Music Psychology

What is a music psychologist?

I am a music psychologist, and I love my job! I currently work as a researcher at the Music, Mind and Brain group, which is part of the psychology department at Goldsmiths, University of London.

So what does a music psychologist do, exactly? Psychology is the study of the human mind and behaviour – so music psychology is simply the study of everything to do with the human mind and behaviour that is linked to music – and that is a lot! Music has been a part of human life for as long as we can track its history. It is present in every human culture on Earth. And it seems that music is everywhere in the modern world! Lots of people, including me, take music everywhere with them – I am the first to admit that I would be lost without my iPod.

Every day I aim to understand a little but more about why music is so important to human life – this involves conducting research and reading to learn about how our brains process music, why music is so strongly linked to our memory and emotions, how learning and listening to music can affect the brain and behaviour, and finally the impact of music processing disorders.

So here I will aim to keep a record of my latest research for anyone who might be interested in what we do here at the MMB group, but also to post items and links to other fascinating research in my field.

I hope you enjoy!


  • Mitrianna Streckfuss

    Hi my name is Mit and I’m interested in what music psychologists do. I’m a violin major at the college of Music, Mahidol Unviersity in Bangkok, Thailand but I am looking for a place to study for my undergraduate degree at. I would like some directions that you could provide. I would like to study at Oberlin Conservatory where they also have a double degree program and I was thinking about having one major in Violin performance and the other in psychology. I would like to understand more about what you do too, so that I get a depth of what I would be doing when I graduate.
    Thanks so much,

  • Ezgi

    Hi, I am in my final year in high school and I am going to study psychology at college. I am taking grade 6 in piano and going to complete it to grade 8 when I am in college. Is it possible to do music psychology in my postgraduate studies with grade 8 piano and psychology degree?

  • vicky

    In the UK it would be perfectly possible to study music psychology at PG level having obtained a good psychology degree and advanced music training (e.g. Grade 8) – that is exactly what I did! I would guess the same should be true of the US too but you would need to check with individual course providers there to be sure of their criteria. All the best with your future studies, Vicky