Dr Karen Burland
Head of School and Associate Professor of Music Psychology
0113 343 2579
School of Music, room G.03
Office hours: Variable - please check the notice on my door
BMus (Hons), MA,PGCAP, PhD
Dr Karen Burland was appointed to the staff at Leeds in 2005. She is currently Head of the School of Music. Karen has published book chapters and journal articles focusing on musical development, musical identities, the transition between higher education and performance/non-performance professions, audience participation in live events, and the benefits of music technology in music therapy. Karen is currently a University Student Education Fellow.
Karen studied as an undergraduate and postgraduate at the University of Sheffield and finished her PhD in January 2005. During her postgraduate studies Karen worked as a visiting lecturer at The University of Leeds and The University of Sheffield and was a research assistant for Dr Stephanie Pitts (on PALATINE and British Academy funded projects) and Professors Eric Clarke and Nicholas Cook (British Academy funded project). Karen also teaches the clarinet and saxophone and is an active performer, playing principal clarinet with Hallam Sinfonia, and baritone saxophone with Saxsational saxophone quartet, Middlewood Sessions, and Langsett Dance Band.
- Musical identities
- Musical development
- Music Therapy and Music Technology
- Audience experience
Karen’s research in this area focuses specifically on the environmental conditions leading to childhood musical success and the professional development of musicians during their career transitions. In particular Karen is interested in how musicians cope with their transitions from training in Higher Education to entering a performance or non-performance based career. Karen was awarded the prestigious Uchida Fellowship in 2002 which enabled her to conduct similar research in Japan for a short period of time: she is currently working on the report of her findings. Karen has also investigated creativity and the influence of different group settings on the quality of children’s group compositions.
Karen’s current research activity focuses on musical identities: she argues that musicians possess either a professional or amateur musical identity which influences their career choices. She has recently worked with Dr Luke Windsor (University of Leeds) to investigate how an individual’s musical identity is presented in performance. Karen has recently started a new longitudinal study entitled The art of nu-jazz: investigating the process, experience and impact of collaborative studio projects in which she is exploring the musical identities of musicians creating and performing music which is based in a studio environment.
Karen worked with Dr Stephanie Pitts (University of Sheffield) on a British Academy funded project investigating the roles and experiences of listeners at a chamber music festival. They have subsequently worked on a project funded by the British Academy investigating audience experience at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival; investigating identity, community and participation, which was followed up by a case study of a small, prestigious jazz club in Oxford – ‘The Spin’. Karen and Stephanie have an edited book called ‘Coughing and Clapping: Investigating Audience Experience’ was published with Ashgate in November 2014.
Music Therapy and Music Technology
Karen has worked with Dr Wendy Magee (Temple University) on a project investigating music therapists use of music technology in therapeutic settings. The research explored the ways in which therapists are working with music technology and the ways in which it enhances the therapeutic process.
- Current Modules
- MUSS1520 Introduction to the Sciences of Music
- MUSS2920 Psychology of Listening and Performance
- MUSS2925 Music Students into Schools
- MUSS3940 Music Psychology
- MUSS3140 Minor/Major Dissertation
- MUSS5931 Case Studies in the Applied Psychology of Music
- MUSS5932 Research Techniques in the Applied Psychology of Music.
Head of School
Director of Music Alumni Network.
(2016). Coughing and Clapping: Investigating Audience Experience. Routledge.
(2016). Understanding live coding events. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media. 12(2), 139-151.
DOI: 10.1080/14794713.2016.1227596, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/109223/
(2013). Musical Recall Enables Playing by Ear Ability in Trained Pianists. Music Perception. . (In preparation)
(2013). Developing identities using music technology in therapeutic settings. Psychology of Music. . (Accepted)
(2013). Listening to live jazz: an individual or social act?. Arts Marketing: An International Journal. , 7-20.
(2012). Rules and expectations of jazz gigs. Social Semiotics. 22(5), 523-543.
(2011). The art of nu-jazz: understanding identity and collaboration in creative studio projects. In preparation. . (In preparation)
(2011). University to Career transitions: finding a musical identity. In preparation. . (In preparation)
(2010). The Social and Applied Psychology of Music. BRIT J MUSIC EDUC. 27(1), 101-103.
