Here are some comments from scholars and practitioners from many different countries and realities. Some of them have co-founded SIMM, others are close partners, and others have attended or presented at SIMM-posia or SIMM-seminars, or have listened to SIMM-podcast episodes:

The 2023 SIMM-posium was a special space of alignment with creativity alongside academia needs. As my first time experiencing this amazing collective, I can honestly say it was instrumental in many areas and scope that keeps inspiring me in my research as an PhD-candidate in the overlapping of First Nation music and the arts.

Reflecting on the program delivered, the two Indigenous keynotes of Naomi Sunderland and Te Oti Rakena were absolute highlights for myself and many others that I got to yarn with.

It was heart warming, jolt of energy that reminds me we can be better when we consider diversity and appreciation via our personal talents. Looking forward to attending Denmark 2024!

Glenn Barry – PhD Candidate, Griffith University (Australia)

SIMM brings together a vast international network of scholars and practitioners harnessing the power of music to bring about positive social change in communities across the world. The field of socially-engaged music making has undergone exponential growth in recent years, resulting in a pressing need for more rigorous research into the processes, outcomes and impact of work. SIMM directly addresses this need by connecting scholars through a dynamic program of events and by providing a suite of resources to further advance this field. SIMM is also well positioned to lead engagement with peak international bodies to progress the use of music in leading social development agendas.

Brydie-Leigh BartleetPresident of SIMM / Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Griffith University | Creative Arts Research Institute, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (Australia)

SIMM provides a distinctive and invaluable service to the field of socially-engaged music making. It brings together scholars and practitioners to reflect on this work through the lens of research; and it offers a forum for much-needed critical debate, going beyond preoccupations with efficacy and advocacy to engage with larger questions of ethics, politics, and philosophy. In addition, SIMM has been successful in keeping down costs for participants and thereby making its events more accessible than most.

Geoff Baker – Emeritus Professor, Royal Holloway University of London / Director of Research, Agrigento (UK)

SIMM is a unique, valuable resource for the global field of music for social change. SIMM grounds the field’s informal learning with reliable research and valuable insight. My presentation at the 9th SIMM-posium have felt useful, the sessions I have attended have always taught me something new and useful, and the connections I have made through SIMM have deepened my work. Long may SIMM thrive.

Eric BoothCo-Founder of the International Teaching Artist Collaborative Founding Publisher of The Ensemble (USA)

I am in deep gratitude in having access to the SIMM podcast, as it has allowed me to keep informing my knowledge of music within social and community contexts, but from a global perspective. I have just started my PhD journey, and having SIMM podcast as a resource has been so beneficial to my work so far. I am hoping to attend a SIMM posium in the near future.
Also it is fantastic to hear from music scholars who’s names and work I follow and to actually hear their voices and passion for their specialist fields of study.
Natalie Cairns-Ratter – Ph.D student, University of Roehampton (UK)

I can say wholeheartedly that my own research and practice has been greatly impacted by my participation in SIMM initiatives and attendance at the conferences, both online and in person. It has been inspiring to meet others who are working towards similar goals in their musical lives. I have forged strong connections with several other participants and facilitators, which has led to a number of collaborations. I have even been able to invite some to the Royal Irish Academy of Music to meet and work with our students. This community is important, and I am grateful to be part of the scholarly network.

Lynsey CallaghanHead of Programmes, Research and Academics, Royal Irish Academy of Music (Ireland)

As a researcher concerned with the potential of music to generate spaces of punishment beyond the limits of the prison wall, coming into contact with SIMM has benefitiated my conceptual and theoretical framework.

On the one hand, it is indisputable that both, the symposia and seminars in which I have had the honour of participating have enriched my knowledge about the bonds between musical practices and vulnerable social groups in risk of exclusion. Likewise, it has also broadened my vision about the role of the diferent parts in the development and of resilience programmes for prison’s communities, beyond musical practice with alienating purpose.

On the other hand, I consider that the opening of research spaces to new social formats, such as podcasts, is an original and interesting way to publicize the study of music as an agent of socialization and its impact. In this sense, I feel especially compelled by the inquiries carried out on the occassion of what motivates musicians to want to engage themselved in social and community music projects and research on music programmes in detention.

