Dr Jolanta Kalandyk-Gallagher

BMus, MMusic Education Warsaw, Post Grad. Mus.Therapy Paris, B.Mus.Therapy University of Melbourne, PhD Music Education/Therapy, University of Melbourne
College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

Dr Gallagher’s scholarly, teaching, and academic work spans over 30 years and intersects disciplines of Music Education/Pedagogy, Music Therapy, Music Psychology, Creative Arts Education, Health Sciences, Early Intervention, Methodology and Curriculum Development.

With her Music Education and Music Therapy qualifications, and her teaching experience across all levels – from Early Childhood through to Postgraduate level – Dr Gallagher’ passion for assisting optimal development of young learners led her research into the area of Early Childhood Music, with a strong focus on children’s musical and general development.

Through her pioneering research on the development of young children’s self-esteem through music, and her current research on music and stress reduction in childcare, Dr Gallagher advocates a child’s musical and cognitive development as inseparable from healthy emotional and social development, and general wellbeing.

Dr Gallagher's innovative, pioneering work has attracted national and international attention, and resulted in many publications, and radio and television interviews. Over the past two decades she has been invited to present numerous lectures and workshops at national and international conferences, summer schools and seminars (Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Medan, Pretoria, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Rome, Bologna, Corfu, and Porto Alegre, Brazil).








 Dr Jolanta Gallagher received her Masters degree in Music Education with Distinction from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, Warsaw. Following her graduation, Jolanta was employed as a lecturer with the Warsaw National Philharmonic, and a conductor of the University of Warsaw Choir. Her further professional training included a postgraduate course in Music Therapy (Paris), a Bachelor degree in Music Therapy, and a Doctorate in Music Education and Music Therapy from the University of Melbourne.

Dr Gallagher's groundbreaking doctoral research, the first one in the world to focus on the effect of a specifically designed music program on the self-esteem of young children, was completed at the University of Melbourne in 1994. The study investigated the influence of particular music activities on children's social interaction, participation, emotional mood, and leadership. The results of this research were summarised in Jolanta's book, Music and the Self-Esteem of Young Children, published by the University Press of America in 1996. After three years of full-time lecturing in Music Education at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Dr Gallagher moved to Canberra in 1999 and has taught at the ANU School of Music and the Australian Catholic University (Teacher Training). While working at the ANU School of Music she was invited to establish and develop a music program for Early Childhood based on her research. She was the Program Convenor from 2004-2013.

Dr Gallagher is also the Founder and Director of the Australian Talented Youth Project – a mentorship program for young, emerging artists since 2004, the Founder of the National Arts Summit 2013, and the Creative Communities Project. She is also the Patron of the International Association of Infants Massage (IAIM). She funds a scholarship for Aboriginal women to undertake training with this organisation.

In 2011 Dr Gallagher received the NEiTA Inspirational Teaching Award - Excellence in Teaching, States and Territories - and in early 2012 she has been nominated for the Ros Bower Award recognising high achievement in the field of community arts and cultural development.



Researcher's projects

Current research project: 

Does background music modulate children's behaviour in the day-care environment?


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Updated:  16 May 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers