant led by Professor Rena Upitis that investigated the use of digital tools to enhance music learning within private music studios.
His current research interests revolve around the opportunities and challenges adults face when making and/or learning music, as well as the social, emotional, and cognitive benefits of musical engagement across the lifespan. As a Post-Doctoral Fellow supervised by Dr. Julia Brook, Dr. Varela will be expanding his research by focusing primarily on older adults and their involvement in community music education. He has published papers in various music-related journals, including Psychology of Music, the British Journal of Music Education, and Music Education Research.
Originally from the UK, Dr. Varela has lived and worked in England, France, and Japan, teaching in a wide range of educational settings. Within Canada, he has worked as a freelance editor, learning experience designer, and researcher in the fields of both educational technology and the prevention of extremism and violent radicalization. He holds a BMus and MA in TEFL/TESOL from the University of Birmingham (UK), plays the piano, and is a diehard fan of Asian-style karaoke boxes.