Individual Award
(Research Excellence Award)

Associate Professor, Department of Cultural and Creative Arts

Dr MATSUNOBU Koji is a well-established scholar in music and education research. He has two doctoral degrees and haswritten widely on critical topics in music and arts education, such as spirituality, creativity, the nature-culture relationship, place-based education, arts integration, well-being, Japanese music, world music pedagogy, and arts-based research. His recent research output has focused on (a) the long-term impact of music education, (b) affective music-learning approaches, and (c) the digital fabrication of folk music instruments as educational instruments. His work fills gaps in the literature on music psychology, sociology, ethnomusicology and music education, and is widely considered ground-breaking by top scholars in the field.

Over the past three years, Dr Matsunobu secured a General Research Fund (GRF) grant and a HK$2.4 million grant from the Norwegian government to facilitate internationalization at the doctoral level and student exchanges. A well-round scholar in creative arts and music education, he has an impressive research profile with seven published journal articles and three book chapters. Most of the articles were published in top-tier journals, ranked in the top 5% of journals, such as Music Education Research and Research Studies in Music Education. Dr Matsunobu’s research work has received high recognition in academia, and his findings have had a worldwide impact. His publications have been used as teaching materials at prestigious universities.

Dr Matsunobu also invented a new type of mouthpiece that can be attached to vertical flutes. Building on this idea, he invented a new instrument, called a reco-hachi, which allows professionals to play hybrid music combining Western and Eastern elements. This invention led to applications for an international patent PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) and a Japanese (JP) National Phase Utility Model Patent (granted in 2022). He has been awarded two international prizes for his invention of the reco-hachi.

Dr Matsunobu has demonstrated leadership in collegial and professional service. In the EdUHK community, he has served as Associate Head of CCA, DRDC Vice Chair, and Senior Research Fellow in the Analytics\Assessment Research Centre. He is also an editorial member of prestigious journals, including the International Journal of Music Education and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education.

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