SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Ms Ros Hawley

MMus, distinction (SOAS) Ad Cert PCS (GSMD) GRNCM (RNCM)
  • Teaching
  • Research


Ros Hawley
Ms Ros Hawley
Email address:
Thesis title:
A Reflexive Study of Music Practice in a UK Paediatric Hospital Setting
Year of Study:
3rd Year
Internal Supervisors


I am a UK based clarinettist, workshop leader, trainer and researcher working in health, well being and disability settings. I work across the UK for a range of music organisations in the sector delivering training, creative project work and evaluation. I'm based in Manchester where I work as Music for Health Specialist for LIME Arts/Music for Health, and deliver training on a Music for Health module for students at The Royal Northern College of Music. I am a keen collaborator, and have worked closely with guitarist and composer Mark Fisher for many years; our hospital project, Songbirds, has been highlighted by the Council for Disabled Children and National Children's Bureau as a model of good practice in listening to the individual child (2016). My professional practice is the basis of my PhD study at SOAS.

PhD Research

I am writing a reflexive study of my practice as a musician working in a paediatric hospital setting. I examine how my approach to performance and interactive music making adapts to the environment of a busy UK city hospital. Tracing my own pathway of practice leading up to my work in hospital, I examine how this journey of learning has informed my practice today and how the skills I have developed are used in public hospital concert performances and music interactions at the bedside with patients and families. I explore how the aesthetic qualities and specific acoustic properties of a hospital environment affect the choices I make when adding live music into the hospital, and how, as part of a long standing musical duo, we take on a shared listening to the environment, and to each other, in order to be responsive to the people we meet in these often emotionally heightened and acoustically dense spaces. I am particularly interested in the use of live music as non verbal communication within interactions and explore the techniques I use in these instances in my thesis; I also examine how these techniques are then communicated to student musicians as they are trained to work in a hospital setting.


  • Listen to a Songbird sing: Musicians, Creativity and the Paediatric Hospital Setting, International Journal of Community Music (2018, 11.1, pp.7-20)


  • Keynote presentation: "Music, Mental Health and Wellbeing" study day, York University/RMA, May 2018
  • "Bedside Havens" presentation as part of Medical Ethnomusicology SIG organised panel Healing Places, Healing Spaces, SEM Denver Colorado, Oct 2017
  • "On Training Medical Students" in Music and communication presentation, BFE April 2017
  • "Musicians Speak" presentation on professional practice, Royal Society of Medicine, Nov 2017
  • "I am the Moon" practice case study presentation, Medical Ethnomusicology SIG organised panel, SEM 2016, Austin, Texas


  • Specialist Musician, LIME Music for Health Manchester
  • Music for Health Tutor, RNCM Music for Health student training module
  • Tutor, Manchester University Medical School Personal Excellence Pathway in Narrative Medicine
  • Music and Art Visiting Tutor in Klezmer Performance, The University of Manchester


  • Musician practice in Hospital settings
  • Musician learning and practice development in health and disability contexts;
  • Music
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Music and Healing
  • Medical Ethnomusicology