Kelly Jakubowski

Music Psychologist, Durham University

Dr Kelly Jakubowski is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Durham University. She is presently employed on an AHRC-funded research grant on “Interpersonal Entrainment in Music Performance”. This project aims to quantify, describe, and compare interpersonal interactions within musical performances across a wide variety of cultures and musical styles.

Kelly studied Music Performance (violin) and Music Theory for her undergraduate (Baldwin Wallace University, USA) and Masters degrees (Ohio State University, USA). She then pursued an MSc and PhD in music psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her PhD research (completed in 2015) was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and focused on developing new behavioural and computational methods for studying musical imagery and involuntary memory for music (including the phenomenon of having an “earworm”, or tune stuck in one’s head).

She has also conducted and published research on absolute pitch, memory for musical pitch and tempo, and emotional responses to music. In 2015, she was awarded the Hickman Early Career Research Award for her PhD research on temporal aspects of involuntary musical imagery, which included a plenary session talk at the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music conference in Manchester, UK.

Before joining Durham University, Kelly has worked as a Teaching Fellow in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London and a Visiting Lecturer in Music at King’s College London.


  • –present
    Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Music, Durham University