Jane Oakland is an Honorary lecturer on the Performing Arts Medicine
(PAM) MSc programme based at the ISEH and since 2016 has been Module
Lead for Psychology. Jane comes from a Performing Arts background and her career as an opera
singer spanned 35 years, initially with Scottish Opera in Glasgow and
later in Holland, where she worked with De Nederlandse Opera.
During her time in Holland she developed an interest in Performing Arts Medicine and specifically Psychology for Musicians. While she was still working, Jane completed an MA in Psychology for Musicians at Sheffield University. PhD research with Glasgow Caledonian University followed where Jane investigated the impact that enforced career transition had on a musical identity.
Although music psychology, and particularly performing anxiety, is currently a popular area for research and discussion, 20 years ago it was largely ignored within the performing arts, leaving artists to manage any debilitating symptoms of anxiety and stress in silence. However, despite an increase in academic study, the application of research findings is very much in its infancy. This is due in part to the stigma still attached by performing artists in admitting to experiencing stress but also, a lack of suitably qualified practitioners with a knowledge of the performing arts. The psychology module on the PAM programme seeks to redress this imbalance. Research is linked to practice with the aim of encouraging more clinical practitioners to draw on evidence based psychological strategies as part of their treatment of performing artists.
In addition to her work at UCL, Jane is a registered mental skills trainer and practitioner with British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM). She gives regular workshops and presentations on performance psychology and works in private practice with amateur and professional performing artists on managing performance related stress. Although Jane no longer sings professionally, she continues to perform as a choral conductor of amateur choirs.