PGR Wins Venture Competition with Innovative Company Cognimusica

Published on 28 March 2024

The University of Dundee's annual Venture competition has once again showcased the innovative prowess of its students, graduates, and staff

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This year, businesses developed by university members received awards ranging from £1,000 to £12,500, contributing to a record £78,500 prize fund aimed at nurturing novel ideas into thriving enterprises. Among the winners, Justyna Skop, a postgraduate researcher at the School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Law, stood out, securing the Postgraduate Researcher £3,000 prize sponsored by the Doctoral Academy for her company, Cognimusica.

Cognimusica is more than just a business; it's a pioneering venture that blends music theory, therapy, and instrumental training for children. Drawing from her eight years of experience as a music tutor and her background in music therapy, Justyna recognised the potential to bridge the gap between traditional instrumental training and music therapy, creating a unique space where children can benefit both musically and cognitively.

Her vision for Cognimusica extends beyond mere entrepreneurship; it's a mission to democratise access to music therapy and instrumental training, especially for children who are neurodivergent, have mild learning difficulties or come from underprivileged backgrounds. By combining elements of cognitive sciences, psychology, and music education, Justyna aims to unlock the full potential of musical learning as a tool for cognitive development.

Justyna's passion for her business is matched only by her dedication to her research. Currently investigating syntax processing in children with developmental disorders, her work delves into the intricate connections between language, music, and neurocognitive development. Under the guidance of her supervisors, Justyna explores how memory deficits may impact syntax processing and motor coordination, laying the groundwork for future advancements in understanding neurocognitive mechanisms.

Balancing entrepreneurship and research is no easy feat, but Justyna is undeterred. She plans to use her venture competition winnings to expand her business, hire additional staff, and enhance her company's online presence. Simultaneously, she continues to immerse herself in her research, driven by a desire to contribute to both academia and society.

Looking ahead, Justyna envisions a future where Cognimusica flourishes as a leading provider of innovative music education, while her research paves the way for groundbreaking discoveries in cognitive science. Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and researchers echoes her own journey: seek guidance, embrace diversity of ideas, and never underestimate the power of passion and perseverance.

As Justyna embarks on this dual journey of entrepreneurship and research, her story serves as an inspiration to the PGR community and beyond. Follow her journey on social media for updates on Cognimusica and insights into her pioneering research.

Notes to editors

Follow Cognimusica on Social Media:

  • Facebook @CogniMusica – Music and Cognition Centre Justyna Skop
  • LinkedIn @CogniMusica – Music and Cognition Centre Justyna Skop
  • Instagram @cognimusica23

Celeste Ferguson

Senior Marketing and Communications Officer