Update: The Violin ASR has been selected as one of ten international finalists for the prestigious Guthman Competition at Georgia Tech in March 2023. You can read about the 2021 competition in this New York Times article.

Update 2: The Violin ASR is featured in issue 100 of Electronic Sound Magazine, released in April 2023.


This project distributes a new invention, active shoulder rests (ASRs) for the violin, into the Phoenix K-12 music education community as a collaborative, expressive, and creative STEAM toolkit.

ASRs incorporate sound diffusion and actuation elements that enrich the experience of violin playing using digital signal processing. ASRs encourage practice by beginning students in a way that can be more favorable that traditional method-based approaches, while extending the performance possibilities of the violin for more advanced players. Moreover,  the digital aspect of the device exposes students to computational thinking and programming in a way that is highly organic with the arts (STEAM).

During the 2022-2023 school year, we will distribute 4 ASR kits to different community youth music organizations in Phoenix. Each kit contains an ASR, laptop, audio interface, microphone, and other peripherals such as cables. These are provided at no cost to the program, and we also provide on-site technical, artistic, and educational support from two expert research assistants (see the Team page).

Help us reach more students and communities:

We currently have a $10,000 seed grant from the Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts at Arizona State University that funds a team of two student workers for one year and covers material costs to 3D-print several ASR kits in-house in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering. We are seeking to scale this project by collaborating with ASU's new School of Manufacturing to develop a additive manufacturing process, hire additional student workers, connect with non-profit music organizations, and donate a substantial number of ASR kits to underserved youth communities in the Valley.