Beyond its objective of meeting different music practitioners in the context of social mediation, the 7th SIMM research seminar on the role of composers within participatory music projects (London, April 2024) has generated an environment of debate and discussion where aspects about the ethical implications of musical practice addresed to groups of vulnerable people – considered vulnerable from the ethnocentric perspective – have arised. In my opinion, this is one of the great contributions of SIMM in an increasingly atomized and competitive academic environment. Thinking in plural through dialogue as a growth in musical thought and practice, about what we understand by music and what our role is as researchers and potential facilitators and pedagogues, is today a point of constant reflection in the advancement of the discipline.

Elsa Calero CarramolinoPostdoctoral researcher, Art & Music Department, University Autónoma, Barcelona (Spain)

My participation in the 4th SIMM seminar was an extraordinary opportunity to exchange ideas and a true inspiration for my musical work and its social connections.

Alberto CarreteroComposer and teacher at Conservatorio Superior de Música “Manuel Castillo”, Sevilla (Spain)

I had the opportunity to participate in the 7th SIMM-posium in London in 2022, and it was a wonderful chance to present my work in front of top researchers and academic leaders in my field. SiMM gave me the opportunity to learn from colleagues worldwide and build high-quality professional and human networks. I feel that the activities and resources offered by the SiMM network boosts early career scholars like me allowing me to expand the reach and impact of my work.

Julián Castro-CifuentesJuan N Corpas University, Bogota

My participation in a SIMM-posium in Bogotá and a SIMM seminar in Antwerp in 2019 were both very enriching experiences. On both occasions, I had the opportunity of meeting other researchers who are interested in the social impact of music from my own country, and from other countries in the rest of the world, including Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The first event, in Bogotá, helped me to disseminate my findings among Colombian and Latin American colleagues, and has helped me build a network of academics with whom I am still in touch. The second event was a very intellectually enlightening experience. The seminar in Antwerp was designed in such a way that we could indulge in fruitful exchanges of ideas around key topics in our research area. I found it inspiring to learn the variety of methodological approaches, cultural backgrounds and theoretical approaches that my colleagues around the world use to research the social impact of music. I still regard this as one of the best academic exchanges I have had during my career. Additionally, thanks to my participation in this seminar, I was invited to collaborate in a special issue for Musicae Scientiae, a prestigious academic journal, which I gladly accepted. The article I published with my colleague draws from my learnings during the seminar, and I have received very good feedback about it from colleagues after it was published.

Julian Céspedes Guevara – Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Studies, Universidad Icesi (Colombia)

The SIMM experience gave me the opportunity to articulate why it is so important my research has a social justice aim, and throughout each stage of my research re-iterating this.  Receiving questions and feedback offered useful perspectives for me to consider as I move forward.
Encountering other researchers’ work; I felt part of an international community of scholars looking at ways we can engage in research, not solely for academic outcomes but also to improve our societal experience and understanding, for real impact.
Kate Daly – Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (IWAMD), University of Limerick (Ireland)

The 2023 SIMM seminar in Barcelona on participatory opera and music theatre was an important and enriching experience for me. During these days of work, reflection and exchange, I was able to talk about my doctoral thesis on choral opera by the French composer Thierry Machuel. It was an opportunity for me to share my research with fellow researchers from different geographical, professional and scientific backgrounds.  I could familiarise myself with the various European research projects of my colleagues in the field of participatory music around opera.  And it allowed me to take part in various workshops that have opened up and enriched my own research. This very intense seminar has been very beneficial for the pursuit of my doctoral thesis, through the openings it has given me, the reflections it has provoked and the scientific and human exchanges it has generated.

Marie-Paule Dasque – Doctoral student in musicology, ALLPH@ doctoral school / Il Laboratorio, Toulouse 2 Jean-Jaurès University (France)

When I started researching community arts/music (2004), I was the only academic researcher in Flanders in this topic area. SIMM helped me a lot to build an international network around my research field, by giving me the opportunity to facilitate research seminars, through the annual SIMMposia, and through the support of an international research project I coordinated for Belgium. Meanwhile, the research field in Flanders is growing, and SIMM also contributes strongly to this directly and indirectly. The academic chair of Jonet at Ghent University, of which I am the chair holder, currently collaborates with SIMM for international SIMM research seminars, for example. In this way, SIMM is a network that also supports and inspires in a very concrete way research and researchers in this field.
An De bisschop – Ghent University, Academic Chair Jonet/CESAMM (Belgium)

Attending the research seminar in London in 2022 was a great enrichment for me. The international exchange in particular gave me new ideas for my own work. I stayed in contact with several participants after the seminar. We exchanged literature and much of the content is still part of my university teaching today.