(2010). Understanding Jazz Audiences: Listening and Learning at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. J NEW MUSIC RES. 39(2), 125-134.
(2008). Using electronic music technologies in clinical practice: opportunities, limitations and clinical indicators. British Journal of Music Therapy. 22(1), 3-15.
(2008). An Exploratory Study of the Use of Electronic Music Technologies in Clinical Music Therapy. NORD J MUSIC THER. 17(2), 124-141.
(2007). Becoming a music student: investigating the skills and attitudes of students beginning a music degree. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education. 6(3), 289-308.
(2007). Identifying treatment process in the clinical application of electronic music technologies with complex disabilities. Clinical Rehabilitation. 21(12), 1145-1146.
(2006). Review of The Reflective Conservatoire: Research Studies in Music Education 4. British Journal of Music Education. 23(3), 365-368.
(2004). The role of parents in the development of the professional classical musician. Sciences et Techniques en Activites Physiques et Sportives. Special Edition. 64, 89-108.
(2003). The social context of musical success: A developmental account. British Journal of Psychology. 94(4), 529-549.
(2002). Training the Talented. Music Education Research. 4(1), 121-140.
(2001). Investigating Social Processes in Group Musical Composition. Research Studies in Music Education. 16, 46-56.
(2017). Exploring, enhancing and evaluating musical ‘doctorateness’: Perspectives on performance and composition. In Perspectives on Research Assessment in Architecture, Music and the Arts: Discussing Doctorateness(114-128).
DOI: 10.4324/9781315526652, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/116970/
(2014). Moving the gong: exploring the contexts of improvisation and composition. In Burland, K & Pitts S (Ed.) Coughing and Clapping: Investigating Audience Experience(101-114)Farnham: Ashgate.
Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/80974/
(2006). Musician Identity Formation. In McPherson GE (Ed.) The Child as Musician: A handbook of musical development(475-490)Oxford University Press.
(2004). Tracing a Musical Life Transition. In Davidson JW (Ed.) The Music Practitioner(225-250)Ashgate Publishing Limited.
Music technology in therapy and its relevance to identity. In Magee WM (Ed.) Music Therapy in Health and Therapeutic Settings()Jessica Kingsley. (In preparation)
Understanding festival audiences. In Lamont A (Ed.) Choosing Music: the contexts, motivations, processes and effects of music listening()Oxford University Press. (In preparation)
‘Understanding Jazz Audiences: a case study of 'The Spin', Oxford’ Business of Live Music, University of Edinburgh, U.K., 01/04/2011 (Unpublished)
‘Audience Experiences at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival’ Leeds International Jazz Conference, Leeds College of Music, Leeds, 01/04/2008
‘Performing Musical Identities’ PERFORMA (Conference on Performance Studies), Department of Communicationa and Art, Aveiro, Portugal, 01/01/2007
‘Identifying treatment process in the clinical application of electronic music technologies with complex disabilities’ Winter meeting of the Society for Research in Rehabilitation, Sheffield, 01/01/2007
‘Integrating electronic music technologies in music therapy practice: results of a qualitative investigation’ Composition and computer-assisted music-making, Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research, Birmingham, 01/01/2007
‘A systematic qualitative study of the application of electronic music technologies in clinical music therapy’ Joint summer meeting of the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine and The Society for Research in Rehabilitation, London, 01/01/2006
‘University to career transitions: finding a musical identity’ Ninth International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition, University of Bologna, Italy, 22/08/2006
‘Communicating a musical identity’ Music and Gesture 2, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 01/01/2006 (Unpublished)
‘Integrating electronic music technologies in music therapy practice: preliminary findings of a research study’. In British Society of Music Therapy Annual Conference, LondonBritish Society of Music Therapy Annual Conference, London..
‘A Tale of the Unexpected...? A study of undergraduate music students beginning a career transition’. In The Fourth International Research in Music Education Conference, ExeterThe Fourth International Research in Music Education Conference, Exeter..
‘The Professional and Amateur Musical Identity’. In Eighth International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition.Eighth International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition...
