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Professor Adam Ockelford

Professor of Music

School of Education

About

Adam has had a lifelong fascination for music, as a composer, performer, teacher and researcher. While attending the Royal Academy of Music in London, Adam started working with children with special needs - a number of whom, he noticed, had special musical abilities too - and he became interested in how we all intuitively make sense of music, without the need for formal education. Adam pursued this line of enquiry, and gained a PhD in music at Goldsmith's College in London in 1993, in which he set out his 'zygonic' theory of musical understanding. This theory has proved a valuable tool in music theory and analysis, in investigating musical development, and exploring interaction in music therapy and education.

Adam is Secretary of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research ('SEMPRE'), Chair of Soundabout, an Oxfordshire-based charity that supports music provision for children and young people with complex needs; and founder of The AMBER Trust, a charity that supports visually impaired children in their pursuit of music.

Research interests

Adam’s research interests are in music psychology, education, theory and aesthetics – particularly special educational needs and the development of exceptional abilities; learning, memory and creativity; the cognition of musical structure and the construction of musical meaning. He welcomes enquiries from PhD students with any of these or related areas of interest.

Research projects undertaken

Sounds of Intent – investigating early music development in children with severe, or profound multiple learning difficulties: a model, curriculum framework and interactive resources and assessment materials for teachers – in partnership with the Royal National Institute of the Blind (Sally Zimmermann) and the Institute of Education, University of London (Graham Welch and Evangelos Himonides), with financial support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the QCA and the AMBER Trust. The current phase of work is due to conclude in 2012.

Focus on Music – investigating musical development in children with identified syndromes: (i) Septo-Optic Dysplasia and Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, (ii) Retinopathy of Prematurity, and (iii) Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, in partnership with Goldsmith’s College (Linda Pring), with support from the AMBER Trust, Soundabout and SEMPRE. Due to conclude in 2012.

Fragments of Genius – exploring the skills of musical savants and the consequences for our understanding of learning, memory and creativity, in partnership with Goldsmith’s College and the IoE, with support from the AMBER Trust and SEMPRE. Due to conclude in 2015.

Music in Mind – investigating and modelling how musical structure and content relate to musical meaning. Ongoing.

Adam is series editor (with Ian Cross and Graham Welch) of ‘SEMPRE Studies in the Psychology of Music’, Ashgate, publication commencing 2008.

Articles

Books

Articles

(2012) Through the glass, vividly: the extraordinary musical journeys of some children with autism, in Investigating Musical Performance, Ashgate (‘SEMPRE’ series of Studies in the Psychology of Music’), eds. I. Papageorgi and G. Welch (forthcoming).

(2011)Another exceptional musical memory: evidence from a savant of how atonal music is processed in cognition, in Festschrift for John Sloboda, eds. I. Deliege and J. Davidson, OUP

(2011) Exploring the relationship between music therapy and music education, Music, Health and Wellbeing.

(2011) Imagination feeds memory: exploring evidence from a musical savant using zygonic theory, Oxford University Press.

(2011) Music - window on the autistic mind, What's Special? Opera, Dance and Music Education for and with People with Special Needs across Europe

(2011) Songs without Words: exploring how music can serve as a proxy language in social interaction with autistic children who have limited speech, and the potential impact on their wellbeing, in Music, Health and Wellbeing, eds. R. MacDonald, G. Kreutz and L. Mitchell, OUP.

Dimatati, M., Heaton, P., Pring, L. and Downing, J. (2010) Absolute pitch in children with congenital visual impairment: a preliminary study, Proceedings of ICMPC11, Seattle.

(2010) Evidence of musical development of pupils with PMLD, SEN Magazine.

(2010) Exploring the structural principles underlying the capacity of groups of notes to function concurrently in music, in Musicae Scientiae – Special Edition for Irene Deliege, ed. J. Sloboda.

Welch, G. (2010) Music for all, in Music Education in the 21st Century in the United Kingdom: Achievements, Analysis and Aspirations, eds. S. Hallam, London: Institute of Education.

Cheng, E., and Welch, G. (2010) Researching and developing music provision in special schools in England for children and young people with complex needs, Australian Journal of Music Education.

Welch, G. (2010) Sounds of intent, in Music as a Natural Resource: Music in Education Project, Compendium produced by the United Nations, International Council for Caring Communities.

Welch, G., Jewell-Gore, L., Cheng, E., Vogiatzoglou, A., Himonides, E. (2010) Sounds of Intent, Phase 2: approaches to the quantification of music-developmental data pertaining to children with complex needs, European Journal of Special Needs Education (under review).

(2010) Sounds of intent: musical development in learners with complex needs, in Oxford Handbook of Music Education, eds. G. McPherson and G. Welch.

Vogiatzoglou, A (2010) Sounds of Intent: Phase 3, PMLD Link.

G. Welch (2010) The role of the institution and teachers in supporting learning, Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology.

(2010) Using education in music, and education through music to promote well-being in children and young people with complex needs, in Music, Health and Well-Being, eds. . MacDonald, G. Kreutz and L. Mitchell, OUP.

Matawa, C. (2009) Focus on Music 2: Exploring the Musical Interests and Abilities of Blind and Partially-Sighted Children with Retinopathy of Prematurity, London: Institute of Education.

(2009) Focus on music, part two: exploring the musicality of children and young people with retinopathy of prematurity, Insight, 24, 36-37.

(2009) Similarity relations between groups of notes: music-theoretical and music-psychology perspectives, Musicae Scientiae, Discussion Forum 4B, 47–93.

