Staff profile - Jane Edwards

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AsPr Jane Edwards

Position: Associate Professor
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Health
Department: School of Health & Soc. Dev.
Campus: Geelong Waterfront Campus
Phone: +61 3 522 78046 +61 3 522 78046



Jane is the Course Director for Master of Child Play Therapy, a 2 year training. Deakin was the first Australian university to offer a Play Therapy qualification.
Previously Jane was a professor at the University of Limerick where she was Director of the Music & Health Research Group (1999-2013). She was a Guest Professor at the University of the Arts, Berlin (2004-2011) and has held honorary research appointments at University of Cambridge (2004) and Queen Margaret University (2012). She has enjoyed teaching exchanges with a number of universities including Berklee College of Music in Boston. previously held appointments at the University of Queensland (1993-2000), where she was the inaugural lecturer in music therapy, and at the University of Melbourne (1991-1993).
Jane is an expert in qualitative methods for healthcare research. Based on her expertise and experience she has given more than 20 keynote lectures in 7 countries. She is known for her clinical work in supporting parent-infant attachment, and in family centred psychosocial care of hospitalised children, particularly in burn injury and care.
Jane has more than 100 publications including 3 edited books one of which is the Oxford Handbook of Music Therapy. She has more than 40 research papers in peer reviewed journals. She has published 17 chapters in edited books. She is the Editor in Chief for The Arts in Psychotherapy published by Elsevier, and is the first music therapist and first Australian to hold this role.
Jane has received funding from the Health Services Executive in Ireland for mental health services research, from the Health Research Board of Ireland as well as the European Science Foundation, and the Irish Funds. In Australia she founded the parenting programme Sing & Grow with an inauguration grant from Family and Community Services. She founded the music therapy programme at Royal Children's Hospital Brisbane in 1993 and provided services through the programme including clinical supervision until she left Australia for Ireland in 2000.
Jane founded the Irish Research Council Summer School in Qualitative Methods for Health Care Researchers. She continues to mentor, support and advise qualitative researchers undertaking projects in healthcare settings.       

Jane serves on the board of directors for Pathways, a mental health support service in Geelong that is part of the NDIS pilot. Her work with the board has included serving on the working group to appoint a new CEO and chairing the service quality sub-committee. She is also a Ministerial appointment on the board of Tweddle Hospital, Footscray.

Biography summary

Jane has extensive experience in healthcare research focusing on psychosocial need of patients and their families. She has developed unique approaches to qualitative research methods in healthcare including a significant contribution to the development of arts based research techniques.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Queensland, 2000


Teaching Interests

Supporting children and families following trauma

Qualitative research methods for healthcare

Parent infant attachment

Expertise categories

Expertise summary

Dr Edwards can speak on music in everyday life, children's development, childhood trauma, and working with families. She facilitates groups in the workplace where issues have arisen that need exploration and resolution. She has worked in this capacity in Ireland, Australia and in the UK in healthcare, university, and community based settings. More information at

Knowledge areas

Mental health

Psychosocial care

Qualitative research methods

Procedural support for hospitalised children


Music therapy

Arts based research


Research interests

How do healthcare professionals use the findings from qualitative research?

How can the creative arts be incorporated into qualitative methods research in healthcare?

Music in everyday life

The rights of the child




Edited Books

Edwards, J. (2011) (Ed). Music therapy and parent-infant bonding. Oxford: OUP.

Peer reviewed journal publications

Van den Tol, A. J. M., & Edwards, J. (2014). Listening to sad music in adverse situations: Music selection strategies, self-regulatory goals, and listening effect, and mood-enhancement. Psychology of Music, doi:10.1177/0305735613517410

Edwards, J. (2013). Examining the role and functions of self-development in healthcare therapy trainings: A review of the literature with a modest proposal for the use of learning agreements. European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling, 15(3), 214-232.

Ledger, A., Edwards, J., & Morley, M. (2013). A change management perspective on the introduction of music therapy to interprofessional teams. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 27(6), 714-732.

Van den Tol, A., & Edwards, J. (2013). Exploring a rationale for listening to sad music when feeling sad. Psychology of Music, 41, 440-465 doi: 10.1177/0305735611430433

Edwards, J. (2012). We need to talk about epistemology: Orientations, meaning, and interpretation within music therapy research. Journal of Music Therapy, 49, 372-394

Edwards, J. (2011). The use of music therapy to promote attachment between parents and infants. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 38, 190-195

Edwards, J. (2011). A music and health perspective on music's perceived “goodness”. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 20, 90-101

Ledger, A., & Edwards, J. (2011). Arts-based research practices in music therapy research: Existing and potential developments. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 38, 312-317

McCaffrey, T., Edwards, J. & Fannon, D. (2011). Is there a role for music therapy in the recovery approach in mental health? The Arts in Psychotherapy, 38, 185-189

Chapters in edited books

Edwards, J. & Kennelly, J. (2011). Music Therapy for children in hospital care: A stress and coping framework for practice. In Anthony Meadows (Ed). Developments in music therapy practice: Case study perspectives (pp. 150-165). Gilsum, NH: Barcelona

Edwards, J. (2011). Music therapy and parent-infant bonding, In J. Edwards (Ed). Music therapy and parent-infant bonding (pp. 4-20). Oxford: Oxford University Press

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