Siu-Lan Tan Ph.D.

Siu-Lan Tan, Ph.D.

Siu-Lan Tan, Ph.D., is first author of a leading text entitled Psychology of Music: From Sound to Significance (published by Routledge 2010, 2013) and primary editor and co-author of The Psychology of Music in Multimedia (published by Oxford University Press 2013), the first book to consolidate the research on music in film, television, video games, and computers.  

Dr. Tan's research focuses on listeners' perception of musical form, visual representations of music, and the role of music in film and video games. In addition to two books published by Routledge and Oxford, she has published her work in Music Perception, Psychology of Music, Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain, Empirical Musicology Review, College Music Symposium, International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, and Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, among other journals.  She serves as a reviewer for 8 academic journals and 4 publishers.

Born in Indonesia and raised in Hong Kong, she came to the US as an international student and completed degrees in Music, graduate studies at Oxford University in England, and an MA and PhD in Psychology at Georgetown University.

Since 1998, Dr. Tan has been Professor of Psychology at Kalamazoo College, where she has received her institution's awards for teaching, research, and academic advising. In 2006, she received an award from the Michigan chapter of the national Campus Compact for leadership in community initiatives involving her college courses. She has taught Psychology of Music, Creativity, and Developmental Psychology for 17 years.

Dr. Tan appears in the documentary The Stories They Tell, which features the Co-authorship Project she has coordinated since 1998. This project has produced over 2,000 books, co-written by first- and second-graders and their college student partners in her child development courses. She will also appear in a documentary about film music to be released in March 2016. (See 'Score' official trailer here)

She is a blogger for Psychology Today, Oxford University Press, and the World Science Festival.

Author of

What Shapes Film?

This blog discusses perspectives on film (and other multimedia) - focusing on insights from child development and psychology of music.  These are among the courses I have most loved teaching as a Psychology Professor, and the lenses through which I view the world- both real and symbolic.

Read now.