Singing for Health Research Conference
Insights and Innovations
Friday 18th February 2022 9am-4pm UK time

Fundraising event – all proceeds will go to the Singing For Health Network

In association with The Royal College of Music, University College London, University of Limerick, York St John University and The Singing for Health Network.

About the Conference

This prestigious online conference is a partnership between the Voice Study Centre, the Singing for Health Network, Royal College of Music, York St John University, University of Limerick and University College London.

This online conference aims to bring together some leaders in Singing for Health research to share their expertise and experiences in line with the theme of ‘insights and innovations’. It will be of interest to students, researchers, healthcare professionals and singing practitioners as well as those interested in Singing for Health research and practice.

This event marks a unique time when Singing for Health has become increasingly popular and more mainstream, especially in light of Covid-19.  Initiatives such as the BLF’s Singing for Lung Health programme and Sing to Beat Parkinson’s, along with the Social Prescribing movement highlight the need for research and practice in Singing for Health to be celebrated, shared and discussed.

Dr Stephen Clift (previous Director of the Sidney de Haan Centre at Canterbury Christchurch University and guest Professor at York St John University) will reflect on the developments in Singing for Health research over the past two decades since his flagship study with Grenville Hancox in 2001. Dr Dave Camlin (Royal College of Music and Trinity Laban) will be highlighting some of his innovative approaches to research as a practitioner researcher and Mette Kaasgaard (Aarhus University, Denmark) will present, for the first time, findings from her PhD research on singing for lung health versus pulmonary rehabilitation.

The conference will conclude with a lively panel discussion with the key speakers who will be joined by Dr Hilary Moss (University of Limerick). This will be chaired by Thomas Kador (Senior Lecturer in Creative Health at UCL). Panellists will be sharing their views on the opportunities and challenges faced in Singing for Health research for the future.

The outline for the day

9:15-9:30 – Introductions and housekeeping

9:30–10:00 – Keynote speaker – Dr Stephen Clift – ‘Singing, wellbeing and health: The need for robust critique in evidence reviews’

10:00-11:00 – 3 presentation slots for ECR with time for Q&A – Chaired by Catherine Birch (PhD Candidate and Senior Lecturer at York St John University)

10:00-10:20 – Sharon King – “You just gotta sing!” Exploring the experiences of singing online for people with aphasia: a thematic analysis

10:20-10:40 – Lisa Strong – An exploration of how occupational therapy could support inclusion within community choirs.

10:40-11:00 – Rebecca Bind and Lorna Greenwood – Online singing interventions for postnatal depression in times of social isolation

11:00-11:30 – Virtual networking time / break

11:30-12:00 – Dr Dave Camlin – exploring innovative approaches to the research process

12:00-13:00 – 3 presentation slots for ECR with time for Q&A – Chaired by Bex Mather (PhD candidate with Northumbria University)

12:00-12:20 Rebecca Moseley-Morgan – The Longevity of the Mature Female Voice: Why Does Maintenance of Vocal Functionality have Wider Implications for the Health of the Mature Singer.

12:20-12:40 – Claire Turner – An investigation of Compassion Focused Therapy as a potential theoretical underpinning for a model of one-to-one singing approaches to support mental health

12:40-13:00 – Ruth Routledge – Can singing be used to treat high blood pressure? A pilot study into singing, blood pressure and wellbeing.

13:00-14:00 – Lunch / virtual networking:

13:30-14:00 – A choice of 3 breakout rooms to discuss and share practice around Social Prescribing, Singing and Mental Health and Singing and Lung Health.

  • Singing and Social Prescribing
  • Singing and Mental Health
  • Singing for Lung Health

14:00-14:30 – Mette Kaasgaard– Denmark study comparing Pulmonary Rehabilitation with Singing for Lung Health

14:30-15:45 – Facilitated panel discussion on opportunities, challenges and implications for future research in singing for health (Stephen, Dave, Mette, Hilary – Chaired by Thomas Kador, Senior Lecturer at UCL)

15:45-16:00 – Round up of the day

Conference Speakers

Stephen Clift is Professor Emeritus, Canterbury Christ Church University, and former Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health. He is a Professorial Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and is also Visiting Professor in the International Centre for Community Music, York St John University.  Stephen has worked in the field of health promotion and public health for over thirty years, and has made contributions to research, practice and training on HIV/AIDS prevention, sex education, international travel and health and the health promoting school in Europe. Since 2000 he has pursued research in arts and heath and particularly the potential value of group singing for health and wellbeing. Stephen was one of the founding editors of the journal Arts & Health: An international journal for research, policy and practice.  He is joint editor with Professor Paul Camic of the Oxford Textbook of Creative Arts, Health and Wellbeing.