Annalouise Falk – Detmold University (Germany)

I had the opportunity to participate in the 7th and 8th SIIM-posiums. I felt enthusiastic about them because I could meet colleagues from other countries and their respective institutions, working for making a difference in their world. It is crucial for all of us, interested in social impact of music making to get together regularly for exchanging experiences, challenges and future possibilities. These gatherings strengthen our purposes and help us in creating a sense of belonging, after all, we are a community with similar concerns and hopes.

Heloisa Feichas – Associate Professor, Music School of Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil)

As one of the recipients of the Guildhall-SIMM PhD studentship, SIMM has been fundamental to the development of my research. The SIMM-seminars and the SIMM-posia have offered invaluable opportunities to meet other scholars in this growing field and to form an international network of peers, mentors and friends. With each person bringing unique insights from research and practice, the conversations I have been part of at these gatherings have often broadened my perspective, nudging my work in new directions. I am immensely grateful to the SIMM platform for its commitment to facilitating such rich and expansive intellectual environments.
Imogen Flower – Researcher & Evaluator (UK & Canada)

While I am relatively new to SIMM, I have already gained much from the podcasts and from the Brisbane SIMM-posium. The podcasts are engaging and thought-provoking discussions, and this culture of genuine and respectful inquiry was also evident at the Brisbane gathering. SIMM is a wonderfully inclusive and forward-thinking network which challenges me to ensure diversity and inclusion, and respectful and ethical practice are all front of mind in my own work.

Melissa ForbesAssociate Professor, University of Southern Queensland (Australia)

I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to SIMM for the organisation’s commitment to advancing participatory and socially engaged music practices research and scholarship. I first engaged with SIMM as a participant of the 2019 research seminar in Antwerp. I joined the seminar as a community music PhD candidate. This was an excellent space to share my developing research, to make connections with others in the field, build my understanding of practices beyond my UK experience and engage in rigorous dialogue amongst peers. The friendly and supportive environment really helped my confidence, and having 4 dedicated days away from home to hone in on SIMM issues was very important to me (especially as I was a new mum to a baby at the time). This space was invaluable to me and the final stages of my PhD.
Following the 2019 seminar, I have found the SIMM podcasts and conferences to be extremely beneficial to my ongoing work. The conferences are excellent in bringing diverse perspectives and practices together – which allows openings towards new insights through facilitated discussion and reflection. That the conferences are hybrid is a credit to the organisers – excellent for access.
Jo Gibson – Research Associate, York St. John University (UK)

The SIMM research seminar I attended in 2018 in Helsinki was one of the most magical, warm and supportive scholarly gatherings that I have ever experienced. It played an important role in sustaining my PhD. Importantly, I came away with friendships that sustain until today. The SIMM-initiatives have a way of connecting up the threads of a global movement — built upon diverse perspectives and practices — in a way that recognises differences and amplifies commonalities. Such models of respectful allyship are so needed in the world today.

Louise GodwinMelbourne (Australia)

SIMM is a welcoming group of academics and emerging scholars focused on how music changes society at large. In looking to increase diversity in the field of music production, I am often an outsider at popular music conferences. However, I found my first SIMM-posium to be positive, encouraging and constructive. Additionally, the multidisciplinary nature of the group allows for a deeper exploration of research problems, providing creative approaches to socially informed music making.

Lachlan GooldSenior Lecturer in Contemporary Music | Music Producer / School of Business and Creative Industries, University of the Sunshine Coast (Australia)

The SIMM-podcasts in particular I have found incredibly useful to my practice as a musician, to my teaching at university and more recently to my PhD research. As a whole they provide an overview of current trends, tensions and debates and individually they offer incredibly useful insights, provocations, reflections and theories that have introduced me to the work of lots of people from across the globe and I always come away with a reading list!

