Current Research Students

Rebecca Atkinson

Rebecca Atkinson is a Neurologic Music Therapy and Doctoral Researcher with the University of Roehampton. As a Director of Chiltern Music Therapy she is part of the therapy and research team, and her main focus of work is in Paediatric Brain Injury, Neurodegenerative conditions, Acute Care and Community Rehabilitation.

Ockelford, A. & Atkinson, R. & (2017) ‘Music in the Lives of Those with JNCL’, in B. Elmerskog, (ed.) Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (JNCL) and Education; A European Study, Norway, Snøfugl Forlag AS  

Atkinson, R. (2017) Review of the book Music therapy research (3rd ed.) by Wheeler, B. L., & Murphy, K. M. (Eds.). Barcelona Publishers: New Braunfels, TX. DOI: 10.1177/2059204317740351

Lauren Hogg

Lauren Hogg’s primary research interest is the interaction and communication between collaborating musicians during rehearsals and performances. How do they go about creating a performance together?

Emese Hruska

Emese Hruska is a violinist and teacher. Her PhD research has investigated advanced musicians' experiences of perfectionism and music performance anxiety. She specializes in supporting musicians to achieve their best in performance.

Hruska, E., Hargreaves, D.J., and Ockelford, A. (submitted). Perceived influences on musicians' development I: Family experiences. British Journal of Music Education

Hruska, E., Hargreaves, D.J., and Ockelford, A. (submitted). Perceived influences on musicians' development II: Educational experiences. British Journal of Music Education.

Hruska, E., Hargreaves, D.J., and Ockelford, A. (submitted). Perceived influences on musicians' development III: Intrapersonal factors. British Journal of Music Education


Hubert Ignatowicz 


Lisa Margetts

Wei Sam Soo 

Wei Sam Soo is a London-based pianist and piano teacher. She completed her MMus at the Trinity Conservatoire of Music and Dance and BMus (Hons) at King's College London. She started working with children with special needs and became interested in pedagogical work and approaches in teaching children with autism spectrum and learning difficulties. She pursues this line of enquiry and is currently studying her PhD on developing and testing new strategies using the piano to promote engagement and musical development of children with autism and learning difficulties, under the supervision of Professor Adam Ockelford.

Caitlin Shaughnessy

Caitlin Shaughnessy has a BA and an MSt in Musicology from the University of Oxford. She started her doctoral studies in 2017 on the SeNSS 1+3 pathway in the School of Education. Her research focuses on applications of musical training for children with Autism Spectrum Conditions, and how the interactive elements in musical practices might be developed to enhance prosocial skills.


Emma Shaw

Hayley Trower

Hayley Trower is supervised by Professor Adam Ockelford and Dr Arielle Bonneville-Roussy. Broad research interests include the aesthetic implications of expectation in music, music cognition and perception, and self-regulation. Her doctoral research empirically examines the underpinnings of melodic expectancy from a developmental perspective, addressing the question of why it is that we can be 'surprised' by elements of music that are familiar.

Angela Voyajolu

Angela Voyajolu’s research interests include young children’s musical development, special educational needs and music therapy. Angela is also a qualified music therapist, focusing on work with young people and adults with acquired brain injury and with children in the early years. 

Ockelford, A. and Voyajolu, A. (2017) ‘Musical play and play through music in early childhood’, in T. Bruce and M. Bredikyte (eds), Routledge Handbook of Play in Early Childhood, New York, NY; Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Himonides, E., Ockelford, A., and Voyajolu, A. (2017). Technology, SEN and EY. In A. King, E. Himonides, S. A. Ruthmann (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Music, Technology, and Education (pp. 79-89). New York, NY; Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Ockelford, A. and Voyajolu, A. (forthcoming) ‘The development of music-structural cognition in the early years: a new study offering a perspective from zygonic theory’ in A. Ockelford and G. Welch (eds), New Approaches to Analysis in Music Psychology and Education Research using Zygonic Theory, New York, NY; Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Voyajolu, A. and Ockelford, A. (2016) ‘Sounds of Intent in the Early Years: A proposed framework of young children’s musical development’, Research Studies in Music Education, 38(1), 93–113.

Vogiatzoglou, A., Ockelford, A., Welch, G. and Himonides, E. (2011) Sounds of Intent: software to assess the musical development of children and young people with complex needs', Music and Medicine, 3, 189-195.

Recent Alumi

Athina Stamou (Greece)

Athina Stamou was recently awarded a PhD in Education. Her research focuses on autism, inclusion, music and dance. Athina holds an MA in Special and Inclusive Education with a focus on dance therapy for autistic individuals and a PgDip in Social Research Methods. She is a dance performer and dance lecturer in further education and in the community, teaching dance to learners of all ages and abilities. She currently works as an Outreach Specialist Teacher for Autism providing support and training to professionals and parents of pupils on the autism spectrum attending inner city mainstream schools. She has taught in mainstream and special education for over ten years, in London and Greece.


Jessica Pitt (UK)


Nikoletta Polydorou (Cyprus)


Adam Reece (UK)


Yianna Rousha (Cyprus)


Kyproulla Markou (UK)


Kagari Shibazaki (Japan)


Sandrine Milhano (Portugal)


Gloria Zapata (Colombia)


Michael Thorpe (UK)

Fi Costa (UK)

PhD.: The effectiveness of music to improve the wellbeing of older people in residential care. University of Roehampton. Published Work: The effect of regular listening to preferred music on pain, depression and anxiety in older people in residential care. Psychology of Music, 2017, 1-18.


Daisy Fancourt(UK)