Dr Ruth Herbert
Lecturer in Contemporary and 20th Century Music Performance
- 01634 888 476
Ruth Herbert is a music psychologist and performer with diverse research interests in the fields of music in everyday life, music, health and wellbeing, music and consciousness, sonic studies and music education.
Ruth Herbert is a music psychologist and performer with diverse research interests in the fields of music in everyday life, music, health and wellbeing, music and consciousness (including ASC and Trance), sonic studies and music education. Further research interests include performance psychology, evolutionary psychology and ethology. As a professional pianist, Ruth has performed with various ensembles, notably recording soundtracks for silent films commissioned by the British Film Institute (BFI) with the piano trio Triptych, subsequently touring these works at major venues in the UK and USA (e.g. Barbican and Lincoln Centres).
After gaining a BMus Hons and MA in performance practice from Cardiff University, Ruth won a Munster Trust scholarship to pursue postgraduate advanced solo studies at the Royal Academy of Music. In 2009 she was awarded a PhD in music psychology from the University of Sheffield. Positions held include Head of Performance Studies at Dartington College of Arts and Lecturer in Music for the Open University. Prior to her appointment at Kent, Ruth held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford and a Junior Research Fellowship at Jesus College, Oxford.
Publications comprise an edited volume (with Eric Clarke (University of Oxford) and David Clarke (Newcastle University)on music and consciousness (OUP, 2019), a book on the psychology of everyday listening (Ashgate, 2011), chapters in edited volumes on Music and Consciousness (OUP, 2019, 2011; University of Wales Press, 2017), modes of music listening (Rombach-Verlag, 2017), Sounding Art (Routledge, 2017), peer-reviewed articles in a range of journals in music psychology and ethnomusicology, plus encyclopaedia entries in these fields (Sage, 2014). She has also published extensively on aspects of music teaching and education in mainstream specialist magazines (Rhinegold, Aceville publications and ABRSM publishing), in addition to undertaking consultancy work for OMD UK (featured in the Mail Online), the Daily Telegraph and the BBC.
Ruth is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Sonic Studies, Musicae Scientiae and the Global Listening Centre http://www.globallisteningcentre.org/member/ruth-herbert/. She is also a member of the Music Education Expo and Musical Theatre and Drama Education Advisory Committee, the NYJC/IoE Jazz and Gender Forum,is a trustee for the National Youth Jazz Collective and an external examiner for the Royal Academy of Music (BMus programmes).
Current, ongoing and future projects include:
- Research project (with Jackie Walduck) on performer/audience multisensory experiences of music when sight is restricted or absent.
- An empirical investigation of musical daydreaming.
Planned recording of contemporary chamber music commissions with the ensemble TableMusic.Ruth is chair of the University of Kent's Research Network in Music and Health https://research.kent.ac.uk/music-and-health/. back to top
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
- Herbert, R [forthcoming] Music and Consciousness II. Co-editor with Eric Clarke and David Clarke. Oxford: OUP.
- Herbert, R (2011) Everyday Music Listening: Absorption, Dissociation and Trancing, Aldershot, Ashgate.
Read a review of this book at the Journal Of Sonic Studies website.
- Herbert, R [forthcoming] "Sonic Subjectivities," In Cobussen, M., Meelberg, V, & Truax, B (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art London, Routledge.
- Herbert, R [forthcoming] "Multimodal Music Listening and Erickson's Everyday Trance," In Aringer, K., Prassl, F.K., Revers, P. and Utz, C. (eds.) Geschichte und Gegenwart des musikalischen Hörens, Freiburg: Rombach-Verlag.
- Herbert, R [forthcoming] "Everyday Trancing and Musical Daydreams," In Finnegan, R. (eds.), Entrancement: Tales of Earth and Heaven Wales: University of Wales Press.
- Herbert, R (2011) "Consciousness and everyday music listening: trancing, dissociation and absorption," In Clarke, D.I, & Clarke, E.F, Music and Consciousness: Philosophical, Psychological, and Cultural perspectives Oxford, OUP.
