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

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

News

Bridging ethnic divides at the Mitrovica Rock School: an interview with Dr Gillian Howell

10 March 2021
Dr Gillian Howell's research investigates the contributions of music and participatory arts to post-war peace, reconciliation, cultural development and community cohesion. Her...

Hiraeth: a new solo guitar work to celebrate 100 years since Manuel de Falla's Homenaje a Debussy

8 March 2021
A century to the day since Spanish composer Manuel de Falla's iconic Homenaje a Debussy enjoyed its first major performance, Ken Murray performs a new companion piece com...

Conservatorium trombone student wins prestigious Margaret Sutherland Bursary Competition

11 February 2021
Melbourne Conservatorium Bachelor of Music student Jessica Gillham has won the Margaret Sutherland Bursary competition 2020....