SIMM is an independent international scholarly association, a research platform, focusing on the Social Impact of Music Making. SIMM organises and accompanies international annual ‘SIMM-posia’, conferences, publications, as well as research-seminars for scholars, practitioners, funders and governmental representatives, who have in common their interest to develop, welcome or support research on the role music making may play in social and community work.
Current SIMM activities are:
- SIMM-posia: The 4thannual SIMM-posium will be organized by and at the Fundacion Universitaria Juan N. Corpas in Bogota, Colombia and will take place on 26 and 27 July 2019. It will be the first SIMM-posium to be held outside of Europe, after Ghent 2015 (Ghent University & Ghent University College), London 2017 (Guildhall School) and Porto 2018 (CIPEM), and it is expected to have a distinct Latin-American approach.
- research seminars: SIMM organises annual research-seminars (November 2018 with Sibelius Academy, in Helsinki; October 2019 with ARIA, Antwerp University, in Antwerp; 2020 with CIPEM, in Porto). During these seminars for researchers involved in research on the possible role of music in social and community work, a significant amount of time is set aside to allow the researchers to present their research to one another, and to engage in discussion amongst each other. Internationally renowned experts (researchers and practitioners) are thereby invited as facilitators to accompany this work of in-depth reflection and exchange of experiences and thoughts.
- doctoral research program: 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: The first international research SIMM is involved in, will be focussing on the practitioners working on SIMM projects (their contexts, ambitions and beliefs). This research will be headed by Professor John Sloboda (Guildhall School of Music, London), in a collaboration with Heidi Westerlund (Sibelius Academy / University of the Arts, Helsinki), Geoffrey Baker & Gloria Patricia Zapata Restrepo (Universidad Nacional de Colombia) and An De Bisschop (University College Ghent). We expect the research to start in 2019. SIMM will co-finance the part of this 3-year research undertaken in Belgium. In the nearby future SIMM also plans to be a partner in an international comparative research on music in detention. This research is now in preparation and being discussed with partners in different countries.
Building on the incubation support given since 2015 by the University and the University College of Ghent, SIMM 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. Its management as well as its advisory boards are composed though of persons coming from 7 different countries. Since 2018 SIMM is – besides the continuing support of the Baillet-Latour Fund – also sponsored by the Belgian Fondation Futur 21, and special support is since 2017 provided by the UK based SEMPRE for participants needing help to enrol in SIMM-posia or -seminars. And since 2018 SIMM is also subsidised by the Minister of Culture of the Flemish Community of Belgium.