Articles in professional (refereed) journals:
- Herbert, R. & Dibben, N. [submitted to Psychology of Music, under review]. Making sense of music: meanings 10-18 year olds attach to experimenter-selected musical materials.
- Herbert, R (2013) An empirical study of normative dissociation in musical and non-musical everyday life experiences. Psychology of Music. 41 3: 372-394.
- Herbert, R (2012) "Modes of music listening, modes of subjectivity," Journal of Sonic Studies. 2 1.
- Herbert, R (2011) "Musical and non-musical involvement in daily life: the case of absorption," Musicae Scientiae. 16 1.
- Herbert, R (2011) "Reconsidering Trance: cross-cultural differences and cross-disciplinary perspectives," Ethnomusicology Forum. 20 2: 100-127.
Articles in professional (non-refereed) journals:
- Herbert, R (2014) "Music & Me: Musical engagement at KS2," Teach Primary Magazine 8, 110-111
- Herbert, R (2012) "The private (musical) lives of tweens and teens," Music Teacher (July issue).
- Herbert, R (2008) "Theory for the early grades," Libretto, Vol.3, p.6.
- Herbert, R (2007) "Surround Sound: The vital role of specialist music teachers in primary education," Music Teacher Vol. 86 8: 30-31.
- Herbert, R (2006) "Listen up! Different ways of listening - or not - to music," Music Teacher Vol. 85 6: 35-37.
- Herbert, R (2005) "Adults Only: How understanding student & teacher presumptions can speed up the learning process," Music Teacher Vol. 84 9: 59-61.
- Herbert, R (2005) "Practice makes Perfect: Techniques that can lead to improved motivation," Music Teacher Vol. 84 2: 29-31.
- Herbert, R. (2004) "A Popular Approach: Bridging the divide between classical and popular piano," Music Teacher Vol. 83 6: 32-34.
- Herbert, R. (2004) "Mind your Language: How the right choice of words can improve communication and results," Music Teacher Vol. 83/1, pp.32-33.
- Herbert, R (2014) 'Trance'. In Thompson, B., & Golson, G. (eds), Music in the Social and Behavioural Sciences. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
- Herbert, R (2014) 'Dissociation'. In Thompson, B., & Golson, G. (eds), Music in the Social and Behavioural Sciences. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
- Herbert, R (2013) Review of Harris M. Berger, Stance: "Ideas about Emotion, Style and Meaning for the Study of Expressive Culture," Volume! La revue des Musiques Populaires/The French Journal of Popular Music Studies, 10 1.
- Herbert, R (2013) "Music and Dissociation: Experiences without valence? ’Observing Self and ‘Absent’ Self," Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Music and Emotion. Finland: University of Jyväskylä, June 2013. Geoff Luck & Olivier Brabant (Eds.)
- Herbert, R (2012) "Conceptualizing the Subjective Experience of Listening to Music in Everyday Life," In Cambourpoulos, E., Tsougras, C., Mavromatis, P., Pastiadis K. (eds), 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Coghnition and the 8th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (pp. 421-22). Thessaloniki, Greece: Aristotle University.
- Herbert, R (2012) "Young People’s Use and Subjective Experience of Music Outside School," In Cambourpoulos, E., Tsougras, C., Mavromatis, P., Pastiadis K. (eds), 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Coghnition and the 8th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (pp. 423-31). Thessaloniki, Greece: Aristotle University.
- After Death (2002) British Film Institute Publications (DVD soundtrack for silent film).
- Lady Windermere's Fan (2001) British Film Institute Publications (VHS: soundtrack for silent film).
