SIMM-POSIUM: 2nd Research Symposium on Social Impact of Making Music (SIMM) 2017

Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, 8-9 July, 2017
Closing date for proposals and expressions of interest:
15 February, 2017


This symposium will bring together researchers, practitioners interested in research, and policymakers concerned with social welfare, to build and strengthen a network of professionals wishing to deepen rigorous and evidence-based understanding of how active participatory music making may be used to bring measurable social benefits to groups of individuals in diverse situations.

This network is one strand of activity of the newly formed International Centre for Social Impact of Making Music, directed from the University of Ghent, Belgium, but intended to involve institutional partners in various countries, which will support a programme of collaborative research training and development under the guidance of international experts in the field.

In order to preserve a lively and fully participatory dialogue, the number of participants will be restricted to 60, based on written expressions of interest. There will be provision in the programme for up to 30 brief (10-15 minute) presentations of research or research-related work in progress (or critical reflections on research), which will be curated into thematic panels of four to five presentations followed by a plenary discussion.

Presentations on any aspect of making music’s social impact will be welcome, but we hope to include sessions on the following topics:

– Making music in the complex social ecology of the metropolis: opportunities and challenges for London and other mega-cities
– Experiences from the global south: impact of context and culture
– The role of conservatoires and other higher education institutions in delivering social impact of making music

A keynote address will be given by Samuel Araujo, Ethnomusicology Laboratory, Federal University of Rio De Janeiro.

The programme will be overseen by a scientific committee whose members are:

Geoffrey Baker Royal Holloway / Institute of Musical Research
Susan Hallam UCL Institute of Education
Jennie Henley Royal College of Music
Francois Matarasso Writer and Researcher
Lukas Pairon SIMM Centre, University of Gent
John Sloboda Guildhall School of Music & Drama


Registration fee for the entire event (excluding meals but including tea and coffee) will be £50.

Call for participants:

Expressions of interest should be sent by email to John Sloboda (, as early as possible, but no later than 15 February, 2017. This should include name, institutional affiliation, current professional role(s) and a 250 word statement of relevant professional experience and background (why you wish to attend this symposium).

Those wishing to make a presentation should additionally include a title and a 200 word abstract. Participants experiencing financial hardship may be eligible for a limited number of SEMPRE bursaries to cover travel and accommodation expenses, and should indicate their interest in such support along with their expression of interest.

Successful applicants will be notified no later than 30 March, 2017, and will then be invited to register and pay the symposium fee.