Ruth Herbert gained a B.Mus. Hons and M.A in performance practice from Cardiff University before winning a Munster Trust scholarship to pursue postgraduate advanced solo studies (piano) at the Royal Academy of Music. In 2009 she was awarded a PhD in music psychology from the University of Sheffield. For several years she was Head of Performance at Dartington College of Arts, is an experienced Associate Lecturer for the OU and was appointed Lecturer (fixed term appointment) in April 2012.
Ruth has research interests in music psychology (social and applied; music cognition), music, wellbeing and health, music and consciousness, music education and the psychology of performance. Her current research centres around empirical exploration of the psychological processes involved in everyday listening and musical involvement and the self-regulatory use of music as an everyday health technology. Her groundbreaking book, Everyday Music Listening was published by Ashgate in October 2011 and features a wide-ranging study of the phenomenology of musical and non-musical involvement in a diverse range of real-world contexts. Findings are integrated with insights from a broad range of literature, including consciousness studies, as well as ideas from ethology and evolutionary psychology. She was commissioned to submit a chapter to an edited volume entitled Music and Consciousness (OUP, 2011), on the role of absorption, dissociation and trancing in everyday interactions with music and has contributed articles on these topics for peer reviewed journals in music psychology and ethnomusicology. Ruth has also published extensively on aspects of music teaching and education in specialist magazines (Rhinegold and ABRSM publishing), and was an examiner for the ABRSM for over a decade. As a professional pianist, she has performed widely both as a soloist and with various ensembles, notably recording soundtracks for two classic silent films with the piano trio Triptych (British Film Institute publications).
Young People and Music Project: Call for Research Participants
I am currently running a study on young people's subjective experience of music outside school and the impact of age, personality and training upon music listening. Individuals (aged between 10-18) and schools are invited to participate. For details visit experiencingmusic.com.
Everyday Music Listening: Absorption, Dissociation and Trancing. Aldershot, Ashgate (October 2011). Read a review of this book.
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.
Herbert, R. (2012). Modes of music listening, modes of subjectivity. Journal of Sonic Studies (Issue 2) Read this online.
Herbert, R. (forthcoming 2012). An empirical study of normative dissociation in everyday life experiences. Psychology of Music. Read a feature on this article by Psychology Today Magazine.
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) pp.100-127
Herbert, R. The private (musical) lives of tweens and teens. Music
Teacher, July 2012
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, pp.30-31.
Herbert, R (2006). Listen up! Different ways of listening - or not - to music. Music Teacher Vol. 85/6, pp.35-37.
Herbert, R (2005). Adults Only: How understanding student & teacher presumptions can speed up the learning process. Music Teacher Vol.84/9, pp.59-61.
Herbert, R (2005). Practice makes Perfect: Techniques that can lead to improved motivation. Music Teacher Vol. 84/2, pp.29-31.
Herbert, R (2004). A Popular Approach: Bridging the divide between classical and popular piano. Music Teacher Vol. 83/6, pp. 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. (forthcoming, 2012) 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
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.
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.
Conceptualising the subjective experience of music in 'real-world' contexts (position paper) RMA Music and Philosophy Study Group, King's College London, July 2012.
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.
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.
Normative Dissociation and Absorption in Everyday Life Experiences of Music British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Glasgow, May 2011.
Pleasure and Detachment in Everyday Music Listening Experiences: Absorption, Dissociation and Involvement. British Forum for Ethnomusicology one day conference, London, November, 2009.
Range of Consciousness in Everyday Listening Experiences. International Conference on Music & Consciousness, Sheffield, July 2006.
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)