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Renee Timmers




Network Lead
University of Sheffield
Department of Music 


Biography

Since 2009, I am a Lecturer, now Senior Lecturer, in Psychology of Music in Sheffield. I teach psychology related modules at UG and PG level including music perception and psychology of performance, and direct the distance learning MAs Music Psychology in Education and Psychology for Musicians. With Prof. Dibben, I established the research centre “Music Mind Machine in Sheffield” to promote collaboration and exchange across faculties and disciplines between people with shared interests in cognition and music. I am committed to establish an active research-led teaching and learning community, where students of different levels can blossom by learning from each other as well as from internal and visiting academics, and by learning through close encounters with successful research.

My first degree was in Musicology (MA), which I studied in Amsterdam. Thereafter, I pursued a PhD in Psychology (Social Sciences) at the Radboud University Nijmegen. As a member of the Music Mind Machine group, I was involved in collaborative research combining perspectives and methods from psychology, computer science and music theory to investigate perception and cognition of music. My main focus was on (cognitive) rules that underlie the expressive timing of music, but also the freedom that performers have within these rules.
After my PhD, I was a postdoctoral researcher for six years at institutes in Italy (University of Genoa), Austria (OEFAI), the UK (KCL), the Netherlands (Radboud University) and the USA (Northwestern University). I worked at departments of music, psychology and computer science gaining relevant cross-disciplinary experience. My research focused on the communication of emotions through music performance, including a comparison of emotional expression in early and later recordings of Schubert songs, and the development of automated visual feedback on expressive performance.

My current research projects investigate interactions between cognition and emotion in music listening, cross-modal perception of music, and expressive timing of music. My aim is to work towards applications of music psychological findings, including investigations of perception of emotion in listeners with hearing impairment, and training programs for timing music expressively.