NEW: Psychology Of Music – Online

The Psychology of Music has been designed to deepen learners appreciation of music through the increased awareness and understanding of psychological processes that underpin music perception and cognition. In this course we will consider an evolutionary perspective in answering why people have an innate need to engage in proto-musical behaviours. You will learn why the vocalizations of early humans represented a perfect scaffolding for interaction and how this contributed to the development of language. This course will inform you on the variety of topics related to music psychology such as the influence of personality traits on the choice of music as well as the effects of music on emotions. You will gain a deeper understanding of how the latest enquiry in music cognition and perception advises the study of mental disorders such as autism, savants, and dementia, and become familiar with the latest research in the field.

Who is this course for

This course is suitable for any learner with an interest in, or love of music. No previous knowledge, experience or musicianship is required for participation in this course just an open mind and curiosity about this fascinating topic.

What does this course cover

This course will cover a range of topics such as:

' Evolutionary perspective: Is music universally human?
' Music and Language

' How do music cognition and musicology inform the study of disorders such as autism, savants and dementia?

' What can cognitive models say about the effect of music on emotions?

' How does our personality inform our music choices and hedonic responses?

What will it be like

The course will be run online using Zoom for the live class sessions and either the Moodle page for the course or some other system for the distribution of the electronic resources for the session sitting alongside this. Although there will be some adjustments that need to be made for the online version of this course, we will aim to keep the experience as close as possible to that of a face to face course taught in the Centre.

A list of recommended readings will be provided on a weekly basis. Power Point Presentation will be used to kick-start a lecture with plenty of large and small group discussions. Videos, music clips and links to films/music will be used to illustrate and explain the lecture material.
Each session will end with a brief question/answer time aimed to summarise the main points of the day as well as to assess the learning outcomes of the session. Self-assessment activities will be used to monitor progress and provide constructive comments for future development.

What else do you need to buy or do

The course will be run on Zoom, please make sure you have installed it in advance of your first class on your computer or mobile device. You can sign up for free here:

You will need a microphone (it's fine to use whatever is built into your device) and camera, so we can see you via video. You may also want to use headphones during the session.

You can participate in class sessions through the use of a computer, laptop, tablet or other similar internet enabled device. Please note that if you only have access to a smartphone, you will be able to attend the class sessions and participate in them but you will find it more difficult to benefit from the full range of materials and activities involved in the course if this is your only means of connection.

Make sure you have a small space to work in during the session and that as far as possible that you can keep this space quite and clear of interruption so that you can concentrate on what is happening in the class.

By signing up to the course you are consenting to being on camera. The content of the lesson may occasionally be recorded by the tutor for internal education and training purposes but any such recordings will not be made available to anyone outside of the Mary Ward Centre organisation without us asking you again for further permission to do so.

It is advisable that students complete some of the recommended reading in order to fully benefit from this course. You will not need to buy a text-book for this course as printouts and other resources will be either given in the sessions or made available through the Moodle page for the course.

What this course could lead to

There are a number of music-related courses that you may be interested to attend at the Mary Ward Centre. If you are a performing musician or a music educator this course will increase your understanding of how and why music works. Also, there is a selection of under-graduate or post-graduate courses in Psychology of music at the university level that you might wish to consider in the future.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’