Welch, G.F., Carter, F-C., Zimmermann, S-A. and Himonides, E. (2009) Sounds of Intent: Mapping musical behaviour and development in children and young people with complex needs, Psychology of Music, 37(3), 348-370.

Bruce, T. (2009) Understanding symbolic development, in Early Childhood Education, ed T. Bruce, 105-117.

(2009) Zygonic Theory: Introduction, Scope, Prospects, Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie, 6(2), 91–172.

G. Welch (2008) ‘The role of the institution and teachers in supporting learning’, in Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology, ed. S. Hallam, I Cross and M. Thaut.

(2008) Music for Children and Young People with Complex Needs, Oxford: OUP.

(2008) Review article of David Huron's 'Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation', Psychology of Music.

(2008) Special educational needs, Classroom Music, 26(2), 8-9.

(2007) ‘A music module in working memory? Evidence from the performance of a prodigious musical savant', Musicae Scientiae, Special Edition on Performance, 5–36.

(2007) ‘Exploring musical interaction between a teacher and pupil, and her evolving musicality, using a music-theoretical approach', Research Studies in Music Education, 28, 3–23.

(2006) ‘Implication and expectation in music: a zygonic model’, Psychology of Music, 34(1), 81-142.

(2006) ‘Using a music-theoretical approach to interrogate musical development and social interaction’, in Sounding Off: Theorizing Disability in Music, N. Lerner and J Straus, (eds), New York: Routledge.

L. Pring, G.Welch, D. Treffert (2006) Focus on Music: Exploring the Musical Interests and Abilities of Blind and Partially-Sighted Children with Septo-Optic Dysplasia, London: Institute of Education.

(2005) ‘“Sounds of intent” mapping, assessing and promoting the musical development of children with profound and multiple learning difficulties’, Proceedings of International Society for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation Conference 2005 (‘Vision’), Amsterdam: Elsevier

L. Pring (2005) ‘Children with septo-optic dysplasia – musical interests, abilities and provision: the results of a parental survey’, British Journal of Visual Impairment, 23(2), 58–66.

G. Welch, S. Zimmermann, E. Himonides (2005) ‘Mapping musical development in children with PMLD: the “Sounds of Intent” project’, SLD Experience.

L. Pring (2005) ‘Musical interests and abilities of children with septo-optic dysplasia’, Proceedings of International Society for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation Conference 2005 (‘Vision’), Amsterdam: Elsevier.

(2005) ‘Musical structure, content and aesthetic response: Beethoven’s Op. 110’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 129(2), 112–155.

G. Welch, S. Zimmermann, E. Himonides (2005) ‘Sounds of intent’, Eye Contact, 40, 12–15.

(2004) ‘On similarity, derivation and the cognition of musical structure’, Psychology of Music, 32(1), 23–74.

G. Welch, S. Zimmermann (2002) ‘Music education for pupils with severe or profound and multiple difficulties’, British Journal of Special Education, 29(4), 178–182.

(2002) ‘The magical number two, plus or minus one: some limitations on our capacity for processing musical information’, Musicae Scientiae, Special Edition on Performance, 6, 177–215.

(2000) ‘Music in the education of children with severe or profound learning difficulties: Issues in current UK provision, a new conceptual framework, and proposals for research’, Psychology of Music, 28(2), 197–217.

G. Welch, L. Jewell-Gore, E. Cheng, A. Vogiatzoglou, E. Himonides () Sounds of Intent Phase II: approaches to the quantification of music-developmental data pertaining to children with complex needs, European Journal of Special Needs Education.

G. Welch () Sounds of Intent:, Music as a Natural Resource: Music in Education Project, United Nations.

G. Welch () What can musical engagement in children with cognitive impairment tell us about their sense of self?, Personhood and Music Learning, Muitidisciplinary Perspectives and Narrative Voices.

Books

(2013) Responding to “Dido’s Lament”: a zygonic exploration in blended music-text space, (forthcoming).

(2012) A zygonic extension of semiotic analysis in music, (forthcoming).

(2012) Applied Musicology: Using Music Theory to Inform Music Psychology, Education and Therapy Research, Oxford University Press.

(2012) Applied Musicology: Using Zygonic Theory to Inform Music Psychology, Education and Therapy Research, Oxford University Press

Sergeant, D. (2012) Expecting to hear musical ‘antistructure’: explorations in the context of 12-tone rows, (forthcoming).

K. Shibazaki, N. Marshall (2012) Extending zygonic theory to children's group improvisation.

(2012) Mapping musical development in learners with the most complex needs: the Sounds of Intent project, Oxford Handbook of Music Education.

(2012) Music, Language and Autism, Jessica Kingsley.

(2012) Special abilities, special needs: commentary, Oxford Handbook of Music Education.

(2012) The Key to Music, (submitted, forthcoming).

(2012) What makes music, music? Theoretical explanations using zygonic theory, Musicae Scientiae.

Thorpe, M., Aksentijevic, A. (2011) An empirical exploration of the zygonic model of expectation in music, Psychology of Music.

(2008) ‘Beyond music psychology’, in Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology, ed. S. Hallam, I Cross and M. Thaut.

Pat Lloyd (2007) Foreword to 'Let's All Listen' by Pat Lloyd, London: Jessica Kingsley.

(2007) In the Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini, London: Hutchinson.

(2005) Repetition in Music: Theoretical and Metatheoretical Perspectives, London: Ashgate.

(2001) Objects of Reference: Promoting Early Symbolic Communication (Third Edition), London: Royal National Institute of the Blind.

G. Welch, S. Zimmermann (2001) PROMISE: The Provision of Music in Special Education, London: Institute of Education and Royal National Institute of the Blind.

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