Neta SpiroReader in Performance Science
Royal College of Music

    Neta Spiro is Reader in Performance Science at the Royal College of Music and an honorary Research Fellow at Imperial College London. Neta’s background is in music (BMus, Oxford University), cognitive science (MSc, Edinburgh University), and music psychology (PhD, Amsterdam University). She was previously Research Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London, and at the New School for Social Research, New York, and Head of Research at Nordoff Robbins, London. Neta taught at the Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, where she continues as an honorary member.

    Two questions underlie her research: What is the potential role of music in peoples’ health and wellbeing, and what is communicated when we make music together? Her research on these questions has been from three perspectives: investigations of people’s reported experiences of music making, effects on people’s judgements, and analysis of interaction in music.

    Neta’s current research includes the Health, Economic, and Social impact of the ARTs (HEartS) project, which explores the impact of arts and culture on health and wellbeing from individual, social, and economic perspectives. She is investigating the range of relationships that people can have with music and is exploring the possible levels of shared understanding across a variety of forms of music making.

    Her teaching includes music, health, and wellbeing topics as well as areas of music psychology.


    Current projects

    Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?
    Do the Shuffle

    HEartS Professional
    Loneliness and Mental Health
    Musical Care
    Songs from Home



    Spiro N & Sanfilippo KRM (eds.) (2022), Collaborative Insights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Musical Care Throughout the Life Course, Oxford University Press [ISBN].

    Articles and chapters


    Shaughnessy C, Perkins R, Spiro N, Waddell G, & Williamon A (forthcoming), Cultivating progressive development in the cultural industries: challenges and support needs identified by the creative workforce in the United Kingdom, Cultural Trends [DOI]

    Spiro N, Waddell G, Adediran R, Osmond P, Tredget E, Sharma S, and Perkins R (2024), Online songwriting and postnatal loneliness, in R Perkins (ed.), Music and Parental Mental Wellbeing (pp. 92-124), Oxford University Press [ISBN].


    Perkins R, Spiro N, & Waddell G (2023), Online songwriting reduces loneliness and postnatal depression and enhances social connectedness in perinatal mothers: randomised controlled trial, Public Health, 220, 72-79 [DOI].

    Spiro N, Sanfilippo KRM, McConnell BB, Pike-Rowney G, Bonini Baraldi F, Brabec BVan Buren K, Camlin DA, Cardoso TMÇifdalöz BU, Cross I, Dumbauld B, Ettenberger M, Falkenberg K, Fouché S, Frid E, Gosine J, graham-jackson al, Grahn, JL, Harrison K, Ilari B, Mollison S, Morrison SJ, Pérez-Acosta G, Perkins R, Pitt J, Rabinowitch TC, Robledo JP, Roginsky E, Shaughnessy C, Sunderland N, Talmage A, Tsiris G, & de Wit K (2023), Perspectives on musical care throughout the life course: introducing the Musical Care International Network, Music & Science, 6, 1-18 [DOI].

    Spiro N, Shaughnessy C, Waddell G, Perkins R, Campbell A, & Williamon A (2023), Modelling arts professionals’ wellbeing and career intentions within the context of COVID-19, PLOS One, 18 (e0292722), 1-22 [DOI].

    Spiro N, Yang J, Shaughnessy C, Churan L, Perkins R, Waddell G, & Williamon A (2023), Work and wellbeing among arts professionals in China during COVID-19 (August 2020 and October 2021), Social Sciences and Humanities Open, 8 (100691), 1-9 [DOI].

    Thomson LJM, Spiro N, Williamon A, & Chatterjee HJ (2023), The impact of culture-, health- and nature-based engagement on mitigating the adverse effects of public health restrictions on wellbeing, social connectedness and loneliness during COVID-19: quantitative evidence from a smaller- and larger-scale UK survey, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20 (6943), 1-26 [DOI].


    Knight S, & Spiro N (2022), Tracing change during music therapy for depression: toward a markers-based understanding of communicative behaviors, Musicae Scientiae, online first [DOI].

    Perkins R, Kaye SL, Zammit BB, Mason-Bertrand A, Spiro N, & Williamon A (2022), How arts engagement supported social connectedness during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: findings from the HEartS Survey, Public Health, 207, 1-6 [DOI].

    Shaughnessy C*, Perkins R*, Spiro N, Waddell G, Campbell A, & Williamon A (2022), The future of the cultural workforce: perspectives from early career arts professionals on the challenges and future of the cultural industries in the context of COVID-19, Social Sciences and Humanities Open, 6 (100296), 1-12 [DOI]. *Joint first authors


    Corcoran C & Spiro N (2021) Score-dependency: over-reliance on performing music from notation reduces aural pitch replication skills, Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies, 10, 73-98 [DOI].

    Perkins R, Mason-Bertrand A, Tymoszuk U, Spiro N, Gee K, & Williamon A (2021), Arts engagement supports social connectedness in adulthood: findings from the HEartS Survey, BMC Public Health, 21 (1208), 1-15 [DOI].

    Spiro N, Perkins R, Kaye S, Tymoszuk U, Mason-Bertrand A, Cossette I, Glasser S, & Williamon A (2021), The effects of COVID-19 Lockdown 1.0 on working patterns, income, and wellbeing among performing arts professionals in the United Kingdom (April-June 2020), Frontiers in Psychology, 11 (594086), 1-17 [DOI] [DATASET].

