Edel Sanders, Ph.D.

Using Humor & Music to Generate Happiness

Edel Sanders is a researcher, lecturer and chair of Psychology at the University of New York in Prague (UNYP). In addition to her obligations at UNYP, she lectures in Pedagogy and Music Psychology at Charles University. Fueled by her fascination with the melding of music, solution seeking and the developing mind, Dr Sanders was drawn to learning more. This led to her earning a bachelor’s degree (graduating summa cum laude), and then two master’s degrees (MA, EdM) from Columbia University. While there, she documented the impact of music education on inner city children’s academic performance through research at Columbia’s Arts Education Research Center. With a full academic load, she nonetheless continued her artistic activities through performing, composing and teaching music, while teaching mathematics as well. Post-Columbia, Dr Sanders went on to pursue her PhD in Education and Psychology at the University of Cambridge. While there, she joined the INSTRUCT research group. Her current research includes cognition and learning in areas such as music, mathematics as well as altruism. Edel is also an award-winning composer, and is an accomplished opera singer who enjoys sharing her art in beautiful Prague. 


Using Humor & Music to Generate Happiness

What happens in our brain when we laugh? What happens when we make music?

How can we create moments of joy, comedy and creativity?

Is humor an effective tool for happiness? Can we use music to create a happy life?

We will explore these questions both intellectually and viscerally.

We will examine evidence from research and experience.

Kafka said, “A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us.”

I agree, and add that a smile or a song should also serve to free our frozen sea within.