Rachel GrahamProjects Director TIPP (UK)

I felt blessed to be part of 2023 SIMM-posium in Brisbane – a rich intellectual environment to be sure. But more than this, the event was pervaded by a sense of warmth, care, and respect, in which the wellbeing of those present, and of all those we might engage with through our work, was paramount. Thank you for this experience. I’m looking forward to the next one!

Dr Catherine Grant – Senior Lecturer in Music Studies / Convenor, PhD and MPhil programs, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (Australia)

Our involvement with Social Impact of Music Making (SiMM) and all its initiatives is hugely beneficial to the cultural and educational life of the Guildhall School.  I have also found my growing personal engagement with SiMM as a researcher and socially engaged practitioner to be hugely inspiring, deepening my understanding of the fascinating complexities and possibilities in this field of work.

Sean GregoryVice Principal and Director of Innovation & Engagement, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London (UK)

One of my main areas of research and practice is the use of opera as an inspiration for community workshops and creative pedagogical methodologies.  SIMM’s ethos is very much in line with my own, and I was thrilled to be invited to attend SIMM’s seminar in Barcelona in 2023. This event was an extremely valuable opportunity to exchange ideas, approaches and findings in the intersection of opera and community. Hearing from other academics and practitioners helped me gain a deeper understanding of current approaches and establish new connections. The setting of the opera house in Barcelona and the participation of some of its representatives in the symposium also allowed me to experience their community opera practice first hand. I plan to participate in future SIMM events and be able to engage with this unique network and its urgent and important aims.

Guy Harries – composer, community music practitioner and researcher at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and the University of East London (UK)

In my experience, SIMM is a unique and indispensable platform that engages with participatory music practices and their societal significance, effectively bridging the realms of social and musical domains. Through their various initiatives, SIMM nurtures and shares knowledge/skills crucial for fostering an inclusive society where music acts as a bonding agent, bringing enrichment and support to marginalized communities. Their approach is marked by innovation and forward-thinking, paying attention to contemporary societal challenges and pressing issues in a constructive and positive way.

Carolien Hermans – Associate Professor ‘Musical Learning Cultures’, Conservatorium van Amsterdam (Netherlands)

In internationally networked societies, which are characterized by diversity and a large pluralism of different life realities as well as an enormous variety of musical styles and reception situations, we can no longer simply rely on the continued functioning of the classical concert industry. Inspiring new and young audiences for musical diversity means exploiting the full spectrum of today’s educational, media and artistic potential and, above all, taking the social power and responsibility of music very seriously. The SIMM platform’s commitment to this responsible task with its regular events and formats is a wonderful and important initiative from which ideas can emerge that will shape cultural life and the diversity of society in the long term. For me — as a composer, curator, teacher and actor in the field of contemporary music and music theater, having already dealt with participatory and interactive concepts in many projects — such ideas have immense relevance. I am convinced that they can benefit enormously from an intensive exchange between research and artistic practice.

Eloain Lovis Hübnercomposer (Germany)

SIMM gave me very special experiences. First of all, it was an opportunity to meet an exceptional community of researchers who delve into specific and less frequently explored issues of musical expression in various contexts. The opportunity to present my insights and hear the thoughts of my colleagues about my research was a particularly significant challenge, which encouraged me to be more boldly interested in the use of music in the most diverse situations of human life. It is probably not surprising that the developers of the SIMM platform were able to involve not only a large number of scientists and researchers, but also to let them present themselves in different parts of the world and participate in many different activities. One of the particularly outstanding features of the SIMM community is the special positivity, benevolence, and attention to each participant and their activities.

Vaiva Jucevičiūtė-Bartkevičienė – Assoiate Professor, Vytautas Magnus University Education Academy (Lithuania)

I greatly appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts on SIMM initiatives and their profound impact on my work.
Participating in one SIMM-posium and soon in the upcoming 7th SIMM-Seminar in London, SIMM has been pivotal in shaping my approach to socially engaged music. It serves as a crucial platform, amplifying the voices of people from underrepresented backgrounds – a reflection of our complex contemporary times expressed through artistic practice.
SIMM stands as a crucial hub in this field, featuring practitioners from world-leading institutions. It has become integral for academic and creative exchange, shaping new dynamics for socially engaged practice.
I would like to express my gratitude for fostering a community that facilitates impactful discussions and provides a valuable platform for practitioners from diverse backgrounds.
Michał Kawecki – PhD researcher at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (UK)

For me engaging with the SIMM network has been a profoundly enriching experience, offering a unique opportunity to explore international projects and methodologies. It has brought together fascinating individuals who share a commitment to similar endeavors, fostering a collaborative environment. The exchange of ideas and inspiration, both artistic and scientific, has significantly enhanced my work. SIMM’s initiatives have opened new avenues for exploration and deepened my understanding of interdisciplinary approaches.

