The International research platform SIMM and the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) would like to inform the research community that the 2020 SIMM-posium, programmed in BOZAR (Brussels, Belgium) on 18 and 19 December 2020, is maintained. In these times of sanitary, social and economical crisis, we believe more than ever in the importance of bringing together researchers from all over the world to share ideas and reflections on the role music can play in social and community work. To allow researchers who won’t be able to travel to participate to this event, the SIMM-posium will be partly held online. The closing date for proposals and expressions of interest has been postponed to 30 June 2020. The main topics of the SIMM-posium remain the same. Info and conditions here. More details to come.
Following four previous successful and inspiring editions (in Ghent-Brussels, London, Porto and Bogotá), the international research platform SIMM has the pleasure to announce that its annual SIMM-posium will be held on 18 and 19 December 2020 at the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR), Belgium. It will give a special – although not exclusive – place to presentations who give attention to the relationship between research developed in Northern and Southern hemisphere, the possible collaborations between researchers from the Global North and Global South and research on intercultural social music projects in both hemispheres. Researchers developing research in this field are welcome, as well as practitioners and policymakers seriously interested and involved in ongoing or future research. Expressions of interest should be sent by email to Lukas Pairon (, no later than 1 June 2020. Info & conditions here.
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 Lukas Pairon (

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.

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 and the UK AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) in support of the international comparative research.

Contact SIMM

Lukas PAIRON, founder