‘Musical Life Transitions: Teenage to Adult Professional Involvement’. In Eighth International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, ChicagoEighth International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Chicago..
‘The emerging 'performer' identity’. In Fifth Triennial European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music Conference, Hanover, GermanyFifth Triennial European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music Conference, Hanover, Germany..
‘Which childhood factors contribute to adult professional musical involvement?’. In Seventh International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Sydney, Australia.Seventh International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Sydney, Australia...
‘Influential factors in professional musical development’. In Seventh International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Sydney, AustraliaSeventh International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Sydney, Australia..
‘Training the Talented’. In The Second International Research in Music Education Conference, ExeterThe Second International Research in Music Education Conference, Exeter..
‘The creative and collaborative music identity: investigating different social approaches to musical composition’. In Sixth International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, KeeleSixth International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Keele..
(2006). Exploring the use of electronic music technologies in clinical music therapy: Establishing definitions and scope of practice. Final Report. London: Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability.
(2003). The role of peers in musical development. EPTA Piano Professional. . 2, 14-14.
Research Projects & Grants
- The British Academy Small Research Grant, July December 2007 Audience experience at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival: investigating identity, community and participation (4974).
- The Japan Foundation Uchida Fellowship, March 2002 May 2002. Investigating cultural differences in the emerging performer identity (5,000).
Reviews Editor for British Journal of Music Education
- Reviewer for Psychology of Music, British Journal of Music Education, Leverhulme, Ashgate and Oxford University Press
- Treasurer for SEMPRE
PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision
Current Research Students
- Claire Slight (jointly supervised with Dr Luke Windsor): “Exploring the university to career transitions of UK music postgraduate students”
- Liz Brooker (jointly supervised with Dr Luke Windsor): “Music performance anxiety: an investigative study into the efficacy of innovative interventions when applied to piano students at undergraduate level”
- Albini Saragu (jointly supervised with Dr Luke Windsor): “Designing Children’s Music Activities using Multicultural Musical Resources”
- Mary Black (jointly supervised with Dr Bryan White): ‘Singing is like pole vaulting’: the use and effect of imagery in choral conducting.
- Dorien Schampaert (jointly supervised with Dr James Mooney): “Expressive Electricity:a study of the Ondes Martenot in use, practice and culture”
Past PhD students
- Diane Sapiro (jointly supervised with Dr Luke Windsor): An investigation into the psychological processes that facilitate playing the piano by ear
- Emilee Simmons (jointly supervised with Dr Kevin Dawe): REM and the Alternative
- Maureen Mather (jointly supervised with Dr Luke Windsor): An investigation into the use of music to support non-musical learning goals within mainstream learning support settings
Becoming a musician: a longitudinal study investigating the career transitions of undergraduate music students
This thesis examines the nature of the transition between training as an undergraduate musician and choosing whether or not to pursue a career as a professional performer. Previous studies of musical development have focused on childrens skill acquisition, but few have considered the roles of motivation, practice, and the social environment in the transition into the music profession. Musicians making early career choices are also progressing through one of the most critical life-span changes from adolescence to young adulthood and little is known about how the psychological changes occurring during this time influence a musicians development.
A two-year longitudinal study was conducted with a group of 32 musicians who, at the beginning of the study, were undergraduate music students attending either a British music college or university. Eight interviews were conducted with each of the participants. These were primarily qualitative in design, being either structured or semi-structured and the data were analysed using qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques. The findings indicate that distinct characteristics defined the musicians who chose to pursue a professional performance career which differed from those for whom music became an amateur interest. The results suggest that the four factors of motivation, musical identity, learning styles and coping strategies interact and influence the career choices of the musicians. It is suggested that an individuals musical identity and his/her coping strategies play an integral role in the process of becoming a professional or amateur musician. A Dynamic Model of Musical Identity Formation and Career Choice is proposed in order to depict and explain the complex process of becoming a professional or amateur musician in adulthood.
Saxsational Saxophone Quartet (Baritone Saxophone)
- Hallam Sinfonia (Clarinet)
- Middlewood Sessions (Baritone Saxophone)
- Langsett Dance Orchestra (Baritone Saxophone)