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Centre for Music and Science

Peter Harrison directs and co-teaches the undergraduate and postgraduate music and science courses. Peter is a University Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Music and Director of the Centre for Music and Science. He specializes in computational approaches to music psychology, including cognitive modelling, massive online experiments, and corpus studies. He is particularly interested in understanding the psychological mechanisms that underlie listeners' appreciation and enjoyment of music, and how musical styles have developed to exploit these mechanisms.
Katie Rose Sanfilippo co-lectures the second-year undergraduate course 'Introduction to Music & Science' as well as the third-year undergraduate course 'Exploring Music Psychology: From Theory to Practice'. Katie Rose has undergraduate degrees in psychology and music, an MSc in Music, Mind & Brain and PhD in Psychology from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is currently a research fellow in the Centre for Healthcare Innovation Research at City, University of London. Her research interests concern the perception, function and application of music, especially within various specific populations (pregnancy, marginalised communities) and across different cultural and clinical contexts. Katie Rose is experienced in interdisciplinary and international collaboration, public and policy engagement, research design and analysis, and also has experience working in the charity sector and in teaching and supervision for undergraduate and postgraduate students. 
David John Baker co-teaches the 'Music and Science' MPhil course and supervises for the second- and third-year undergraduate music and science courses. David is a music researcher who investigates how tools from cognitive psychology and computational musicology can help understand cognition in ways only possible with music. He currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research can be read in forthcoming or published articles in Music Perception, Musicae Scientiae, Memory and Cognition, Empirical Musicology Review and the Oxford Handbook of Musical Corpus studies. He holds a PhD in Music Theory, an MSc in Music, Mind and Brain as well as a BM in Instrumental Performance. He also has lectured and supervised students across both humanities and sciences having taught music theory at Louisiana State University, psychology of music at Humboldt University of Berlin, and has served as Lead instructor of Data Science at Flatiron School.
Anna Wiedemann supervises and guest lectures for the second- and third-year undergraduate music and science courses. She further supervises undergraduate dissertations in music psychology. Anna is a chartered psychologist, currently completing her PhD as an NIHR Academy Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry. Her research focuses on common mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. She further has a considerable interest in music psychology, particularly in relation to musicians’ health and wellbeing. She has previously worked at the Institute for Musicians’ Medicine as well as the Institute for Clinical Psychology in Dresden, Germany, where she focused on studying motor learning in pianists as well as music performance anxiety in aspiring musicians. Anna is an active performer herself, having undergone studies at the Junior Academy of the Berlin University of the Arts. She graduated with a first-class degree in vocal performance from one of Germany’s top specialist music schools in June 2013. Her academic journey then led her to pursue an undergraduate degree as an ABRSM Scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester before transitioning to psychology.
Elizabeth MacGregor supervises for the second- and third-year undergraduate music and science courses. Elizabeth is currently a doctoral student at the University of Sheffield where, under the supervision of Stephanie Pitts, she is researching the experience of ‘musical vulnerability’ in secondary music education. Elizabeth graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2019, having received a Distinction in her MPhil in Music and a First with Distinction in her BA in Music. Having previously taught music in two secondary schools, she currently supervises music education and psychology at the University of Cambridge and lectures on music education and community music at the University of Sheffield. To date, her research has been published in Creative and Critical Projects in Classroom Music: Fifty Years of Sound and Silence (ed. Finney, Philpott, & Spruce, 2020), A Practical Guide to Teaching Music in the Secondary School (ed. Cooke & Philpott, forthcoming), and journals including the British Journal of Music Education and Music Education Research. She is also Assistant Editor for SEMPRE’s journal Research Studies in Music Education.
Huw Cheston supervises and guest lectures for the second- and third-year undergraduate music and science courses. Huw is a PhD Student in Music based at the Centre for Music and Science and Robinson College, Cambridge, where he holds the Lewis Research Scholarship in the Humanities and a Vice-Chancellor’s Award. He received his Master’s and Undergraduate degrees in Music from Oxford University, graduating from both programmes with the highest overall mark in his cohort. During this time, he was awarded the Oxford Prize in Musicology, the Professor Louis J Curran Graduate Scholarship, the Gibbs Prize in Music, and the Clifford Smith Prize in Music. Huw's PhD research focuses on using empirical and psychological methods to gain insight into the communicative and interactive processes involved in the performance of improvised music, especially jazz. He also performs widely across the UK as a guitarist.
Louisa Denby supervises for the second- and third-year undergraduate music and science courses. Originally a bassoonist, Louisa is currently Director of Chapel Music at St Edmund’s College alongside her position as Assisting Organist at Downing. She holds an MMus in Choral Studies from Selwyn, as well as degrees in Music and Theology & Religious Studies. Her research in the Centre for Music & Science is focused around the evolution of religious belief and music’s role within this, with a particular interest in how the phenomena of entrainment and synchrony are optimised through participation in music-making (and by extension ritual and religious worship), and are intrinsic to our nature as social beings. In addition to supervising aspects of the Music & Science and Music Psychology courses, Louisa teaches jazz and general musicianship (both at Cambridge and the GSMD Junior Department). Outside the University she has a major role as CEO & Artistic Director of the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain.


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Latest news

ICMPC17 presentation - Huw Cheston - Coordination Strategies in Networked Jazz Performances

4 September 2023

We just got back from from an inspiring ICMPC17 (International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition) in Tokyo. It was so great to hear from music psychology laboratories over the world, and to reconnect with old friends and colleagues. Several of our CMS members presented at this conference, including PhD student...

Michaelmas 2023 seminars announced

30 August 2023

The seminar list for Michaelmas 2023 has now been published on the CMS seminars page ! We are excited to have guests joining us from institutes around the world, including Europe, the United States, and Australia, to talk about a variety of topics spanning pitch, rhythm, timbre, and memory.

Research associate position for managing a randomised controlled trial of music therapy with autistic children

30 August 2023

The Autism Research Centre at the Cambridge Department of Psychiatry is looking to appoint a research associate (fixed-term) to manage a randomised controlled trial of music therapy with autistic children. The application deadline is 10 September 2023. For more details see the following link: