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Sara Ascenso

Sara Ascenso is a PhD candidate focusing on musicians' mental health. Sara graduated in piano performance from the National Superior Orchestra Academy of the Metropolitan Orchestra of Lisbon, holds a Licentiate degree in clinical psychology from the University of Lisbon and an MSc in Performance Science from the RCM. Before starting her PhD research, Sara maintained regular professional activity as a collaborative pianist, piano teacher and as a psychologist both in clinical settings and within diverse educational projects.

Side-by-side with her PhD, Sara has been involved with other research projects looking into music for mental health (as a Research Associate at the Centre for Performance Science), the psychology of transition to becoming a music professional (with the Negaunee Music Institute - Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and the impact for orchestral musicians of engaging in community music (with London Music Masters). Sara received a Finzi Trust Award in 2015 with which she also developed research into music in prisons. She is currently a Learning Support Advisor at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where she designs interventions aimed at optimizing musicians’ learning, in particular for musicians with specific learning needs. Sara is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant at King’s College London, a visiting lecturer at the University of Lisbon and collaborates with teaching at the RCM across several modules run by the Centre for Performance Science.

See Sara profile on Research Gate. Visit website

Faculties / departments: Research


Latest Publications

Ascenso, S. and Williamon, A. and Perkins, R. (2015) Understanding the wellbeing of professional musicians through the lens of Positive Psychology. Psychology of Music. ISSN 0305-7356 (In Press)


For enquires please contact:

Sara Ascenso

Research Student