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

Grant!

Thursday 22 Aug 2019 at 7:00pm
Grant Street
Jazz sessions and art transmissions curated by students from the Conservatorium’s Jazz & Improvisation program. Featuring special guest performers each week: some old, some borrowed, some outright stolen, and some kind of blue. This program is generously supported by the Lionel Gell Foundation.

Sir John Barbirolli in Australia

Friday 23 Aug 2019 at 1:00pm
The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
Professor Raymond Holden AM, Professor of Public Engagement at the Royal Academy of Music, London, presents a lecture focusing on Sir John Barbirolli’s two visits to Australia.

Mimir Festival - Chamber Music Masterclass One

Saturday 24 Aug 2019 at 10:00am
The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
Violist Joan DerHovsepian holds the position of Associate Principal Viola of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. She joined the viola section of the Houston Symphony in 1999, hired by Christoph Eschenbach, and began her current position with the HS in the fall of 2010. She is an Artist Teacher of Viola ...

Related news

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 …