Professor Alinka Greasley
- Position: Professor of Music Psychology
- Areas of expertise: Music listening behaviour; musical preferences; music perception with hearing aids; musicians' hearing and hearing protection; musicians' health and well-being; electronic dance music culture
- Email: A.E.Greasley@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 4560
- Location: 1.13 School of Music
- Website: Hearing Aids for Music project
I am professor of music psychology (PhD, BSc, FHEA) and a chartered psychologist (CPsychol) with the British Psychological Society. Before this I held posts as an associate professor and lecturer in music psychology (Leeds), academic tutor (Royal Northern College of Music) and postdoctoral researcher (University of Keele). I am also Director of Research and Innovation in the School of Music.
I specialise in the application of psychological approaches, theories and methods to the understanding of musical behaviour, and provide high-quality research-led teaching in areas of music psychology, social psychology, applied psychology and research methods.
My research expertise spans musical preferences, music listening, music and deafness, musicians’ health and wellbeing and electronic dance music culture. My research interests are underpinned by 30+ years playing the violin in regional and national orchestras and 20+ years performing as DJ Linkz (mostly drum and bass).
Music listening behaviour: my early work guided by Professor Alexandra Lamont and Professor John Sloboda focused on adults’ engagement with music, mapping what music they like and how they use it in everyday contexts. I have expanded this work to explore how levels of deafness and the use of hearing technologies affect music listening and have been the recipient of a large amount of research funding to pursue work in this area.
Musicians’ health and wellbeing: I have explored the effects of mindfulness courses on musicians and worked on health promotion initiatives with colleagues from Leeds and York. My specialist area is musicians’ hearing health, linking with my work on music and deafness. I sit on a steering committee at the charity Help Musicians UK to shape research in this area.
Electronic dance music culture (EDMC): I have published on DJ performance practice and its value for education, and on the links between EDMC participation and wellbeing. New work with Professor Alice O’Grady (Leeds) focuses on the role of EDMC participation in healthy ageing.
Funded research projects
Hearing Aids for Music
In 2015, I was awarded an AHRC grant (Hearing Aids for Music (HAfM): Exploring the Music Listening Behaviour of People with Hearing Impairments, £247k, Role: PI, February 2015–September 2018) for a project which explored how hearing loss and the use of hearing aid technology affect music listening. This interdisciplinary project sought to establish why music listening can be challenging and strategies that could improve access to music. Working collaboratively with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust I engaged more than 1,500 hearing aid users and 100 audiology practitioners and developed a set of resources for improving experiences and providing guidance for hearing aid fitting that are freely available on the HAfM website. The project was developed into an impact case study for REF2021 due to its positive impact on hearing aids users and clinical practice. I was nominated for the inaugural AHRC/Wellcome Health Humanities Medal for my work on this project.
Enhance Music (Cadenza)
In 2022, I was awarded a large Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant for an interdisciplinary project with colleagues from Salford, Sheffield and Nottingham which will establish novel technological solutions for improving hearing aids for music (Enhance Music: Machine Learning Challenges to Revolutionise Music Listening for People with Hearing Loss, £1.6M, Role: Co-I, June 2022–November 2026). I will lead on the development of sound quality measures which will help us to identify new signal processing strategies for use in hearing aids and consumer devices. I will also lead on public engagement given my track record in engaging stakeholders in research. The project has a range of external partners including BBC R&D, Google, Logitech and Sonova to maximise its impact. This research has the potential to transform musical appreciation for millions of people with hearing loss.
Neural Code for Music
In 2022, I was co-recipient of Medical Research Council funding to explore how hearing loss and the use of hearing aids affect auditory processing (Characterising the Effects of Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids on the Neural Code for Music, £688k, Role: Co-I, May 2022–April 2025). A collaboration between the University of Leeds and UCL Ear Institute, this project will use cutting-edge advancements in electrophysiology to provide insights into neural activity in impaired music perception. I will lead on characterizing the difficulties with musical genres that people with hearing loss experience which will inform the stimuli to be used in the experiments. We will use the insights to develop signal processing strategies for hearing aids that correct the distorted neural activity.
In 2019, I co-created a multi-institution (Leicester (lead), Leeds, Goldsmiths, Nottingham, Salford, QMUL) networking bid which focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to understanding hearing difference. This was awarded AHRC funding (Aural Diversity, £33k, Role: Co-I, July 2021–June 2023). I led the launch of the network in September 2021 and curated the first workshop on hearing healthcare and hearing technologies. This international network has already brought together 160 researchers and practitioners representing various disciplines (e.g. music, performing arts, sound studies, humanities, healthcare, transport studies, psychology, environment), who provide a critical mass for the development of funding bids in strategic areas (e.g. hearing care, acoustic design, industry standards).
I am currently Director of Research and Innovation (2021–present). During my time at Leeds, I have fulfilled a number of leadership roles including undergraduate and taught postgraduate Admissions Tutor (2012–2015), Programme Leader for the MA in Applied Psychology of Music (2012–2014, 2015–2021) and MArts BA Music and Music Psychology (2019–2021), and Director Impact and Innovation (2020–2021). I have provided mentoring for junior colleagues and supported three postdoctoral researchers.
- Programme Leader (MA Applied Psychology of Music)
- Principal Investigator (AHRC-funded Hearing Aids for Music)
- Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society)
- music listening behaviour
- musical preferences
- music perception with hearing aids
- musicians' hearing and hearing protection
- musicians' health and well-being
- music consumption and collecting
- electronic dance music culture
- DJ performance
I'm interested in hearing from prospective doctoral students in any of these areas.<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>
- Characterizing the effects of hearing loss and hearing aids on the neural code for music
- Enhance Music
- Chartered Psychologist (BPS)
- Fellow, HEA
- Member, SEMPRE
I provide high quality research-led teaching in the field of music psychology at undergraduate, taught postgraduate and postgraduate research levels. This includes social psychology, developmental psychology, applied psychology, music psychology, research methods and statistics. I am passionate about my teaching and have been nominated for a University award seven times, including the categories ‘Supervisor’, ‘Inspirational Teaching’, ‘Personal Tutoring’ and ‘Positive Impact’. I was recently (2021) runner up for a University Collaborative Teaching Award as part of the School’s music psychology group.
Research groups and institutes
- Music, Science and Technology