University of South Florida

School of Music

USF College of The Arts

Jennifer Bugos

Professor of Music Education

Phone: (813) 974-2311


Jennifer A. Bugos has taught at USF since 2011. She currently serves as an Professor of Music Education and teaches undergraduate courses in General Music Methods, Internship, and Senior Seminar as well as graduate coursework in Music Cognition. In addition, she serves as the Music Education Internship Coordinator.

Dr. Bugos received her B.M (Music Education) from the University of Florida, M.M. (Music Education) from the University of Central Florida, and Ph.D. (Music Education and Minor Gerontology) from the University of Florida. In 2013, she received the University of South Florida, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. Her students have won research competitions as well as the USF Outstanding Thesis and Dissertation award. In addition to teaching, Dr. Bugos mentors an interdisciplinary lab, Music Research and Testing Lab (MRTL), of undergraduate and graduate students from across the USF campus.

Dr. Bugos taught piano, general music, children’s choir, and recorder ensemble for many years in Orange and Seminole County, Florida. While pursuing her doctorate, she served as a secondary caregiver for her grandparents which led to an interest in gerontology. She wrote and facilitated an Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Grant to examine the effects of individualized piano instruction on cognitive abilities in older adults. In order to further pursue these interests, she completed post-doctoral work in the Clinical-Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory under the direction of Dr. William Perlstein. While teaching and performing research at East Carolina University, she received funding from the Retirement Research Foundation to study, “Bimanual Coordination on Successful Aging: Results of a Model Music Program.”

At USF, Dr. Bugos has obtained research support from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Institutes of Health, The GRAMMY Foundation, and the American Orff Schulwerk Association. She has numerous publications in journals such as Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, Aging and Mental Health, Psychology of Music, Musicae Scientiae, Music Education Research, Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, and Research Perspectives in Music Education. In 2018, she was recipient of the USF Outstanding Research Achievement award. In 2019, she received a USF Women of Leadership and Philanthropy award.

Dr. Bugos’ research continues to include the neurological basis for music perception and cognition with regard to human development, lifelong learning, and cognitive transfer. Her interests have led to the development of new music education programs for healthy and clinical populations of children (Multimodal Music Training), and for adults (Keys to Staying Sharp; Piano for Parkinson’s).

In the Fall semester of 2020, Dr. Bugos is on-sabbatical and has an appointment as a visiting scientist at the Rotman Research Institute- Baycrest Centre in Toronto, Ontario. She will be pursuing research on cognition in older adults.

Current Studies:

  • NEA Research Labs
  • The Impact of Piano Training on Cognitive Functions in Adults
  • The Impact of Piano Training on Cognitive and Psychosocial Outcomes in Heart Patients
  • Multimodal Music Training on Executive Functions in Children