Music – and the research on its social impact – does not stop even in the most difficult circumstances. On the contrary, it should spread its wings even more, and the new format of the SIMM-posium will expand its reach in time and space. We look forward to this energetic development and to the next exchanges with the community!

Maria Majno, Sistema Europa & Sistema Lombardia (IT)

I applaud the re-designing of the SIMM-posium in a way that allows all original speakers to present their work, and for delegates to be able to discuss what they hear.  That is the essence of what was intended, taking into account unavoidable realities, and it means that SIMM will be active and visible as we intended!

John Sloboda, Guildhall School of Music (UK)

It sounds like we’ve landed on a great solution. I am looking forward to watching Geoffrey Baker’s keynote, hearing the musicians from social music projects, and tuning in to the live interactive discussions.

Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Queensland Conservatorium’s Research Centre, Griffith University (AU)

At a time when the global pandemic prevents people from gathering to enjoy music together, and threatens the livelihoods of millions of musicians, it is wonderful that SIMM has found creative ways to continue its research and advocacy for the social value of music-making. The 5th SIMM-posium in Brussels will be a vital breath of air for all who care about this work, enabling them to be together – even if only via the internet – and take inspiration equally from those involved in projects and those who study their activity.

François Matarasso, independent community artist, writer and researcher (UK)

With deep gratitude for this revised approach to engaging in our research. The weekly online sessions provide opportunities for more people to participate, deeper reflection upon topics, and a longer duration of time for us to connect regularly through 2021.

Mary Cohen, University of Iowa (US)

There has clearly been much thinking and planning to make this new format work – well done.

Ailbhe Kenny, University of Limerick (IE)

It looks like a great plan. This format works extremely well. Time zones are always a challenge. I appreciate SIMM for also taking this into account!

Gillian Howell, University of Melbourne (AU)

Art should play an essential part in the life of human societies. It is one of the pillars on which democratic will is elaborated. At a time when this essential element is weakened, it is important that research carries on studying its possible impacts on our lives and, to do so, the SIMM platform is a fantastic tool.

Gilles Delebarre, Philharmonie de Paris - DEMOS (FR)

This new format will work perfectly. Of course it’s a pity that we can’t gather and meet each other in Brussels but with this situation it is impossible. I’m sure we will have other opportunities.

Ágata Ricca, University of Aveiro (PT)

Thank you for your efforts to keep the SIMM-posium alive!

Geoffrey Baker, Royal Holloway University of London (UK)

Thank you for all the efforts to maintaining the SIMM-posium.

Sebastian Olave-Soler, Sorbonne University / CRIMIC (FR)

It must, surely, be a bit of a nightmare to organise.

Tia DeNora, University of Exeter (UK)

Given the present constraints, and the impossibility of going ahead with the live Brussels SIMM-posium, the present format is a brilliant and creative solution. I am convinced we will all enjoy it, and be enriched by the interactions among presenters and attendants that it will enable. Well done!

Graça Mota, CIPEM / Porto Polytechnic (PT)

The presentations look great and I think the new format is well thought, fitting the needs of these trying times.

Juan Sebastián Rojas E., Fundación Universitaria Juan N. Corpas & Universidad de Los Andes, Universidad El Bosque (CO)

Congratulations for the reorganization of this year’s SIMM-posium! This is great. We all have to reformat our working context in order to continue.

Lorraine Roubertie Soliman, University Clermont Auvergne (FR)

I would like to thank for not skipping the conference despite the certainly huge problems caused by the corona crisis. That the remaining networks are still kept up to date is really important. I also like the idea of turning the conference into several short contributions.

Thomas Koehn, Institute for Art, Music and its Mediation, Leuphana University Lüneburg (DE)

The 5th SIMM-posium is presenting major research in the field of music in social and community work, presented by scholars from all over the world.

It was planned to take place on 18th and 19th December 2020 at the Brussels based centre for the arts Bozar, but because of the covid19-pandemic it was reformatted as a series of 9 weekly online sessions on Tuesdays, from January 12th on until March 9th 2021.

Each live (zoom) session will first start with presentations of research in this field, then propose a panel discussion with the presenters of the research, and followed by a Q&A with the audience attending the session online, in order to be able to engage further in the topics presented and to explore new directions toward meaningful research and practice.

Taking into account the continents from which presenters and attendees connect, most sessions take place at 4pm CET and some also at 10am CET.

Registration is free. Zoom-links will be provided on the website of Bozar.

see details and abstracts

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.

From January 2021 on, we started our own podcast.

The SIMM-podcast proposes interviews with researchers and practitioners involved in developing research on the role music-making can play in social and community projects.

Our podcast can be found on more than 10 different podcast-directories, including here on Apple, here on Google, and here on Spotify.

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).
  • SIMM-edition of journal Musicae Scientiae: In June 2021 Musicae Scientiae will release a special edition on research on social impacts of music making.  This special edition is edited by SIMM-cofounders Brydie-Leigh Bartleet and Lukas Pairon.

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, the Ministry of Social Economy, Research and Innovation of the Government of Flanders, the Ministry of Finance of the Brussels-Capital Region, and the UK AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council; in support of the international comparative research).

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Lukas PAIRON, founder