Brussels (12.01-09.03.2021)

The 5th SIMM-posium – organized by the SIMM-platform and the arts centre Bozar had to take place in Brussels on 18th and 19th December 2020, but was reformatted and is now presented in a series of 9 weekly online sessions on Tuesdays 12th January until 9th March 2021.

Scientific committee:

  • Marta Amico (Université de Rennes, FR)
  • An De Bisschop (HOGENT – University College Ghent, BE)
  • Graça Mota (CIPEM/INET-md – Centro de Investigação em Psicologia da Música e Educação Musical, Porto, PT)
  • Lukas Pairon (SIMM, BE)
  • Anemone van Zijl (HOGENT – University College Ghent, BE)

Program Overview

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

Each session will be concluded with pre-recorded music by Belgian social music projects proposed by ‘De Ledebirds’ (Ghent) and soloist Bart Maris.

FREE registration: please visit the website of the Centre for Fine Arts BOZAR ( where you will find links to the zoom-connections for each session.

Introduction and welcome by:

    • Paul Dujardin (director Bozar, BE)
    • Lukas Pairon (founding director SIMM, BE) 

Keynote ‘Rethinking Social Action Through Music’ 

by Geoffrey Baker (Royal Holloway University, UK)

followed by an exchange with SIMM-president John Sloboda

and a Q&A with audience attending the session

Session 1: Research on what motivates musicians to become active in social music projects, their experiences and needs (1):

chair: An de Bisschop (University College Ghent, BE)

    • John Sloboda (SIMM / Guildhall School of Music & Drama, UK): ‘The SIMM-supported International Comparative Project on practitioners’ contexts, work, and beliefs: an overview of progress to date’ (research in UK, Finland, Colombia and Belgium)  

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    • Filip Verneert (LUCA School of Art Leuven, BE): ’Improvisation for all! How a participatory music project can inspire formal music education’ (research in Belgium)

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    • Kate Wareham (University of Sheffield, UK): ’Choir with No Name, a charity who run choirs for homeless people in the UK’ (research in UK)

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Session 2: Research on music in detention (1):

chair: John Speyer (Music in Detention, UK)

    • Dorien Brosens and Liesbeth De Donder (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE), Flore Croux (Vrije Universiteit Brussel & Ghent University, BE), Stijn Vandevelde (Ghent University, BE) and Bart Claes (Avans University of Applied Sciences, NL): ’The connecting power of music for prisoners from various nationalities, ethnic and religious backgrounds’ (research in Belgium) – the research will be presented by Dorien Brosens, and Flore Croux will be representing the research team during the panel and Q&A on 26.01.21
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    • Ailbhe Kenny (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, IE): ’Seeking new ways: Music facilitation within asylum seeker accomodation’ (research in Ireland)
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    • Alessandro Mazzola (Guildhall School of Music, UK): « I like it but that’s not what we need » – A critical analysis of participatory music projects in refugee reception centres’ (research in Belgium)
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 Session 3: Research on music in detention (2):

chair: Mary Cohen (University of Iowa, US)

    • panel ‘Music-making in prisons: deepening our awareness of inequality and motivating society to radically overhaul injustices’ with presentations by Kirstin Anderson (University of the West of Scotland), Natalie Betts (Music and Creative Arts Lecturer, HMP Portland Music Instructor, UK), Catherine Birch (York St John University Prison Partnership Project & Singing and Songwriting with Women, UK),  Laura Caufield (University of Wolverhampton, UK), Cláudio Cerqueira Mendes (Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, Mary Cohen (University of Iowa, US), Dirk Proost (IN/OUT & Escape through Art, BE, and Annette Ziegenmeyer (University of Wuppertal, DE)
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Session 4: Research on intercultural social music projects (1):

chair: John Sloboda (Guildhall School of Music and Drama, UK)

