This course will be recorded and sent out to all pre-registered participants to watch in their own time.
Due to licensing laws, we are unable to sell this course retrospectively.

Group Singing as a Complex Adaptive System (CAS)
with Dr Dave Camlin
Thursday 7th July 2022 at 5-7pm (UK time)

In this short course, Dr. Dave Camlin will outline some of the implications of understanding group singing as a complex adaptive system (CAS).

While perhaps hundreds of psychological, biological, social, and behavioural mechanisms might be implicated in the experience of singing together, how we understand such complex intra-actions presents an epistemological conundrum.

Participant reports of ‘magic moments’ point toward group singing as the experience of an ‘entangled state’, whereby our understanding of causality is radically altered.

As well as troubling our understanding of what we ‘know’ about it, thinking of group singing as a CAS also invites us to consider what we ‘do’ with it, and how we research it.

Drawing on perspectives as diverse as vitality dynamics (Stern, 2010) and quantum theory (Barad, 2007), the course will explore the complexity of issues surrounding group singing as it relates to health and (mutual) recovery; interpersonal attunement and entrainment; performance (of relationships and values as much as musical works), addressing such questions as:

  • What does it mean to think of music (specifically group singing) as a complex adaptive system (CAS)?
  • What human (or posthuman) values are ‘performed’ during group singing, and how might they be fostered?
  • What is a ‘healthy public’, and how does group singing support such development?
  • How might we connect the act of singing together to issues of sustainable global development?

If you would like a certificate of attendance for this event, please send us an email.

Dr. Dave Camlin’s musical practice spans performance, composition, teaching, socially-engaged music practice and research.

A singer / song-writer by trade, his musical practice is motivated by the idea of music making as a creative resource for fostering kinship and living more sustainably, as a potent form of civic imagination.

He lectures in music education at the Royal College of Music and Trinity-Laban Conservatoire and was Head of Higher Education and Research at Sage Gateshead from 2010-19.

His forthcoming book is entitled Music Making and the Civic Imagination, and he is also the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on group singing, music health and wellbeing, musician education, music and virtuality and Community Music (CM).

He pioneered the use of Sensemaker® ‘distributed ethnography’ as a method for research into complex cultural phenomena. He also leads three choirs in the ‘natural voice’ tradition in west Cumbria (UK), including a recovery choir supporting people in the recovery of their mental health.

Thursday 7th July 2022 at 5-7pm
(UK time)

This course is free for Voice Study Centre's MA/PGCert students and £30 (VAT inclusive) otherwise.

If you would like to book a place on this course, please use the payment form in the 'Book Your Place' tab or email

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