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

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Wednesday 3 Jul 2019 at 11:00am
The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue’ is a solo trombone recital exploring the conversations trombone creates. American composer TJ Anderson’s ‘Minstrel Man’ explores the unique and personal aspect of African American music. Prokofiev’s ‘Five Melodies’ is a vocal workout...

Guitar Perspectives Concert 1 - Meng Su

Friday 2 Aug 2019 at 7:30pm
The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
Meng Su began studying the guitar at the age of 5 and showed her talents from an early age under the guidance of Professor Chen Zhi at the Central Conservatory in Beijing. Multifaceted guitarist Meng Su is captivating audiences around the world with her stunning virtuosity and refined artistry. In a...

Guitar Perspectives - Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Guitar Showcase

Saturday 3 Aug 2019 at 1:00pm
The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
A concert featuring current students and alumni of the MCM guitar area. These solo performances will draw on styles that are integral to the MCM guitar program, especially classical, contemporary, flamenco and Brazilian repertoire. Four works commissioned by Guitar Perspectives will be heard tog...