As a composer, performer, teacher and researcher, Adam Ockelford has had a lifelong fascination for music. While attending the Royal Academy of Music in London, Ockelford started working with children with special needs - a number of whom, he noticed, had special musical abilities too - and he became interested in how we all intuitively make sense of music, without the need for formal education.
Ockelford pursued this line of inquiry, and gained a PhD in music at Goldsmith's College in London in 1993, in which he set out his 'zygonic' theory of musical understanding. This theory has proved a valuable tool in music theory and analysis, in investigating musical development, and exploring interaction in music therapy and education.
His research interests are in music psychology, education, theory and aesthetics - particularly special educational needs and the development of exceptional abilities; learning, memory and creativity; the cognition of musical structure and the construction of musical meaning.
Ockelford is Secretary of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research ('SEMPRE'), Chair of Soundabout, an Oxfordshire-based charity that supports music provision for children and young people with complex needs; and founder of The AMBER Trust, a charity that supports visually impaired children in their pursuit of music.
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