Musical Chairs 2019!

On Saturday 16th November 2019 Katie took part in Orchestras for All’s “Musical Chairs” event, helping to raise money for the organisation. People signed up to be members of a very special orchestra, with all the players playing instruments that were completely new to them. After a few weeks of practice, Katie managed to get some notes out of the saxophone (her first instrument is the flute), and joined others in the wind section. Guided by some of the members of the National Orchestra for All, the orchestra performed a selection of pieces from this season’s repertoire, including Verdi’s Anvil Chorus and a rousing Ghanaian song A Keelie Makolay.

Katie joins the saxophone section for Musical Chairs 2019

A great day was had by all, and the event raised £21,400 for dedicated young musicians leading complex lives. We will definitely be signing up again next year… maybe trying the cello next time! Thank you for a wonderful day Orchestras for All! 

British Psychological Society, CogDev 2019 Conference

Music and Cognition at CogDev 2019

Katie attended The BPS Cognitive Psychology Section and Developmental Psychology Section joint conference in Stoke on Trent, 4-6 September 2019. 

The conference hosted Psychologists from all over the UK presenting their work in cognitive and developmental psychology, covering a wide variety of topics from executive functioning, attention, language and literacy, to the development of social and emotional wellbeing. 

Katie also presented work from her PhD looking at executive function in deaf children

Katie presented our work looking at how task presentation can impact children’s performance on an inhibition task. We found that when a peg tapping task is presented with predicable timings (as opposed to unpredictable), children do better on the task. This has important implications for the way in which researchers and other practitioners use certain tests to assess ability – and it generated a lot of interest, conversation and positive feedback from conference attendees.  

We will be publishing our findings on this study soon, so watch this space! 

Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development (BCCCD19)

January 3-5th 2019, Katie and Alice attended the Central European University’s Conference on Cognitive Development in Budapest, Hungary. The conference featured a fantastic line-up of international cognitive development researchers, all meeting to discuss their recent findings and advances in the field. Alice and Katie presented a poster of their work investigating the impact of music classes on preschool children’s executive function skills, which was very well received!

It was interesting to learn about the latest developments in research methodology, particularly in the study of baby and infant cognition. With a mixture of lab-based and ‘real-world’ studies, the conference gave us lots of food for thought when it comes to study design and the balance between scientific rigour and collection of data that can be applied to real-life situations.

New Publication! Out now in Frontiers in Psychology

Our latest paper entitled “Investigating the impact of a musical intervention on preschool children’s executive function” is now available in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology – you can read the paper here.

We conducted the research with the UCL Institute of Education and arts charity Creative Futures to investigate the effect of weekly musicianship training on the executive function abilities of 3-to-4-year-old children at a London preschool. The findings from the study contribute to current debates about the potential cognitive benefit of musical interventions, including important issues regarding intervention duration, experimental design, target age groups, executive function testing, and task novelty – all of which we discuss in the paper. You can read more about the study on our “Projects” page!

Sounding Out: A toolkit for music practitioners working with deaf students

In September 2018, Katie and Tiziana Pozzo worked with the arts charity, Creative Futures, to produce an online toolkit for music practitioners working with deaf children.

“Sounding Out” is a comprehensive resource to support music leaders and school teachers who work with deaf children, and is a culmination of the experiences and learning from across a 3-year programme in specialist schools for deaf children funded by Youth Music.

The toolkit consists of two sections, a theoretical introduction and a practical section with step-by-step guides to creating warm-up activities, musical games and main activities, supported by video examples. This free resource can be found on Creative Futures’ website here.

There is also an in-depth blog post about the creation of the toolkit here!