    • Kim Boeskov (Aarhus University Kopenhagen, DK): ‘Exploring ethical dilemmas in intercultural music-making (and research) in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon’ (research in Lebanon)
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    • Frank Heuser (UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, University of California, US): ’Creating and re-conceptualizing values and purpose in music education’ (research in USA)
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    • Sean Prieske (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, DE): ‘No music in times of covid-19? Challenges and chances in music work with refugees in Berlin’ (research in Germany)
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    • Alexandra Lamont (Keel University, UK): ‘Instrumental journeys: how donating musical instruments impacts on identity and wellbeing’ (research in UK)
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Session 5: Research on intercultural social music projects (2):

chair: Brydie-Leigh Bartleet (Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre,Griffith University, AU; to be confirmed)

    • Jane W. Davidson, Alexander Crooke, Mariko Hara and Trisnasari Fraser (University of Melbourne, AU) and Tia DeNora (University of Exeter, UK): ‘Fractured bonds and intersectional capital: the impact of social distancing on artists’ social networks’ (research in Australia, UK and Norway)
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    • Gillian Howell (University of Melbourne, AU): ’The many peaces of community-based music making’ (research in Kosovo and Sri Lanka)
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    • Charulatha Mani (Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University, AU): ’Connect for comfort: Lullabies in a culturally and linguistically diverse context’ (research in Australia)
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Session 6: Research on what motivates musicians to become active in social music projects, their experiences and needs (2):

chair: Graça Mota (CIPEM/INET-md – Centro de Investigação em Psicologia da Música e Educação Musical, Porto, PT)

    • Thomas Köhn (Institute for Art, Music and its Mediation, Leuphana University Lüneburg, DE): ’Sampling the diasporic other: Jewish-German hip-hop as an empowering medium for negotiating memories of the Holocaust’ (research in Germany)
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    • Mia Nakamura (Kyushu University, JP) & Yukiyo Sugiyama (Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, JP): ’Facilitator’s roles and strategies for social inclusion workshops’ (research in Japan)
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    • Tiziana Rossi, Carlo Lo Presti and Lucia Brighenti (Conservatorio di musica “A.Boito”, Parma, IT) and Gilda Ripamonti (Università degli Studi dell’ Insubria, IT): ’Artistic citizenship and the social impact of music. From Toscanini to Abbado at the Parma Conservatory of Music’ (research in Italy)
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    • Lorraine Roubertie Soliman (Université Clermont Auvergne, FR): ’The orchestra Demos Clermont-Ferrand, interprofessional work: What can we learn from the modalities of coordination between the actors?’ (research in France)
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Session 7: Research on social music projects in the Global South (1):

chair: Lukas Pairon (SIMM, BE)

    • Juan Sebastián Rojas (Juan N. Corpas University Foundation, Bogota, CO): ’Towards a characterization of the SIMM-field in Colombia: grassroots organizations and national programs’ (research in Colombia)
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    • Sebastian Olave-Soler (Sorbonne University / CRIMIC, FR): ’From discrimination to social cohesion: the educational model of the popular wind bands in Colombia’ (research in Colombia)
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    • Lukas Pairon (SIMM / University of Ghent, BE): ‘Music saved them, they say’ (research in DR Congo)
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Lukas Pairon, chair of this session, invites those who plan to attend this session to send him their questions and concerns in advance of the session.  He will do his best to include some of them during the panel discussion or during the following Q&A. You will need to attend the session though. If so, please send your question concerning the topic of this session to:

Session 8: Research on social music projects in the Global South (2):

chair: Maria Majno (Sistema Europe, IT)

    • Natalia Julian Puerta Gordillo (Guildhall School, UK): ’Implications of music education on social and human development: a Colombian case study’ (research in Colombia)
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    • Agata Ricca (University of Aveiro, PT): ’Creating a sense of possibility: narratives from choral experiences in Lebanon and Mozambique’ (research in Lebanon and Mozambique)
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    • Viviana Valenzuela (University of Buenos Aires, AR): ’Youth in orchestras: Construction of identity and future projects’ (research in Argentina)
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