Sara Ascenso

Lecturer in Musicians' Health and Wellbeing

Email: [email protected]

Publications

    Journal Articles

  • McCrary, J., Ascenso, S., Savvidou, P., Schraft, S., McAllister, L., Redding, E., Bastepe-Gray, S., & Altenmüller, E. (2022). Load and fatigue monitoring in instrumental musicians using an online app: A pilot study. Frontiers in Psychology, 1056892. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1056892
  • Ascenso, S. (2021). Flourishing Through Music Creation: A Qualitative Investigation of the Lullaby Project Among Refugee and Incarcerated Communities. Frontiers in Psychology, 12:588905.
  • Ascenso, S., Perkins, R., Atkins, L., Fancourt, D., & Williamon, A. (2018). Promoting wellbeing through group drumming with mental health service users and their carers. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Health and Wellbeing, 13(1), article 1484219.
  • Ascenso, S., Perkins, R., & Williamon, A. (2018). Resounding Meaning: A PERMA wellbeing profile of classical musicians. Frontiers in Psychology(9, 1895), 1-14.
  • Ascenso, S., Williamon, A., & Perkins, R. (2017). Understanding the psychological wellbeing of professional musicians through the lens of positive psychology. Psychology of Music, 45, 65-81.
  • Fancourt, D., Perkins, R., Ascenso, S., Atkins, L., Kilfeather, S., Carvalho, L., Steptoe, A., & Williamon, A. (2016). Group drumming modulates cytokine response in mental health service users: a preliminary study. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics(85), 53–55.
  • Fancourt, D., Perkins, R., Ascenso, S., Carvalho, L., Steptoe, A., & Williamon, A. (2016). Effects of group drumming interventions on anxiety, depression, social resilience and inflammatory immune response among mental health service users. PLoS ONE, 11(e0151136), 1-16..
  • Perkins, R., Ascenso, S., Atkins, L., Fancourt, D., & Williamon, A. (2016). Making music for mental health: how group drumming mediates recovery. Psychology of Well-Being, 6(11), 1-17.
  • Conference Contributions

  • Ascenso, S. Musicians’ Basic Psychological Needs at Work given at  International Symposium on Performance Science, Schulich School of Music October 2021
  • The Lullaby Project: Refugee mothers and orchestral musicians mutually enhancing wellbeing given at  9th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Budapest  2018
  • Ascenso, S. Preventing Music Performance Anxiety given at  King’s College London, London  2018
  • Ascenso, S. Mind the Mind: Findings on mental health in dance given at  28th Annual Conference of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, Helsinki  2018
  • Sayes, A., Ascenso, S., & Araújo, L. Do Beta-adrenergic receptor blockers have a place in the treatment of Music Performance Anxiety? given at  International Symposium of the Performing Arts Medicine Association, Snowmass, Colorado.  2017
  • Ascenso, S. Mind the Mind: A profile of mental health in the performing arts – graduate award keynote given at  International Symposium on Performance Science, Reykjavík  2017
  • Ascenso, S. More than the absence of disorder: The lost lens on musicians’ psychological wellbeing given at  International Symposium of the Performing Arts Medicine Association, Snowmass, Colorado  2017
  • Ascenso, S., McCormick, J., & Perkins, R. Minding the gap in musicians’ transition from student to professional: The Civic Fellowship at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra given at  Proceedings of the 21st International Seminar of the ISME Commission on the Education of the Professional Musician, International Society for Music Education, University of St. Andrews  2016
  • Ascenso, S. Minding the gap in musicians’ transition from student to professional: The Civic Fellowship at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra given at  21st International Seminar of the ISME Commission on the Education of the Professional Musician, University of Saint Andrews  2016
  • Ascenso, S. Making Music for Mental Health: The psychological impact of learning to drum given at  Proceedings of the International Symposium in Performance Science (pp. 62-63), Kyoto  2015
  • Ascenso, S. Creative Practice as Mutual Recovery: Making music for mental health given at  Connected Communities Festival, Derby  2015
  • Ascenso, S. Allegro con Brio: The wellbeing of musicians given at  Conservatório della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano  2015
  • Ascenso, S. Health, Happiness and Meaning: A study of professional musicians’ wellbeing given at  Reflective Conservatoire Conference, London  2015
  • Ascenso, S., & Williamon, A. Work-satisfaction and work-orientation of professional musicians given at  7th European Conference on Positive Psychology, Amsterdam  2014
  • Ascenso, S., & Perkins, R. ‘The more the merrier’? Understanding the wellbeing of professional musicians in collaborative and solo work settings given at  Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science (pp. 383-388), Vienna  2013
  • Ascenso, S., Perkins, R., & Williamon, A. Allegro crescendo: Profiling wellbeing of classical professional musicians given at  Third World Congress on Positive Psychology, Los Angeles  2013
  • Review Articles

  • Ascenso, S. and Perkins, R. The impact of community engagement for musicians. Classical Music Magazine, 2016, Rhinegold, 
  • Chapters in Books

  • Ascenso, S., Delle Fave, A., Perkins, R., & Williamon, A. (2022). Fostering Musicians’ Wellbeing In G. McPherson.(Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Music Performance . OUP.
  • Ascenso, S., McCormick, J., & Perkins, R. (2019). Leadership in the transition from music student to professional musician: The Civic Orchestra of Chicago Fellowship In J. Rowley., D. Bennett., & P. Schmidt.(Eds.) Leadership of Pedagogy and Curriculum in Higher Music Education . Routledge.
  • Scholarly Editions

  • Ascenso, S., The Lullaby Project: Characteristics of Change and Mechanisms of Impact – Research Report, 2018, The Irene Taylor Trust, London
  • Ascenso, S., Finding Meaning in Music: Research report, 2016, London Music Masters, London
  • Talks, Workshops and Masterclasses

  • Positive Psychology: A new lens on musicians’ wellbeing , INTERACT guest lecture series, McGill University (online), March 2021
  • Creative Practice as Mutual Recovery: Making music for mental health , Connected Communities Festival, Derby, , June 2015
  • Prevention and Management of Music Performance Anxiety , Workshop, King’s College London, 2018
  • Mental Skills for Optimal Performance , Crescendo Summer Institute of the Arts 2017, Tokaj, Hungary,
  • Finding Meaning in Music , Seminar Series, Wigmore Hall, London, 2016
  • Musicians’ Psychological Wellbeing , Crescendo Summer Institute of the Arts 2016, Tokaj, Hungary,
  • Positive performers: New perspectives from psychology , Performance Matters: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Performers’ Practice, Health and Wellbeing, British Association for Performing Arts Medicine, London, 2014

Professional Activity

– Visiting lecturer and module leader (Resilience and Post-traumatic Growth) at the Executive Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, University of Lisbon

– Learning support advisor (Learning Enhancement Unit) at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance 

– Visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Music (MSc in Performance Science)