Monitoring and Supporting Engagement in Skilled Tasks: From Creative Musical Activity to Psychological Wellbeing

Juan Vasquez Gomez, Koray Tahiroğlu, Niklas Pöllönen, Johan Kildal, Teemu Ahmaniemi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


While good physical health receives more attention, psychological wellbeing is an essential component of a happy existence. An everyday source of psychological wellbeing is the voluntary practice of skilled activities one is good at. Taking musical creation as one such skilled activity, in this work we employ an interaction method to monitor varying levels of engagement of musicians improvising on a desktop robotic musical interface (a network of intelligent sonic agents). The system observes the performer and estimates her/his changing level of engagement during the performance, while learning the musical discourse. When engagement levels drop, the musical instrument makes subtle interventions, coherent with the compositional process, until the performer’s engagement levels recover. In a user study, we observed and measured the behaviour of our system as it deals with losses of performer focus provoked by the controlled introduction of external distractors. We also observed that being engaged in our musical creative activity contributed positively to participants’ psychological wellbeing. This approach can be extended to other human activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th Sound and Music Computing Conference
EditorsTapio Lokki, Jukka Pätynen, Vesa Välimäki
PublisherAalto University
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9789526037295
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventSound and Music Computing Conference - Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland
Duration: 5 Jul 20178 Jul 2017
Conference number: 14


ConferenceSound and Music Computing Conference
Abbreviated titleSMC
Internet address


  • musical activity
  • wellbeing
  • SOPI

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Monitoring and Supporting Engagement in Skilled Tasks: From Creative Musical Activity to Psychological Wellbeing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this