IMHSD Director and Senior Lecturer, Reid School of Music
My core research interest is musical learning, which I explore from the perspectives of music psychology, music pedagogy and music neuroscience. I am particularly interested in the positive effects of musical experience and in bridging the gap between research and practice in our understanding of how music can support individuals with diagnoses such as dyslexia, aphasia, autism and dementia. To date I have supervised eight PhD theses on topics such as music in foreign language learning, music in prison education and music for cochlear implant users.
My own research focuses on musical rhythm and I have co-edited several interdisciplinary special issues on the topic of the musical, rhythmic brain, including for Transactions of the Royal Society B (2015), Proceedings of the New York Academy of Sciences (2012), Cortex (2009) and Contemporary Music Review (2009). My first academic publication in 1998, “Can music really improve the mind?” was one of only six papers recently selected for reprint in the Psychology of Music 40th Anniversary Commemorative Collection (2012).
I was the UK partner in the EC Marie Curie International Training Network EBRAMUS (Europe, Brain and Music) and I am currently a Visiting Professor in Music Education at Western University, Canada, where I have helped to establish Musical Learning Across the Lifespan (MLAL), a new initiative bringing together researchers from the Don Wright Faculty of Music and the Brain and Mind Institute.
2014 The Radcliffe Trust: Music Grant
2012 Royal Society of Edinburgh: Small Research Grant
2012 University of Edinburgh CHSS: Challenge Award
2011 EC PF7 People (IEF): ‘Music Moves’
2010 EC PF7 People (ITN): ‘EBRAMUS: Europe, Brain and Music’
2010 Scottish Arts Council: ‘Inspiring Change’ Evaluation
2009 EC Comenius Programme: ‘European Music Portfolio’
2008 The Grammy Foundation: Music and emotion in individuals with ASD
2008 University of Edinburgh CHSS KT Office: CPD teacher training workshops
2006 AHRC: Essay on the Value of Music Research to Life in the UK
2002 Harold Wingate Foundation: fMRI music research with young children
Davidson-Kelly, K., Schaefer, R. S., Moran, N., & Overy, K. (2015). “Total inner memory”: Deliberate uses of multimodal musical imagery during performance preparation. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, 25(1), 83.
Schaefer, R. S., & Overy, K. (2015). Motor responses to a steady beat. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1337(1), 40-44.
Moore, E., Schaefer, R. S., Bastin, M. E., Roberts, N., & Overy, K. (2014). Can musical training influence brain connectivity? Evidence from diffusion tensor MRI. Brain sciences, 4(2), 405-427.
Ludke, K. M., Ferreira, F., & Overy, K. (2014). Singing can facilitate foreign language learning. Memory & cognition, 42(1), 41-52.
Smith, R., Rathcke, T., Cummins, F., Overy, K., & Scott, S. (2014). Communicative rhythms in brain and behaviour. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 369(1658), 20130389.
Schaefer, R. S., Morcom, A. M., Roberts, N., & Overy, K. (2014). Moving to music: effects of heard and imagined musical cues on movement-related brain activity. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 8.0305735613517411.
Moir, Z., & Overy, K. (2013). 14 The impact of cochlear implants on musical experience. Medicine, Health and the Arts: Approaches to the Medical Humanities, 246.
Schaefer, R. S., Overy, K., & Nelson, P. (2013). Affect and non-uniform characteristics of predictive processing in musical behaviour. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36(03), 226-227.
Selected Invited Talks
2013 Musical Learning and the Brain (Keynote), Kodaly Summer School, National Youth Choir of Scotland, Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh, 4th-9th August 2013
2013 Rhythm, Movement and the Brain (Keynote), First International Conference of Dalcroze Studies, Coventry, 24th-26th July 2013
2013 Music as Shared Affective Motion Experience (Keynote), International Summer School on Musical Understanding: Philosophical, Psychological, and Neuroscientific Approaches, Sheffield, 8th-11th July 2013
2013 The Musical Brain (Keynote), The 8th International Conference for Research in Music Education (RIME), Exeter, 9th -13th November 2013
2015 Edinburgh International Science Festival (Talk)
2013 Happy Birthday Danny Boy, Independent Documentary Film (Interview)
2013 Call Kaye, Radio Scotland (Interview)
2013 Singing can help with Foreign Language Learning, The Telegraph online (Interview)
2012 Lost and Sound, Independent Documentary Film (Interview)
2011 Twinkle, Twinkle, The Telegraph online (Interview)
2011 Reel Science, Music Neuroscience, Edinburgh International Film Festival (Curator)
2010 Conversations: Midori, Edinburgh International Festival (Interview)
2009 Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4 (Interview)
2009 In Tune, BBC Radio 3 (Interview)
2008 Mapping The Mind, BBC Radio Scotland (Interview)
2008 Oliver Sacks: Tales of Music and the Brain, Imagine, BBC 1 (Consultant)
2006 The Colour of Sound, Independent Documentary Film (Consultant)
2006 Times Educational Supplement (Interview)
2004 The Musical Brain, BBC Music Magazine (Interview)
2003 Society for Neuroscience Press Conference (Panel member)
2002 BBC Radio Sheffield (Interview)
Conference and Workshop Organisation
2015 Musical Learning Across the Lifespan (MLAL), Public Symposium, Western University
2013 EBRAMUS Workshop on Music in the Rehabilitation of Memory and Learning, University of Lille
2012 IMHSD Summer Workshop on Hearing, Seeing and Imagining, Herstmonceux Castle
2012 Perspectives on Rhythm and Timing (PoRT), University of Glasgow
2012 Approaches to Rhythm and Timing in Scotland Today (ARTiST), University of Edinburgh
2011 The Neurosciences and Music IV: Learning and Memory, University of Edinburgh
2010 IMHSD Summer Workshop on Music, Pattern and Mathematics, Herstmonceux Castle
2010 Robert Schumann: the Man, the Mind, the Music, London
2009 The Nash Ensemble and the Musical Brain, London
2008 IMHSD Conference: Dance, Timing and Musical Gesture, University of Edinburgh
2007 IMHSD Summer Workshop on Music, Language and Movement, Herstmonceux Castle
2006 Music and Disability, St. Cecilia’s Hall, University of Edinburgh
2006 IMHSD Conference: Rhythm, Time and Temporal Organisation, University of Edinburgh
2005 IMHSD Colloquium: Interactive Minds, University of Edinburgh
- The Kodaly Approach to Music Education (Course Organiser)
- Music in the Community (Contributer)
- Research Methods (Contributer)
- Music, Mind and Body A: Physiology and Neuroscience (Course Organiser)
- Music, Mind and Body B: Psychology and Sociology (Course Organiser)
- Research Methods B (Course Organiser)