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Centre for Music and Science



Michelle undertook PhD study in the Centre for Music and Science, under the supervision of Dr. Ian Cross, funded by a Domestic Research Studentship (awarded by the University of Cambridge).
Her research interests include the golden section, music and number, perception of large-scale musical form, prospective and retrospective experience of time (duration) during music listening, and music and dementia. See below for details of papers, posters and conferences.
Michelle is now a lecturer at the Royal Northern College of Music and Leeds College of Music. During 2010 Michelle acted as an expert consultant to the Science Museum (London) for the ‘Who Am I?’ exhibition, and between January and March 2011 she conducted research at the Science Museum as part of the ‘Science Live’ programme.
Michelle also enjoys working on music outreach education projects, and wrote and ran show about music and maths for 350 primary school children entitled ‘Good Vibrations‘, shown as part of the Science Festival at the University of Cambridge in March 2010 and 2011.
Prior to beginning her postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge, Michelle completed a BA(Hons) degree in Music and German, followed by an MA(by research) in German (funded by AHRB, now AHRC), studying the influence of music and music culture on contemporary Austrian fiction.
Michelle plays the tenor and baritone saxophone in the Quadrangle saxophone quartet, and the Equinox saxophone ensemble, with which she performs regularly. She is a chartered accountant, served for three years as a trustee for the charity Ladder to the Moon (which brings interactive theatre and music to older people and dementia patients in care homes in the London area), and currently acts as voluntary accountant for the Cambridge-based charity King’s Junior Voices.



Key publications: 

Phillips, M. & Cross, I. (2011). About musical time: effects of age, enjoyment, and musical training on retrospective estimate of elapsed duration during music listening. In Vatakis, A., Esposito, A., Giagkou, M., Cummins, F., & Papadelis, G (Eds.) Multidisciplinary Aspects of Time and Time Perception, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 6789 LNAI, pp125-136, Heidelberg: Springer.

Conference Presentations

Time and the Conscious Brain’ Symposium, Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (Delmenhorst, Germany): The effect of musical segmentation on retrospective verbal estimate of elapsed duration (Oct 2011) 

Summer Workshop on Music, Pattern and Mathematics, Queen’s University International Study Centre East Sussex): Problems in Proportion – why conceptual mathematical structuring of large-scale musical form lacks a perceptual counterpart (Aug 2010)

International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition 2010 (ICMPC), The University of Washington School of Music (Seattle) [poster]: The Musical Time Warp – Psychological Time and Elapsed Duration During Music Listening (Aug 2010)

CIM-SEMPRE Study Day for postgraduate students, University of Sheffield [poster]: Expecting a Call? Psychological Time and Elapsed Duration during Music Listening – A Ringtone Study (July 2010)

Cambridge Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference
, University of Cambridge: Musings on Maths and Music – The Complex Patterns We Simply Don’t Hear (Jun 2010)

Music and Numbers Conference, Canterbury Christ Church University: The Golden Section – Seen But Not Heard? (May 2010)

2nd International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology, IPEM, University of Ghent: Music’s Golden Section – An Empirical Approach (Nov 2009)

SMA annual Theory and Analysis Graduate Students (TAGS) conference, University of Durham: The Danger of Performance, a 21st Century Golden Sectionism (May 2009)

Conferences attended (non-presenting)

CIM10 Nature vs. Culture, Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology, 23rd-24th July 2010, University of Sheffield
Music of Language, Language of Music: Development, Meaning and Literacy, (seminar run by the Language & Communication Research Group), 2009-11, Middlesex University and University of Cambridge
7th Triennial Conference of European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM), 12th – 16th August 2009, University of Jyväskylä,
SMA Music Analysis Summer School, 13 – 15th July 2009, University of Durham
Fourth International J S Bach Dialogue Meeting of Bach Network UK, 3rd – 4th January 2009, University of Oxford
Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE) student conference, 18th October 2008, University of Cambridge
Conference reviewing and chairing
Systematic Musicology conference 2011 (an international postgraduate conference), October 2010, Department of Music, University of Cologne
Systematic Musicology conference 2010 (an international postgraduate conference), 13 – 15th September 2010, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
SMA annual Theory and Analysis Graduate Students (TAGS) conference, 30th April – 1st May 2010, University of Bangor


PhD student, 2009-13
Dr Michelle  Phillips
Not available for consultancy