    Spiro N & Schober MF (2021), Discrepancies and disagreements in classical chamber musicians’ characterisations of a performance, Music & Science, 4, 1-29 [DOI].

    Tymoszuk U, Spiro N, Perkins R, Mason-Bertrand A, Gee K, & Williamon A (2021), Arts engagement trends in the United Kingdom and their mental and social wellbeing implications: HEartS Survey, PLOS One, 16 (e0246078), 1-35 [DOI] [DATASET].

    Williamon A, Spiro N, Kaye S, Tymoszuk U, Mason-Bertrand A, & Perkins R (2021), HEartS Professional Survey: charting the effects of COVID-19 Lockdown 1.0 on working patterns, income, and wellbeing among performing arts professionals in the United Kingdom (April-June 2020), Dryad, dataset [DOI].

    Williamon A, Tymoszuk U, Spiro N, Gee K, Mason-Bertrand A, & Perkins R (2021), HEartS Survey 2019: charting the health, economic, and social impact of the arts, Dryad, dataset [DOI].


    Sanfilippo KRM, Spiro N, Molina-Solana M, & Lamont A (2020), Do the shuffle: exploring reasons for music listening through shuffled play, PLOS One, 15 (e0228457), 1-21 [DOI] [WEBSITE].

    Tsiris G, Spiro N, Coggins O, & Zubala A (2020), The Impact Areas Questionnaire (IAQ): a music therapy service evaluation tool, Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 20, 1-27 [DOI].

    Tymoszuk U, Perkins R, Spiro N, Williamon A, & Fancourt D (2020), Longitudinal associations between short-term, repeated, and sustained arts engagement and well-being outcomes in older adults, Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 75, 1609-1619 [DOI].


    Fancourt D, Garnett C, Spiro N, West R, & Müllensiefen D (2019), How do artistic creative activities regulate our emotions? validation of the Emotion Regulation Strategies for Artistic Creative Activities Scale (ERS-ACA), PLOS One14 (e0211362), 1-22 [DOI].


    Spiro N, Tsiris G, & Cripps C (2018), A systematic review of outcome measures in music therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives, 36, 67-78 [DOI]

    Spiro N, Tsiris G, & Cripps C (2018), ‘Sounds good, but… what is it?’ an introduction to outcome measurement from a music therapy perspective, Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, 1-18.

    Tsiris G, Spiro N, & Pavlicevic M (2018), Re-positioning music therapy service evaluation: a case of five Nordoff-Robbins music therapy service evaluations in neuro-rehabilitation, Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 27, 3-27 [DOI].


    Knight S, Spiro N, & Cross I (2017), Look, listen and learn: exploring effects of passive entrainment on social judgements of observed others, Psychology of Music, 45, 99-115 [DOI].

    Pras A, Schober MF, & Spiro N (2017), What about their performance do free jazz improvisers agree upon? A case study, Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (966), 1-19 [DOI]. 

    Sanfilippo KR & Spiro N (2017), Conference report: the Third Nordoff Robbins Plus conference ‘Exploring music in therapeutic and community settings’, Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, 9, 159-163 [DOI].

    Spiro N, Farrant C, & Pavlicevic M (2017), Between practice, policy and politics: music therapy and the Dementia Strategy, 2009, Dementia, 16, 259-281 [DOI].


    Schober MF & Spiro N (2016), Listeners’ and performers’ shared understanding of jazz improvisations, Frontiers in Psychology, 7 (1629), 1-20 [DOI].

    Spiro N, Rink J, & Gold N (2016), Musical motives in performance: a study of absolute timing patterns, in JBL Smith, E Chew, & G Assayag (eds.), Mathematical Conversations: Mathematics and Computation in Music Performance and Composition (pp. 109-128), World Scientific.

    Spiro N & Himberg T (2016), Analysing change in music therapy interactions of children with communication difficulties, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371, 1-11 [DOI].


    Spiro N & Schober MF (2014), Perspectives on music and communication: an introduction, Psychology of Music, 42, 771-775 [DOI].

    Schober MF & Spiro N (2014), Jazz improvisers’ shared understanding: a case study, Frontiers in Psychology, 5 (808), 1-21 [DOI].

    Tsiris G, Spiro N, & Pavlicevic M (2014), What does the past tell us? A content analysis of the first quarter century of the British Journal of Music Therapy, British Journal of Music Therapy, 28, 4-24 [DOI].

    Spiro N, Tsiris G, & Pavlicevic M (2014), Music therapy models, in B Thompson & G Golson (eds.), Music in the Social and Behavioural Sciences: An Encyclopaedia (pp. 771-773), Sage.


    Rink J, Spiro N, & Gold N (2011), Motive, gesture, and the analysis of performance, in A Gritten & E King (eds.), New Perspectives on Music and Gesture (pp. 267-292), Ashgate.


    Spiro N, Rink J, & Gold N (2010), The form of performance: analyzing pattern distribution in select recordings of Chopin’s Mazurka Op. 24 No. 2, Musicae Scientiae, 14, 23-55 [DOI].

    Spiro N (2010), Dementia and music therapy: observing effects and searching for underlying theories, Aging and Mental Health, 14, 891-899 [DOI].


    Cross I, Gill S, Knight S, Nash C, Rabinowitch T, Slobodian L, Spiro N, Woodruff G, & Woolhouse M (2008), Commentary on ‘The perception and cognition of time in Balinese music’ by Andrew Clay McGraw, Empirical Musicology Review, 3, 54-57.


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