Musical Talent: Conceptualisation, Identification And Development

Susan Hallam (University of London)

This presentation will begin with a consideration of how thinking about musical talent has changed over time. Evidence from research exploring recent conceptualisations of musical talent will be presented. The role of musical practice and engagement in musical activities will be discussed in relation to the development of musical expertise and will be linked to neuropsychological studies of the brain. Finally, the presentation will consider the crucial role of motivation in the nurturing and development of talent and the implications of this for its identification.

Thursday, August 29, 10.15-11.00
Thematic Session 1: talent

Susan Hallam

Dr. Susan Hallam is Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London and Dean of the Faculty of Policy and Society. She pursued careers as both a professional musician and a music educator before completing her psychology studies and becoming an academic in 1991.  Her research interests include disaffection from school, ability grouping and homework and issues relating to learning in music, practising, performing, musical ability, musical understanding and the effects of music on behaviour and studying.

She is the author of numerous books including Instrumental Teaching: A Practical Guide to Better Teaching and Learning (1998), The Power of Music (2001) Music Psychology in Education (2005), and Preparing for success: a practical guide for young musicians (forthcoming); editor of The Oxford Handbook of Psychology of Music (2009) and Music Education in the 21st Century in the United Kingdom: Achievements, analysis and aspirations (2010); and has extensive other scholarly contributions. She is past editor of Psychology of Music,  Psychology of Education Review and Learning Matters.

She has twice been Chair of the Education Section of the British Psychological and is an Academician of the Learned Societies for the Social Sciences.