Honorary life membership

Professor Susan Hallam honoured.

At an award ceremony at this year’s Annual Conference in Liverpool, Professor Susan Hallam MBE was made an Honorary Life Member of the Society. The distinction was awarded for lifelong and outstanding contributions to the psychology of music and psychology in education through the three strands of her career – as a professional musician, music educator and academic.

Professor Hallam has published extensively; her publications, numbering well over a hundred, range from books, monographs and book chapters to singly and jointly authored refereed journal articles. These publications reveal not only the high quality of her personal contribution to the world of music, psychology and education, but also her contribution to the development of those who share in it. Most recently, she led a major programme of research, funded by the UK Research Councils, which has made a significant contribution to the evidence base demonstrating the social, emotional and cognitive benefits of music-making in older age.

Professor Hallam has had extensive engagement with professional bodies in the fields of music, psychology and education research. She sat on the Representative Council of the BPS from 2004 to 2006 and was Chair of the Representative Council in 2012.

In recognition of her excellence in teaching and research respectively, she was made a member of the Higher Education Academy in 2001 and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2003, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1995, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1996. She has been editor of Psychology of Music and regularly peer reviews for several music education journals. In the new year Sue was awarded an MBE for services to music education.

Nominating her for Honorary Life Membership of the Society, Professor Dave Putwain (Edge Hill University) said: ‘Professor Hallam has not sought the limelight for herself, but has made an impressive mark on each of the fields in which she has been involved; her students find her inspiring to work with, and the psychology in education research community has benefited enormously from her wise and dedicated service. She is widely respected and most deserving of recognition.’

On receiving the award, Professor Hallam said: ‘It is a great honour to have been made an Honorary Life Member of the BPS. Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music and spent some 10 years as a full-time professional musician and then a further 10 as a music educator getting recognition for my work as a psychologist in what for me was a third career is humbling to say the least. My studies in psychology at undergraduate, master’s and doctoral level were all undertaken part-time alongside my music careers and undertaken because I was fascinated by psychology. When I applied for the post of Lecturer in the Psychology of Education at the Institute of Education I could barely believe it when I was successful. I was simultaneously thrilled and overwhelmed. At that time I would not have believed that I would become a professor and Dean of Faculty let alone be awarded an MBE and be made an Honorary Life Member of the BPS.

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