The international research platform SIMM is looking for newly released or soon to be released short films/documentaries about social and community music projects, to be broadcast during its fifth SIMM-posium which will be held in Brussels (Belgium) on 18 and 19 December 2020 at the Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR). If you have any ideas/suggestions, please send an email to SIMM coordinator Alexandra Gelhay (

The international research platform SIMM, the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA), the University of Antwerp and the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp have the pleasure to invite all interested researchers and practitioners to the closing keynote of the 2019 Antwerp SIMM-seminar dedicated to the relationship between research and practice in SIMM-type projects. This final address will be made by Prof. John Sloboda (Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London) who will give his personal summary of the main concerns and interests expressed and discussed concerning research on the social impacts of music making (SIMM) as observed during this seminar.

When? Thursday 28th November at 11:00 am

Where? Royal Conservatoire Antwerp / deSingel – Desguinlei 25 – B-2018 Antwerp

The international research platform SIMM, the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA), University of Antwerp and the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp have the pleasure to inform that the 2nd SIMM research seminar will be dedicated to the relationship between research and practice in SIMM-type projects. The seminar will take place from 25 – 28 November 2019 in Antwerp, Belgium.

More information can be found here.

SIMM is very pleased to announce that Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London has been awarded a grant of just over £984,000 by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for an international consortium to undertake a three-year investigation into the social impact of making music entitled Music for social impact: practitioners’ contexts, work and beliefs. SIMM supplies co-funding for this project.

More information can be found here.

Francois Matarasso’s new book “A Restless Art:  How participation won, and why it matters” was published on 17 January 2019. It is strongly advised reading for everyone engaged in the enterprise of understanding the social impact of the arts.
A restless Art” is available from Central Books. Free digital copies (as PDF files) are available through The Portuguese edition will be published in April 2019.
Francois Matarasso is a community arts worker, writer, researcher and founding member of SIMM.

Building on the incubation support given in 2015-2016 by the University and the University College of Ghent, SIMM (Social Impact of Making Music) was from September 2017 on – thanks to the financial input from the Belgian Baillet-Latour Fund – established as an independent international scholarly association, with its head office in Brussels.

SIMM is organizing and accompanying international annual ‘SIMM-posia’, conferences, publications, as well as research seminars for scholars, practitioners of music projects in social work, funders and governmental representatives, who have in common their interest to do research, or to welcome or support research on the role music-making may play in social work.

SIMM is created as a Belgian (not for profit) association, although its management as well as its advisory boards are composed of persons coming from 7 different countries.

Current SIMM activities are:

  • SIMM-posia: Although the platform was only created as an independent organisation in 2017, activities of SIMM started already in 2015. In October 2015, the research platform SIMM staged its 1st international SIMM-posium in Ghent (Handelsbeurs) and Brussels (Kaaitheater). The SIMM-posium served as a notification of the intention to instigate the research platform, which from 2017 on started to develop an international network of people who are engaged, either as practitioners or researchers, with music-based social-artistic work.
  • research seminars: Since 2018, groups of about 20 early-career researchers from different disciplines and backgrounds can attend the yearly SIMM-seminars during which an intensive seminar programme is offered. Internationally renowned experts (researchers and practitioners) from the field of social-artistic work are invited as facilitators to accompany this work of in-depth reflection and exchange of experiences and thoughts.
  • PHD-programme at the Guildhall School of Music, London: Since September 2018 SIMM is together with its main partner, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, partner and co-sponsor of a 3-year PhD-programme in London, focused on SIMM-research, thereby co-financing a stipend for some of the selected doctoral students.
  • international comparative research: Under the supervision of Professor John Sloboda a three-year international comparative research project has been designed to investigating the practitioners who work with diverse groups in society to achieve social as well as artistic results. It will be set up under the direction of the Guildhall School of Music (London), in a close collaboration with researchers in Belgium (University College Ghent), Finland (Sibelius Academy, Helsinki) and Colombia (Fundación Universitaria Juan N Corpas, Bogota).

The interfaculty and interuniversity collaboration which SIMM is encouraging is a unique initiative in this particular area of research, and the first of its kind in the world. Its aim is to provide guidance to and adopt a multifaceted approach towards doctoral and post-doctoral research projects in this field.

A considerable number of studies are currently investigating the possible social impacts of music-making on people (in vulnerable situations). The added value lies in the ‘association’ of different departments of universities and university colleges, and the fact that this type of research can, as a result, finally be collated and illuminated from a variety of different perspectives. This can serve to enhance the validity of the results.

In 2019-2020, SIMM can count on financial support from the Baillet-Latour Fund (for general funding), SEMPRE (in support of certain participants of SIMM-posia and SIMM-seminars), and also the Fondation Future 21, the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Flanders and the UK AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) in support of the international comparative research.

Contact SIMM

Lukas PAIRON, founder