Name: Emma Moore

PhD Title: Music and Dyslexia: From the Brain to the Classroom

Department(s): Reid School of Music, Department of Psychology and Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Supervisors: Dr Katie Overy, Prof Holly Branigan & Dr Mark Bastin



Emma completed her undergraduate degree in Music at the University of Edinburgh in 2013, where she was awarded the Niecks Essay Prize for her Final Year Dissertation entitled “Does Musical Training-Induced Brain Plasticity have the Potential to Aid the Recovery of Motor and Language Function in Stroke Survivors?” She then completed an MSc by Research in Music and Neuroimaging, which explored the potential of musical cueing to facilitate movement learning and drive structural connectivity changes. Emma is currently completing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh where she is supervised by Dr Katie Overy, Prof Holly Branigan and Dr Mark Bastin and supported by a Thomas Laing Reilly PhD Scholarship in Music. Emma was recently awarded funding from the William Dickson Travel Fund, Gwen Clutterbuck Travel Scholarship and the Principal’s Go Abroad Fund (all University of Edinburgh) to spend one month training with Dr Jessica Grahn, at the Brain and Mind Institute, Western University.


Research Interests

Emma is interested in the potential of music to support movement and language learning as well as well as the impact of music on brain structure, which she explores using diffusion tensor MRI. Emma’s research is currently focused on music and dyslexia, specifically whether specially designed classroom musical activities can support literacy skills in children with dyslexia and the neural mechanisms behind this support. She has previously collaborated with Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital to collect data for a study investigating syllable discrimination in adults with dyslexia. Emma has also conducted research investigating the potential of musical cues to support movement learning and changes in auditory-motor connectivity.



Moore E, Schaefer RS, Bastin ME, Roberts N, Overy K. (2014) Can Musical Training Influence Brain Connectivity? Evidence from Diffusion Tensor MRI.Brain Sciences. 4(2):405-427.


Invited Lectures & Conference Presentations

Moore, E., Branigan, H., & Overy, K., (2016) Group Rhythm Games for Literacy Support, International Society for Music Education (ISME) Conference, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, 24th-29th July 2016

Moore E., Schaefer R.S., Bastin, M.E., Roberts, N., & Overy, K., (2016) Musically Cued Motor Training and White Matter Connectivity, SEMPRE Music Education and Technology 2016 (MET2016), Senate House, University College London, 14th-15th March 2016

Moore, E., & Overy, K., (2015) “Can Music Help to Make Sense of Dyslexia”?, Dyslexia Awareness Week, Stockbridge Library, 4th November 2015

Moore, E., (2015) Musically-Cued Motor Training & Neuroplasticity, Musical Learning Across the Lifespan (MLAL) Symposium, Don Wright Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, 17th October 2015.

Moore, E., (2015) The Musical Brain, Guest Lecture, Music Psychology Course, Don Wright Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, 1st October 2015.

Moore, E., (2014) Music and Dyslexia, Guest Lecture, Designing Alternatives Course, School of Design at Edinburgh College of Art, Evolution House, Edinburgh, 16th October 2014.


Poster Presentations

Moore, E., Schaefer, R.S., Bastin, M.E., Roberts, N. & Overy, K. (2015) Four Weeks of Musically Cued Motor Training Induces Structural Changes in the Arcuate Fasciculus, Poster Session presented at the British Neuroscience Association Festival of Neuroscience, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh, 13th April 2015

Moore, E., Schaefer, R.S., Bastin, M.E., Roberts, N. & Overy, K. (2013) Music Moves: The Effects of Musical and Visual Cueing on Finger Movement Learning, Poster Session presented at the Centre for In Vivo Imaging Science (CIVIS) Annual Scientific Meeting, Chancellor’s Building, Edinburgh, 28th November 2013


Funding Awarded 

2017   Neurosciences and Music VI Conference Scholarship

2016  Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (PPLS) Research Support Grant

2016   Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and International Brain Research Organisation Pan European Regional Committee (IBRO-PERC) stipend

2016   Conference Award, Society for Education and Music Psychology Research (SEMPRE)

2016   Postgraduate Research Expenses, Edinburgh College of Art

2015    Innovation Initiative Grant, University of Edinburgh Development Fund

2015    Moray Endowment Fund, University of Edinburgh

2015    Gwen Clutterbuck Scholarship, Reid School of Music

2015    Principal’s Go Abroad Fund, University of Edinburgh

2015    William Dickson Travelling Fund, University of Edinburgh

2014    Gerry Farrell Travelling Scholarship, Society for Education and Music Psychology Research (SEMPRE)

2014   Postgraduate Research Expenses, Edinburgh College of Art

2014 – 2017   Thomas Laing Reilly Scholarships in MusicReid School of Music

2014     Gwen Clutterbuck Scholarship, Reid School of Music

2013     Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC) Scholarship, Clinical Research Imaging Centre

2013     F.M.Cullen Bequest, Reid School of Music

2013     Niecks Essay Prize for Final Year Dissertation, Reid School of Music

2010-2013    Guthrie Watson Scholarship for Highest Overall Academic Mark at the end of First Year,   Reid School of Music



Music 1A: Psychology of Music, First Year Undergraduate, Contributing Lecturer and Course Tutor, University of Edinburgh

Composition 1, First Year Undergraduate, Course Tutor, University of Edinburgh


Unpublished Work

Almeida, A., Garrido, A. G., Moore, E., Wilson, G., Rodgers, S., Davidson-Kelly, K. and Overy, K. (2016). An Evaluation of SCO ReConnect: Music Workshops for People Living with Dementia. Unpublished report, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, University of Edinburgh, UK.