Ziyang Cao

Name: Ziyang Cao

Email: s2074259@ed.ac.uk

PhD research area: Music and language

PhD Title: Can preschool children’s memory for a hand hygiene technique be facilitated through singing a familiar song?

Department: Reid School of Music, ECA & Linguistics and English Literature, PPLS

Supervisors: Dr Katie Overy & Dr Vicky Chondrogianni


Ziyang Cao received her MA in Music Education from the Institute of Education, University College London. As a musician, she teaches singing and piano, and takes part in national singing competitions. She won the German Philharmonic Vocal Competition Bronze Medal in 2021. She hopes to keep singing throughout her PhD studies. Her previous experience as a volunteer music therapist’s assistant allowed her to learn more about music therapy and wellbeing. This led her to complete a Masters thesis on exploring music undergraduate students’ understanding of autism and music therapy, under the supervision of Dr Jo Saunders, UCL. Her passion in psychology of music, music therapy, language learning and music education inspired her to look further into how singing can facilitate language learning and movement memorisation among young children. Ziyang started her PhD at the University of Edinburgh in October 2020 under the supervision of Dr Katie Overy and Dr Vicky Chondrogianni. She will explore how singing can facilitate language and movement learning as well as memory retrieval in young children, in Chinese and Scottish contexts. Through this research she hopes to bring about a better understanding of how singing is connected with young children’s language learning and memory development.

Research Interests:

Music psychology

Music therapy