Ruth teaches in the areas of music performance, performance psychology and stagecraft, social and applied psychology, education and wellbeing. Ruth is strongly committed to helping students achieve their full academic potential and possesses a Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGDipLATHE (Oxon)). She is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.In 2018 Ruth and Rich Perks won the University of Kent’s Humanities Faculty Teaching Prize (1st) for: The Integration of Peer-Review, Reflective Feedback, and Reflexivity into the Teaching and Assessment of Music Performance. back to top
Psychology of Music; music in everyday life; music, health and wellbeing; music and consciousness (including ASC and Trance); performance psychology; music in education (including pedagogy); sonic studies, evolutionary psychology, ethology. My previous research has centred around empirical study of the phenomenology of musical experiences in daily life. I recently led the Experiencing music project, a nationwide three year study focusing on the subjective musical experiences of 10-18 year olds and the influence of individual differences in age, personality and training upon involvement with music. Current and future projects include:
- an empirical study of music, influence and belief
- a multidisciplinary edited volume, provisionally titled Fascination, on the topic of musical and non-musical involvement.
- a position paper titled 'Defining Dissociation'.
- a recording of contemporary piano trio works, including commissioned works by Tim Richards and Colin Riley.
Conference papers are listed below. Go to the 'Publications' tab for details of books, articles, conference proceedings etc.
- Herbert, R. & Dibben, N. Making Sense of Music: Meanings Perceived by 10-18 Year-Olds in Experimenter-Selected Musical Materials. 9th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM), RNCM, Manchester August 2015.
- Herbert, R. & Bagkeris, E. Tweens' and Teens' Engagement with Music in Daily Life: Individual Differences and Psychological Characteristics of Subjective Experience. 9th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM), RNCM, Manchester August 2015.
- Herbert, R. Absorption and Openness to Experience: An Everyday Tale of Traits, States and Consciousness Transformation with Music. 2nd International Conference on Music and Consciousness. University of Oxford, April 2015.
- Herbert, R. Designing Experience: Everyday Multimodal Listening, Sound Art and Multisensory Experiential Marketing. International Conference on the Multimodal Experience of Music. University of Sheffield March 2015.
- Herbert, R. The Private Musical Worlds of Tweens and Teens. SEMPRE conference 'Children's Musical Worlds'. University of Reading October 2014.
- Herbert, R. Music and Dissociation: Experiences without valence? ‘Observing Self and ‘Absent’ Self. Member of Altered States Symposium at 3rd International Conference on Music and Emotion. Finland: University of Jyväskylä, June 2013.
- Herbert, R. Musical Engagement and Wellbeing in Real-World Contexts: Subjective Experience of Young People between 10 and 18 years old. SEMPRE International Conference ‘Setting the Tempo’. Canterbury Christchurch University, April 2013.
- Herbert, R. Multimodal Music Listening and Erickson’s Concept of the “Common Everyday Trance”. Invited speaker at Historical and Contemporary Modes of Musical Listening Symposium. Graz, University of Music and Dramatic Arts, January 2013.
- Herbert, R. Conceptualising the subjective experience of music in ‘real world’ contexts. (invited chair - position paper) RMA Music and Philosophy Study Group, King’s College, London, July 2012.
- Herbert, R. Young people's use and subjective experience of music outside school. 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC) and 8th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM), Thessaloniki, Greece, July 2012.
- Herbert, R. Striking a Balance: Mobile Music Listening, Self-Regulation and Well-Being in Everyday Life. SEMPRE Conference of Music Health and Well-Being. Canterbury Christchurch University, September 2011.
- Herbert, R. Moving Beyond the Horizon of Emotion: The Subjective Experience of Listening to Music in Everyday Life. Royal Musical Association (RMA) Annual Conference, University of Sussex, July, 2011.
- Herbert, R. Normative Dissociation and Absorption in Everyday Life Experiences of Music British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Glasgow, May 2011.
- Herbert, R. Pleasure and Detachment in Everyday Music Listening Experiences: Absorption, Dissociation and Involvement. British Forum for Ethnomusicology one day conference, London, November, 2009.
- Herbert, R. Range of Consciousness in Everyday Listening Experiences. International Conference on Music & Consciousness, Sheffield, July 2006.
Applications from research students interested in the following areas are welcome: music in everyday life; music, health and wellbeing; music in education; music and consciousness.back to top