Sylvia Jen


I am currently a PhD student at the University of Leeds under the tutelage of Prof. Karen Burland and Prof. Luke Windsor. My research centres on understanding how to improve entrepreneurship education for music students in the higher education sector. In particular, I am delving into the perspectives of undergraduate music students to understand what deters or contributes to their interest in entrepreneurship, and how it could ultimately inform best practice. My research is being funded by the Leeds International Research Scholarship (LIRS).

Prior to the PhD, I studied piano performance firstly at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, then completing my Masters with distinction at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. After a few years of teaching piano, I decided to pursue studies in Music Psychology and was accepted onto the MSc Performance Science course at the Royal College of Music in London. Having completed the course with distinction, I was able to secure funding to embark on the PhD here at Leeds.


Research interests

Research interests:

  • Music Higher Education
  • Entrepreneurship Education for Music students
  • The Process of behavioural change
  • Educational Psychology
  • Motivation
  • Identity
  • Critical Realism

Group Membership:

  • Music Psychology Group
  • Resonances: Qualitative Research Reading Group
  • RIXA seminar series
  • PRIA (Pedagogic Research in the Arts)

Conference awards:

  • SEMPRE - paper presentation at SEMPRE Conference on Music and Health 2015
  • Leeds for Life - paper and panel presentations at the European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry 2017
  • SEMPRE - poster presentation at SEMPRE Musical Cultures 2017
  • SEMPRE - paper presentation at Entrepreneurship in Music Conference at the Norwegian Academy of Music
  • AHC Faculty Research Dissemination Award - paper presentation at ISBE conference 2018

See publications here:


  • BMus Piano Performance
  • PGDip Piano Performance
  • MMus Piano Performance
  • MSc Performance Science