Introduction: I am a music psychologist working as a Professor at the Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Sciences in Switzerland.
My current research projects focus on using music for health and wellbeing with two areas of investigation:
1 - Music, Movement, Mood & Parkinson's funded by an SNF Project Grant and Parkinson Schweiz. This project is transdisciplinary and inclusive based on a patient and public involvment with research initiative. The aim was to co-develop a new group-based music and movement intervention, known as Songlines for Parkinson's, as a team including people with Parkinson's, practitioners (music, physical, occupational therapists) and medical professionals. Songline's for Parkinson's is now being tested in a mutli-centre international trial. Dissemination is ongoing and supported by SEMPRE Arnold Bentley Award for Innovation and an SNF AGORA grant.
2 - Empowering Musicians is funded by swissuniversities and includes longitudinal studies with our music students, consultancy with our music teachers and collaborations with colleagues in Lugano, Zürich, London and across Germany. Our aim is to build a Culture of Care within our music school to enhance our student and staff experience.
I am also a professional member of the Swiss Society for Music Medicine (SwissMedMusica) and the International Association for Music Medicine (IAMM), the Society for Education and Music Psychology Research (SEMPRE), and of the British Association for Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) and the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
My musical background is as a professional drummer (current; The Frog Princess - Punked, previous; Rantipoles, Gertrude, Right Said Fred, Altered Images). I also hold black belts in two martial arts; Danzan Ryu Ju Jitzu and WTF Tae Kwon Do.
Recent Projects: My postdoctoral research (2016-2018) was conducted at the University of Hertfordshire. It focused on the different effects of auditory cues (music and metronomes) on synchronization and entrainment of different types of movements for people with Parkinson`s.
Academic Background: I completed an MSc. (Music, Mind and Brain) and Ph.D. (supervised by Professor Pam Heaton and Dr Alice Jones Bartoli) also at Goldsmiths. My thesis investigated the cognitive, behavioural and socio-emotional effects of becoming and being a musician in children and adults. Prior to academia, I taught artist development at the British & Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) and worked as professional drummer and drum teacher in the UK.
Arts & Media: I have written articles for drum magazines such as Rhythm and Drummer and have previously appeared in The Happiness Project, a Wellcome Trust funded project in association with The Roundhouse, London. I appeared on BBC MidWeek and Absolute Radio for this project, and recently again for a BBC documentary on the therapeutic effects of dance with Darcey Bussell. I have also given talks on the use of music to reduce symptoms for people with Parkinson's for Parkinson's UK, the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA), and at The Francis Crick Institute and on the Power of Music panel at the Royal Festival Hall (Meltdown Festival).