Dr. Dave Camlin is a musician based in Cumbria, UK whose practice spans performance, composition, teaching, Community Music, and research. He is Lecturer 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 research focuses on group singing, music health and wellbeing, musician education and Community Music, as well as pioneering the use of ‘distributed ethnography’ as a method for research into cultural phenomena. He performs in various guises, and leads a number of community music choirs and projects.

Dr. Hilary Moss 

‘Hilary Moss is Senior Lecturer in Music Therapy at the World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland and previously the Director of the National Centre for Arts and Health, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin. She completed her PhD in 2014 on aesthetic deprivation and the role of the arts for older people in hospital at Trinity College Dublin School of Medicine under the supervision of Prof Desmond O’Neill.  She is a musician and Music Therapist and has an MBA in Health Service Management. Her research interests include arts therapies; singing and health; health humanities; dementia, chronic pain and inter-disciplinary research. She has just conducted a major survey on the health benefits of singing in a health service workplace choir and was commissioned to research and develop training for dancers working in health care spaces. She is founder and chair of the Arts and Health Research Network at UL.’

Mette Kaasgaard is a PhD student from Denmark, affiliated with Pulmonary Research Unit Region Zealand (PLUZ), Department of Respiratory Medicine, Zealand University Hospital, Naestved and Roskilde Hospital, and with Center for Music in the Brain, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University and the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg, Denmark. In her PhD project she has investigated the effects of singing training in rehabilitation for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) through an intervention-based, multicentre, randomised controlled trial (RCT) in 270 participants.

Ruth Routledge is a choir director, singer and composer/arranger based in South London, who has more recently been developing her practice and research into singing and health. This came out of her experience founding Pram Chorus parents’ choirs and finding that the mental health benefits were considerable. Her particular interests are the potential clinical applications for singing. Outside of the singing for health-world, she loves singing close harmonies, playing netball and eating Indian food. Ruth is an MA Voice Pedagogy student with the Voice Study Centre.

Rebecca Bind is a postdoctoral research associate working at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London. She is working on a Wellcome Trust- funded study entitled SHAPER, which is delivering community singing sessions to new mums with postnatal depression, and their babies. Her area of interest is in the early mother-infant relationship and how maternal mental health difficulties may affect the developing relationship. She aims to investigate whether community singing sessions are effective in helping the mother-infant bond.

Lorna Greenwood is the Breathe Melodies for Mums Project Manager at Breathe Arts Health Research, a C.I.C. designing and delivering creative programmes, underpinned by scientific research, to improve health and wellbeing.  Lorna oversees recruitment to, delivery and development of the Breathe Melodies for Mums programme as well as working closely with research colleagues at King’s College London on their SHAPER (Scaling-up Health Arts Programmes: Implementation & Effectiveness Research) study.

Sharon King graduated with an MA in Music Therapy from the University of the West of England in 2021. Her involvement with aphasia choirs began as a student placement with UWE and Sirona Care and Health. She now co-leads the ‘Voices of Aphasia Online’ choir in partnership with Mindsong. She is a member of the Aphasia Choirs Go Global Network which brings together choir leaders around the world who cater for people with neurological speech and language difficulty.

Claire Turner studied at the Royal College of Music, completing her Postgraduate Diploma with distinction. Alongside her performing career, Claire has 20 years experience teaching singing, both privately, and as a peripatetic teacher. Claire is studying for an MA in Voice Pedagogy; her research is focused on building a model of practice that blends Compassion Focused Therapy principles with Singing and Breathwork to promote creative ways to alleviate Mental and Physical Distress.

Rebecca Moseley-Morgan was a professional opera singer who trained at the RCM. She was working for major opera companies when she had to leave this career in order to nurse her 2-year-old son. She then started a new journey of teaching the older singer and eventually researching the older voice. She is unique amongst voice researchers in that she approaches her subject from the viewpoint of a singer and musicologist not a scientist.

Lisa Strong is a mum of 4, Community Occupational Therapist, Jazz Singer, Community Drum and Choir Leader based on the Coast of Essex. She is a student on the MA in Voice Pedagogy (Singing for Health) with Voice Study Centre.

The Singing for Health Network aims to bridge the gap between practice and research.

‘We want to make it as easy as possible for you to find the latest research, resources and events to support your work in singing for health, whether you’re a specialist practitioner in a health setting or the leader of a community choir. We’re UK based but welcome members from across the world.’

Membership includes:
Access summaries of, and links to, relevant research
Watch video content by leading contributors across the arts and health sectors
Access a wide range of singing & health case studies
Attend training, workshops and seminars
Connect with other professionals working in singing & health

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