Thalia Kellmeyer – researcher, director, theatre manager, music and theatre teacher (Germany)

SIMM, for me, is an essential network of scholars and practitioners with whom I can share, learn and explore the many ways that music making can have a social impact. The seminars, podcasts and SIMM-posia continually provide fertile academic ground for debate and discussion. For many years, these gatherings and resources have influenced my thinking, research approaches and interpretations of my own work as well as providing rich resources to inform my teaching and community outreach activities.

Ailbhe KennyLecturer in Music Education, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick (Ireland)

I was offered the opportunity to participate in the week-long SIMM seminar in 2018, in a wonderfully remote setting close to Helsinki. At the time, I was a PhD fellow studying the role of music in the social transformation of a marginalized neighborhood in Colombia, and the seminar allowed me to discuss my own work with many wonderful early career researchers as well as experienced scholars from a wide range of disciplines, from musicology to geography, providing absolutely invaluable insights on the social impact of music making. For me, the appearance of SIMM was a true blessing as it introduced me to a whole new network of scholars and provided new methodological knowledge on how to study SIMM. Speaking from my own experience, I believe that the events and seminars of SIMM are a great opportunity for young scholars to gain and exchange new knowledge as well as to grow their professional networks.

Maria LindmäeUniversity Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (Spain)

I found the 2023 SIMM-posium in Brisbane extremely stimulating and beneficial. The format allowed for real and meaningful dialogue between participants. It included people working across a number of different disciplines and areas of practice. It allowed for mutual learning and consideration of varied perspectives. For my own work, it is very helpful to have the opportunity to participate with others conducting research or practice relating to the social impacts of music making. I particularly appreciated in this SIMM-posium the attention to cultural diversity and specifically First Nations music making. I think there is a need for more opportunities to come together in this way (i.e. the SIMM-posia) to strengthen our research and practice.

Bonnie McConnell – Senior Lecturer, ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences / School of Music, Australian National University (Australia)

As an early career researcher, the initiatives undertaken by SIMM – such as its website and podcast – have been an invaluable resource for my work. My research is in the intersection of social and wellbeing impacts of music making. SIMM has created a network of scholarship and creativity where it has been possible to gain information and connect with an international community of researchers. In 2024 I will be attending the 9th SIMM-posium. I will have the opportunity to discuss my ideas in a concentrated way with esteemed experts in this field, something which is not available to me at my current institution. SIMM therefore provides an important scholarly area for development of early career researchers.

Una MacGlone – British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh (UK)

For me, as researcher and musician, the SIMM initiatives represent a great boost to make music relevant in all areas of human life. The different SIMM forums (symposia, podcasts, etc.) provide opportunities for reflection on the meaning and power of music, as well as moments of interaction with colleagues, which open ways of collaboration.

Cristina Marin OllerAssociate Professor, Department of Education, Madrid Open University (Spain)

Attending the SIMM-posium in Brisbane in 2023 was both enjoyable and extremely informative. Not only did I make connections with colleagues in my field, but I learnt more about the sheer breadth of socially-engaged musicking. Indeed, I came home realising there were many authors whose work I needed to read. I particularly appreciated that the event included both scholars and practitioners and that there was participation from people all over the world, partially facilitated by the event’s hybrid format.

Ryan MartinSydney (Australia)

Not only does SIMM provide a wide variety of interesting and informative insights related to music and social impact through their seminars, symposia and podcast, it also brings people together. For instance, haven taken part in the SIMM Seminar on music in detention in Porto in 2021, as a starting PhD researcher, provided me the opportunity to meet people in the field and expand my international network. The connections I made during this seminar are still people I am in contact with today and with whom I collaborate on occasion.

