Music Psychology

Subject MUSI20149 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 two-hour lecture per week
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Grace Thompson



Contact Centre
T: 13 MELB (6352)

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre

Subject Overview:

This subject will encompass an initial exploration of music psychology research. Selected researchers within the field, including music therapists, behavioural neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, and experimental psychologists will outline recent and current practical research involving music across the lifespan. Information will be provided on the relationship between music and the brain, as well as music and the body. The development of musical skills at different life stages will be outlined, from birth to old age. Each lecture will be assessed by weekly on-line quizzes and students will select one topic for specialisation for the final assignment.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • identify relevant research to a range of topics from a range of disciplines
  • present integrated summaries of relevant research studies
  • critically analyse research and varying theories pertinent to Music Psychology

Weekly participation in web-based quiz (40%); 2000 word written assignment, due at the end of semester (60%).

Prescribed Texts:

W Thompson, Music, Thought and Feeling: Understanding the psychology of music. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Electronic readings will be available online via the LMS website.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed:

  • skills in accessing current research from international databases, web sites, journals and texts
  • the ability to analyse and critique literature and presentations
  • high level conceptual and applied skills.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Diploma and Certificate Elective subjects
Music Studies Electives
Related Breadth Track(s): Music, Mind and Wellbeing

Download PDF version.