Rosie Perkins Research Fellow
Royal College of Music

Rosie Perkins is Research Fellow in Performance Science at the Royal College of Music and an honorary Research Fellow at Imperial College London. Rosie leads research in the social and cultural sciences of music and is programme leader for the RCM’s MSc in Performance Science.

Rosie’s research focuses on the arts and mental health as well as performers’ career development. Her work has been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and Arts Council England, and she is currently Principal Investigator for Music and Motherhood, a project investigating the impact of creative interventions on postnatal depression.

Rosie completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, winning the British Federation of Women Graduates Elen Wynne Vanstone Scholarship for her research into higher music education. From 2008-14 Rosie was a board member of the International Society for Music Education’s Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician; she is an honorary member of the Dutch research group Lifelong Learning in Music, a Fellow of the Institute of Mental Health University of Nottingham, and a Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy.


Current projects

Music and Motherhood

Musical Impact



Fancourt D & Perkins R (forthcoming), Singing for mother-infant bonding: the effects of mother-infant singing on emotional closeness, affect and anxiety, Music & Science.

Fancourt D & Perkins R (forthcoming), The effect of singing interventions on symptoms of postnatal depression: a three-arm randomised controlled trial, British Journal of Psychiatry.

Fancourt D & Perkins R (forthcoming), Does attending community music interventions lead to changes in wider musical behaviours? The effect of mother-infant singing classes on musical behaviours amongst mothers with symptoms of postnatal depression, Psychology of Music.

Fancourt D & Perkins R (forthcoming), Maternal engagement with music up to nine months post-birth: findings from a cross-sectional study in England, Psychology of Music [DOI].


Araújo L, Wasley D, Perkins R, Atkins L, Redding E, Ginsborg J, & Williamon A (2017), Fit to perform: an investigation of higher education music students’ perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors toward health, Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (1558), 1-19 [DOI].

Ascenso S, Williamon A, & Perkins R (2017), Understanding the psychological wellbeing of professional musicians through the lens of positive psychology, Psychology of Music, 45, 65-81 [DOI].

Aufegger L, Perkins R, Wasley D, & Williamon A (2017), Musicians’ perceptions and experiences of using simulation training to develop performance skills, Psychology of Music, 45, 417-431 [DOI].

Fancourt D & Perkins R (2017), Associations between singing to babies and symptoms of postnatal depression, wellbeing, self-esteem and mother-infant bond, Public Health, 145, 149-152 [DOI].

Perkins R, Reid H, Araújo L, Clark T, & Williamon A (2017), Perceived enablers and barriers to optimal health among music students: a qualitative study in the music conservatoire setting, Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (968), 1-15 [DOI].

Stahl G, Burnard P, & Perkins R (2017), Critical reflections on the use of Bourdieu’s tools ‘in concert’ to understand the practices of learning in three musical sites, Sociological Research Online, 22, 57-77 [DOI].


Fancourt D, Perkins R, Ascenso S, Atkins L, Kilfeather S, Carvalho LA, Steptoe A, & Williamon A (2016), Group drumming modulates cytokine response in mental health service users: a preliminary study, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 85, 53-55 [DOI].

Fancourt D, Perkins R, Ascenso S, Carvalho LA, Steptoe A, & Williamon A (2016), Effects of group drumming interventions on anxiety, depression, social resilience and inflammatory immune response among mental health service users, PLOS One, 11 (e0151136), 1-16 [DOI]  [VIDEO].

Perkins R, Ascenso S, Atkins L, Fancourt D, & Williamon A (2016), Making music for mental health: how group drumming mediates recovery, Psychology of Well-Being, 6 (11), 1-17 [DOI].


Perkins R (2015), Bourdieu applied in the analysis of conservatoire learning cultures, in P Burnard, Y Hofvander Trulsson, & J Soderman (eds.), Bourdieu and the Sociology of Music Education (pp. 99-112), Ashgate.

Perkins R, Aufegger L, & Williamon A (2015), Learning through teaching: exploring what conservatoire students learn from teaching beginner older adults, International Journal of Music Education, 33, 80-90 [DOI].


Perkins R & Williamon A (2014), Learning to make music in older adulthood: a mixed-methods exploration of impacts on wellbeing, Psychology of Music, 42, 550-567 [DOI] [VIDEO].