Silke MarynissenFaculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)

The SIMM platform is a valuable space for dialogue and knowledge exchange about research into the social value of music-making. Its capacity to connect musicians, academics and policy-makers across the world make it especially important in developing good practice and new ideas.
François Matarasso – freelance community artist, writer and consultant (UK-France)

Though I’ve been working with community and music for some time, recently getting involved in SIMM is a gift, rich with new discoveries shared with other practitioners working across and making links between a vast breadth of theory and practice, in a mosaic that reveals patterns of the many ways music is a key to us keeping it together.

David MegarritySenior Lecturer in Drama , School of Creative Practice, Faculty of Creative Industries, Education, Social Justice (Australia)

I have benefitted greatly from SIMM initiatives by being included in the vibrant SIMM network with all dialogic exchanges and collaborations possible touching so many aspects of social music making today. 

Cathy Millikenoboist, composer, creative director, researcher (Germany-Australia)

The initiatives SIMM undertakes offers a wonderful platform to share and exchange with experts in the field, experts from related fields, and role players. My participation with my colleague Dr Gillian Howell on our project Silent Lions  provided rich conversations and follow-up, questions and brain storming with the other panelist and visitors. As researcher and facilitator I always wish to have such opportunities to share my work and exchange with others, to develop new ideas, discover more, and form better projects, solutions, and goals. That is what a platform such as SIMM provides.

Ameen Mokdad – University of Melbourne (Australia)

I have been involved with SIMM since 2017 when I took part in the 2nd SIMM-posium on Social Impact of Making Music in London. Since then, I have been a member of its Board and participated in the organisation of the 1st SIMM research seminar in Helsinki 2018 and the 3rd seminar in Porto in 2021, focusing on research on music in detention.

My involvement with SIMM follows on my engagement with the systematic study of social action through music, my actual major line of research, started in 2012 with the research project ‘Promoting social inclusion through engagement with music – the project Orquestra Geração’ a Sistema inspired Portuguese orchestra.

I believe that the research platform SIMM represents at the moment the most significant and systematic approach to this significant thematic, having been engaged since its creation with an ever-growing community of music researchers and practitioners interested in deepening their knowledge of the subject.

Graça MotaSenior Researcher, CIPEM (Research Center in Psychology of Music and Music Education), INET-md (Institute of Ethnomusicology –Studies in music and dance), Porto Polytechnic (Portugal)

I have 3 identities that make me who I am. I do research on arts for social change, my work as an artist is basically that as well, thus making me an activist. Those 3 identities can be a dilemma if you are in the wrong space. Over the years, I found out that academic spaces confine you to conventional research. Being told to be creative in certain ways or measure the impact with set standards can be suffocating. So when, I first attended SIMM-seminar in Belgium (2019), I met wonderful people who work in the same space with me. All participants – be they academics, activists or artists – were concerned with how they can bring tangible change. I got to understand that being a methodological fundamentalist does not necessarily make one a top researcher. It is all about how one’s work delights the day and helps predict the future.

Tinashe Mutero – researcher and musician (Zimbabwe / South Africa)

The 8th SIMM-posium in Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane, presented powerful testimonies of how music heals, expands human hearts, liberates. The event was a reaffirmation of the personal and social benefits of community music in war torn countries, among the underprivileged, marginalized, incarcerated, immigrants…Music fulfills intangible human needs, healing and restoring dignity for each individual.

Maria Sherla NajeraQueensland Conservatorium Griffith University (Australia) & researcher Music Education, University of the Philippines

SIMM has been a catalysing force for socially engaged research (and other) activity at Guildhall School of Music & Drama for some time. In fact the School’s association with the research platform goes back almost a decade, and the benefits of this increasingly close relationship have been felt at every level of the community, from PGRs to the Principal.

Cormac Newark – Head of Research, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London (UK)

The initiatives SIMM undertakes, including SIMM-posia, SIMM-seminars and podcast episodes, are of immense value for the global community of scholars and practitioners interested in the Social Impact of Making Music. Since 2015 SIMM has been a source of research-based information and inspiration, inclusive of Global South and North perspectives. They are exemplary in supporting the exchange of ideas and the development of scholars at all career stages.

Oscar Odena – Professor of Education, University of Glasgow (UK)

The SIMM programme is a necessary nexus of research projects, networks and advocacy that plays a vital role in driving forward our understandings of the roles of music in social life and the social health of nations. My students are regularly directed to the resources and events that SIMM produce and curate, and it is a meaningful hub for me to share my work and to find out about the inspirational work of others.

