Dr Michaela Murphy (2011 cohort)

Exploring how amateur musicians use digital technologies to facilitate professional music creation and distribution


Michaela joined the Horizon CDT in Autumn 2011 from a background within the social sciences.

She completed her PhD within the Mixed Reality Lab, looking at amateur musician’s needs and practices; exploring the ways in which digital technologies facilitate their networking activities alongside creating, performing and distributing their music to a professional standard.

Despite sharing their music digitally online, Michaela found that the tangible artefact also had particular shared meaning among musicians, and alongside supporting event-oriented networking, her research explored how the digital could be more subtly embedded into handcrafted tangiable objects.

Michaela completed her CDT internship with Microsoft Research in Cambridge. The work she undertook whilst there led on to a new collaborative research project to further develop tools to support musicians’ networking practices both digitally and in person.

After successfully defending her thesis in January 2017, Michaela now works as a User Experience Researcher at The Insight Lab in Nottingham, along with fellow Horizon CDT graduate of the 2009 cohort, Dr Emily Webber, who is Head of Research at the consultancy.