Staff profile

Dr James Williams

Senior Lecturer in Therapeutic Arts (Music) Ethnomusicologist


Therapeutic Practice


College of Health and Social Care


School of Allied Health and Social Care


Britannia Mill, Derby Campus, Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



James is a Senior Lecturer in Therapeutic Arts (Music) teaching composition, improvisation and performance. He is the Programme Leader for BA (Hons) CET. James previously lectured in Music Composition for four years at the University of Hertfordshire where he taught music theory and perspectives on electroacoustic and electronic composition.

James studied music at the University of Bristol and at the University of Edinburgh before moving to the University of Wolverhampton to read for a PhD funded by a Dean's doctoral scholarship award. James's research interests focus on an anthropology of music, investigating the behavioral, social, creative and collaborative processes behind music-making. His research rests on ethnomusicological methodologies and socio-cultural modes of music analysis, exploring notational, improvisational, and electronic/electroacoustic technological practices in music. James's post-doctoral research explores digital musicology and ethnographies of online music-based social media. Themes include virals, memes, politics and online behavior/culture.

Teaching responsibilities

Programme Leadership

Module Leadership

PhD Supervision

1. 2015 - current. 3rd Supervisor, Doctorate in Professional Practice, Leadership.

2. 2018 - current. Director of Studies (1st Supervisor), ‘Performing Motherhood: using creative babywearing dance practice to facilitate embodied awareness and ways of knowing’.

3. 2018 - current. 2nd Supervisor. ‘Does Race Matter in Dramatherapy?’

Professional interests

Research interests

Membership of professional bodies

  • FHEA (Fellow of Higher Education Academy)


Doctorate - PhD (Ethnomusicology) 2016. University of Wolverhampton.

Thesis: Analytical Explorations of Creative Interaction and Collaborative Process Through Composition, Rehearsal and Performance: A Composer-Composer Case Study Of Acoustic Music With Live Electronics.

Masters - MSc (Music) 2012. University of Edinburgh.

Composition Portfolio: Re-scoring Man Ray: Experimental composition for La Retour a la Raison (1923) and The Starfish (1928) (for contemporary ensemble and live electronics).

Postgraduate - PG Cert Higher Ed. 2016. University of Derby.

Research Project: Using YouTube as an Educational Resource: Enriching the Teaching and Learning of Music in Higher Education.

Undergraduate - BA (Hons) (Music) 2011. University of Bristol.

Dissertation: Bringing the Movie to Life (and) The Incident With The Broom: Brushing back the covers of Dukas' and Disney's L'apprenti Sorcier (1897, 1940).

Recent conferences

International experience

Recent publications