Perkins R (2013), Hierarchies and learning in the conservatoire: exploring what students learn through the lens of Bourdieu, Research Studies in Music Education, 35, 197-212 [DOI].

Perkins R (2013), Learning cultures and the conservatoire: an ethnographically-informed case study, Music Education Research, 15, 196-213 [DOI].

Perkins R (2013), Learning cultures, creativities and higher music education institutions, in P Burnard (ed.), Developing Creativities in Higher Music Education: International Perspectives and Practices (pp. 223-233), Routledge.

Perkins R & Triantafyllaki A (2013), School and conservatoire music teachers’ ‘vocational habitus’: lessons for music teacher education, in E Georgii-Hemming, P Burnard, & S-E Holgersen (eds.), Professional Knowledge in Music Teacher Education (pp. 173-185), Ashgate.


Perkins R (2012), Conservatoire cultures of performance specialism: perspectives from an ethnographically-informed case study, in J Weller (ed.), Proceedings of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician (pp. 84-90), International Society for Music Education.

Perkins R (2012), Rethinking ‘career’ for music students: identity and vision, in D Bennett (ed.), Life in the Real World: How to Make Music Graduates Employable (pp. 11-26), Common Ground.

Williamon A, Perkins R, Ritchie L, & Thompson S (2012), Premiers pas en musique: étude de l’engagement des enfants vis-à-vis de la musique [Musical beginnings: a study of children’s engagement with music], in M Richelle & R Wangermée (eds.), Musique et Sciences de l’esprit [Music and the Sciences of the Mind] (pp. 123-137), Académie Royale de Belgique [Royal Academy of Belgium].


Burt-Perkins R & Williamon A (2011), ‘I kind of get lost in it’: experiences of learning to perform music in older adulthood, in A Williamon, D Edwards, & L Bartel (eds.), Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2011 (pp. 305-310), European Association of Conservatoires.


Burt-Perkins R (2010), Navigating the conservatoire as an educational space: looking through the lens of ‘learning culture’, in M Hannan (ed.), Proceedings of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician (pp. 29-35), International Society for Music Education.

Perkins R (2010), Exploring the one-to-one context at conservatoires through the lens of ‘learning cultures’: the role of student self-documentation, Scientia Paedagogica Experimentalis, 47, 437-462.


Burt-Perkins R (2009), The learning cultures of performance: applying a cultural theory of learning to conservatoire research, in A Williamon, S Pretty, & R Buck (eds.), Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2009 (pp. 249-254), European Association of Conservatoires.

Burt-Perkins R & Mills J (2009), Pitching it right? selection and learning at a music conservatoire, British Educational Research Journal, 35, 817-835 [DOI].

Lebler D, Burt-Perkins R, & Carey G (2009), What the students bring: examining the attributes of commencing conservatoire students, International Journal of Music Education, 27, 232-249 [DOI].

Williamon A, Wasley D, Burt-Perkins R, Ginsborg J, & Hildebrandt W (2009), Profiling musicians’ health, wellbeing, and performance, in A Williamon, S Pretty, & R Buck (eds.), Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2009 (pp. 85-90), European Association of Conservatoires.


Burt-Perkins R (2008), Students at a UK conservatoire of music: working towards a ‘diverse employment portfolio’?, in D Bennett & M Hannan (eds.), Inside, Outside, Downside Up (pp. 49-60), Black Swan Press.

Burt-Perkins R & Lebler D (2008), ‘Music isn’t one island’: the balance between depth and breadth for music students in higher education, in M Hannan (ed.), Proceedings of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician (pp. 10-14), International Society for Music Education.

Burt-Perkins R & Mills J (2008), The role of chamber music in learning to perform: a case study, Music Performance Research, 2, 26-35.


Burt R (2007), Preschool children’s emotional responses to music: a window into learning in the early years, in K Smithrim & R Upitis (eds.), Listen to Their Voices: Research and Practice in Early Childhood Music (pp. 126-139), Canadian Music Educators’ Association.


Burt R & Mills J (2006), Taking the plunge: the hopes and fears of students as they begin music college, British Journal of Music Education, 23, 51-73 [DOI].

Burt R, Oakes L, & Mills J (2006), Working in music: the trombonist, Research Perspectives in Music Education, 10, 27-43.