Tim Palmer – Head of Music Education, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance (UK)

As a participant of the 6th SIMM-posium in 2021 at the Philharmonie de Paris I got to know SIMM as an open and welcoming space that brings together researchers and practitioners alike, thereby facilitating multi-disciplinary exchange and learning. Albeit being a graduate student, it allowed me to present and discuss my research with experts in the field. This experience encouraged me to further explore ways in which music practice can inspire social change.

Mareike Peschau – Co-Founder Paper Lantern Collective (Germany)

I have good memories of the SIMM-posium in London in 2022, despite the chaotic weather and conditions in the city. For me, SIMM’s activities, specifically the conference, is an opportunity for people who work/research at the interface of music making and its sociological effects to meet and learn from each other. As a music education professor researching efforts to bring local First Nations’ cultural knowledges and worldviews into schools on terms set by local First Nations, developing a more robust awareness of other community- and school-based music educators and musicians’ diverse experiences of cultural interface assists me in placing my work within a larger frame.

Anita Prest – Associate Professor of Music Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Victoria (Canada)

I have been fortunate to attend almost all of the SIMM-posia and attend some of the seminars. It is amazing to see how, in a very short time, this initiative has become the leading international organization around social music projects. A very important feature is that SIMM creates a lively communication between researcher and practitioner. The network I have been able to build thanks to SIMM inspires me daily.

Dirk Proost – oboist, artistic director, teacher, facilitator (Belgium)

The SIMM-posia provide a fantastic platform to progress shared conversations and collaborations on the transformative role of music across social justice spaces and places. I was delighted to present at the 2023 gathering in Brisbane alongside other colleagues keen to showcase their practice, and the way in which it creates scope and strategies towards solutions for social change.

Jioji Ravulo –  Professor of Social Work and Policy Studies Sydney School of Education and Social Work | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences University of Sydney (Australia)

SIMM was for me a great discovery in a specifically delicate period of my life, during my PhD journey. It was super important to get to know people that were doing similar work across the world, their visions and sharings. Having a platform to debate our own doubts and to learn from other’s experiences was very important in my process. Now that I finished this adventure, SIMM continues to be a place of big importance, to keep up with what is happening in this very vast music field, to continue to share and to learn, because finishing a PhD does not mean to have all the answers and knowledge. I’m really looking forward to continuing to be a part of this beautiful SIMM community.

Ágata Ricca – PhD-student, Departamento de Comunicação e Arte, Universidade de Aveiro (Portugal)

I have had the opportunity to participate in diverse SIMM activities—such as a SIMM research seminar, several SIMM-posia, as well as the SIMM-sponsored international comparative research project (UK-Finland-Colombia-Belgium) — and I consider that it has made my professional practice stronger. It allowed me to stay connected with a global community of top-level researchers. The specific concerns and interests of SIMM are crucial in music education, research, and practice today and it is evolving into an autonomous field of scholarly inquiry, unifying criteria, interests, theories, and methods from places with distinct academic traditions, such as Western Europe, Latin America, and the Middle east.

Juan Sebastián Rojas – post-doctoral researcher, Faculty of Arts and Humanities – Music Department, Universidad de los Andes (Colombia)

It was a very useful opportunity for me to participate in the work of the international research platform SIMM (Social Impact of Music Making) which over the years has brought together experts in the field of music practice and research to explore themes that combine music and activism, artistic citizenship and social impact of music. I thank SIMM for supporting a global vision of the predominant role of art and culture in the development of social cohesion and sustainable development, which also guides my concrete action as a professor of higher music education.

