Performing Music Research and its authors

RCM researchers collaborate on first comprehensive guide to specialist music research

Monday 1 March 2021

Three researchers from the Royal College of Music’s Centre for Performance Science have co-authored a new textbook guiding musicians through the process of designing, conducting, analysing and communicating music research.

Performing Music Research: Methods in Music Education, Psychology, and Performance Science is the first methods book of its kind, written in collaboration with the Royal Northern College of Music and published by Oxford University Press.

The textbook has been authored by Professor Aaron Williamon, Head of the Centre for Performance Science, Dr Rosie Perkins, who leads the RCM’s pioneering MSc in Performance Science, and Dr George Waddell, who runs the MSc’s research methods module. They are joined by Professor Jane Ginsborg, Director of the Centre for Music Performance Research at the Royal Northern College of Music in a collaborative effort that captures decades of experience in conducting and teaching music research.

Readers are guided through every stage of research, from developing research questions, to performing effective interviews or controlled experiments, or conducting advanced analyses of text and statistics. The book is aimed at those with musical experience and interest who are new to understanding and conducting empirical research in music education, psychology, and performance science. Many examples in the book draw from research conducted at the RCM, such as the health benefits of music engagement or the use of simulation in preparing for performance.

The book is accompanied by a comprehensive companion website that includes downloadable templates for key research documents, datasets with which to practise analysis, quizzes to test key knowledge and skills, and video summaries of example research

A public virtual launch for the book is being held on Friday 12 March at 5pm (GMT). For more information, visit the event on the Royal College of Music’s Facebook page.

Praise for Performing Music Research from international experts in music psychology and education:


To find out more about the project, visit the Performing Music Research website.

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