Naomi Norton, PhD Music Psychology, 2016

My research focuses on the health and well-being of musicians as unfortunately we are susceptible to developing difficulties relating to our musical activities, for example music performance anxiety, playing-related musculoskeletal problems, vocal disorders and noise-induced hearing loss. I am particularly interested in the role that instrumental and vocal teachers play in supporting their pupils’ health and well-being, and I am actively seeking to understand and represent teachers’ perspectives on this important subject.

All of my research involves human participants who are involved in music education and/or performing arts medicine. Over the course of the past 9 months I have conducted four main research studies: a large scale online survey with 500 instrumental and vocal teachers; a book evaluation study with a smaller sample of teachers and health care professionals from the performing arts medicine field; an interview study with a handful of teachers; and a training and research event at the RNCM.

All of my research to date has been very applied; I engage directly with music education through my own teaching and through attendance at music education events. Ultimately I hope that my research can support the active inclusion of music teachers in preventative performing arts medicine and help to decrease the prevalence of performance-related problems within the musical community.

I love being part of a thriving musical community and having access through the College to a large number of experienced musicians and teachers. Much of the research in this field is taking place at the various UK conservatoires and it is fantastic to be granted access to this interesting and active research community.

Naomi’s project was funded by an AHRC grant

Read more about the PhD programme here.