Music Psychology

Music psychologists explore the ways that music impacts our emotions, relationships, brain and bodies. We use a range of research approaches to explore the connection between music and individuals, groups and society in order to better understand how music can promote health and wellbeing.

Music Psychology at the Conservatorium

Discovering how people think, feel, behave and learn when engaging with music.

Our Music Psychology Laboratory undertakes research, learning and teaching around the key concept of what it is for individuals and societies to be musical, and the ways music forms an invaluable aspect of everyday life. Our researchers collaborate and engage with other disciplines and organisations in ways that foster exploration, innovation and experimentation.

We work in close association with our sister laboratory at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences – the Clinical Music Neuroscience Laboratory – and collaborate on projects within the Music Mind and Wellbeing Initiative (MMW) at the University of Melbourne.

The Music Psychology Laboratory provides an innovative and overarching framework within which is housed three key areas of music research, teaching and engagement:

Psychology of Music

Focuses on the role music plays in every society and culture, and how it is an important part of all aspects of life, including various social, recreational and cultural occasions. Utilising a range of methodologies, our research initiatives seek to understand the role and purpose of music for individuals and communities, and the ways people engage with music and use music to regulate their mood and emotions in ways that reinforce wellbeing.

Performance Science

Involves the interdisciplinary study of human performance within music. We draw on methodologies across various scientific disciplines to understand the fundamental skills, mechanisms and outcomes of music involvement that enhance the delivery of various forms of professional music performance and music creation.

Performance Teaching

Applies empirical evidence from music psychology related to skill acquisition, practice quality, and motivation, to explore targeted interventions that can be utilised by musicians and teachers and implemented within music education settings, both formal and informal.

Learn more about Masters in Music - Performance Teaching course

Music Psychology and Performance Science courses

How to Prepare for Peak Performance with Dr Margaret Osborne.

Our people

I was really interested in the work Dr Margaret Osborne was doing at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, which seemed to be at the forefront of performance science research and everything seemed to evolve from there. My current research involves the development and assessment of an online performance skills curriculum for adolescent music students and teachers.

Anneliese Gill
Music Psychology and Performance Science Research
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Conservatorium Events

Baroque Winter Academy - Quality Practice with Susan Williams

Sunday 21 Jul 2019 at 12:30pm
The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
An exploration of effective and creative ways to practise enabling musicians to: * Understand the basic principles of psychomotor learning * Introduce and share methods and strategies for practicing * Find out what aspects are strong and weak in your own practice * Modern insights from perform...

Baroque Winter Academy - Flow for Musicians with Rachael Beesley

Monday 22 Jul 2019 at 12:30pm
The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
Simple and effective Flow ideas for musicians: * Increase awareness of contact with the instrument * Develop resonance produced by your body and the instrument * Enhance ease in playing through movement * Learn improvisation skills to study repertoire We strongly encourage booking in advan...

Baroque Winter Academy - Bohemian Baroque

Monday 22 Jul 2019 at 6:30pm
The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
Artists’ concert from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Baroque Winter Academy performing repertoire from the highly virtuosic and sublime music from the Bohemian Baroque. We strongly encourage booking in advance for all of our events. This guarantees your seat, and allows us to communicate a...

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16 Aug 2018 | PRECINCT

Meet Anneliese Gill, PhD candidate in Music Psychology and Performance Science

Third-year PhD candidate at the Melbourne Conservatorium Annaliese Gill would like to create a resource to help music students and their teachers develop complementary psychological performance …

13 Jun 2018 | PRECINCT

How to prepare for peak performance, for musicians and non-musicians alike

For the latest in our How To video series at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, Dr Margaret Osborne, Lecturer in Music (Performance Science) and Psychology, …

26 May 2017 | PRECINCT

The trouble with teaching music in our schools

When many schools have cupboards full of musical instruments, why are so few students learning to play? By Dr Alexander Crooke, Postdoctoral Fellow in Music Therapy …