Tiziana RossiProfessor of Pedagogy of Music, Conservatorio di Musica A.Boito, Parma (Italy)

I appreciate the SIMM initiative as a valuable effort to create a community of scholars and of musicians who practice shared musical creation processes. At the SIMM-posium we had a debate with divergent opinions about what the social impact of making music is or can be.
From my participation in a SIMM-seminar I appreciated two things: first that the processes of shared musical creation are very widespread in Europe and the United States, but much less in certina Latin American countries. Secondly, I understand that the social impact of making music is a premise, not yet a verifiable fact. The social impact of making music is still a young and developing concept. In fact, in practice many institutions have dishonestly abused the concept of the social impact of making music. I consider it valuable that divergent opinions can be heard at SIMM congresses to enrich the study of the topic. This discussion encouraged me to investigate what the possible and verifiable social impact of music could be. I keep this question in mind in the intervention that I have just completed in Ticuna communities in the Amazon, where within a few years I will be able to obtain observable results in the benefited members.
Ryan Revoredo – director Crea Musica (Peru)

The Meanjin (Brisbane) SIMM-posium in November 2023 was the first I had attended. I was not only impressed with the quality and curation of presentations and keynotes, but thrilled to experience a coherent theme of SIMM-focused training and mentorship, develop, seemingly organically, across the three days. The organising committee had not only prepared with great care and detail, but all communication (electronic and face-to-face) was respectful, considerate, and welcoming. The inclusive environment across a diverse range of practice and scholarship type was particularly impressive, and greatly appreciated; as was the effort to minimise environmental degradation through the catering etc. I look very much forward to SIMM-posium 9!
Graham Sattler – Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (Australia / New Zealand)

At the Conservatory of Amsterdam we started a new Master program 5 years ago: the Master in Musical Leadership, a course in social-participatory music projects. Looking for partners and inspiration, we came across SIMM and it hit the mark. A wonderful platform for research initiatives, with highly relevant musical societal themes and great for knowledge exchange at the SIMM-posia. Through other channels such as podcasts, SIMM gives you an accessible opportunity to also introduce students to the SIMM network. SIMM is therefore a wonderful reflective environment for socially motivated music making, scholarly meetings with partners and for picking up relevant ideas!
Adri SchreuderSenior Lecturer Master Musical Leadership, Conservatory of Amsterdam (Netherlands)

The SIMM meetings have been transformational for me as a researcher. Through hearing the presentations of, and meeting, researchers from other countries that I met at SIMM meetings, and who I would otherwise not have met, I was able to build an international collaborative research team that led to the successful winning of a major grant which allowed the creation of four postdoctoral fellowships to execute a multi-country comparative 3-year research project.  This project has not only added to the academic resources of the field through journal articles, it has also led to significant resources being created for the practitioner community in the four countries concerned, Belgium, Colombia, Finland, and the UK.

John SlobodaFounding President of SIMM / Emeritus Professor, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London (UK)

I have attended several SIMM-posiums. I come from the practitioner side, so connecting with research and researchers in our field is always rewarding. It’s so important to get the chance to stand back, reflect on our practice, delve into questions we cannot answer alone and learn how we can improve. And being part of a wider community of practice helps to sustain us in challenging times.

John Speyer – Director Hear Me Out

SIMM offers an incredible range of opportunities for interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners to find and share emergent knowledge and engage in critically reflective dialogue on the limits and potential of music making for social change and justice. Such a forum is very much needed not only for our disciplines but the world.

Naomi Sunderland – School of Health Sciences and Social Work and Creative Arts Research Institute at Griffith University (Australia)

The 8th SIMM-posium created a precious space to reflect on the role of music-making in creating a more equitable society. It was an invitation to remember that music allows us to be active at both the micro and macro level at the same time. I left this symposium with a determination to continue to share music for the collective good. I am left with the words of Australian First Nations elder, doctor, writer and academic Helen Milroy, as shared by Dr Naomi Sunderland in her keynote, that healing will happen when we are both “soft and strong at the same time“.

Catherine ThrelfallDirector, Sunraysia Arts and Learning (Australia)

The SIMM-posia have been for me the most meaningful event to date. SIMM-posium #3 in Porto was my very first international conference. Since then, I have been able to create professional networks that have contributed to my academic journey as an emerging scholar. Since I presented for the first time in SIMM-posium #3 in Porto (2018), I have been able to participate in SIMM-posium #4 in Bogota (2019), SIMM-posium #6 in Paris (2021), and SIMM-posium #7 in London (2022). I could not understand my academic journey without the influence that SIMM-posia has had on my research and the networking that I have been able to develop since I attended for the first time in 2018. Examples of the benefits of this networking are getting invited to write a book chapter, being invited to participate as a keynote speaker at a conference, and being invited to apply for an international grant. The SIMM-posia allowed me the opportunity to meet Dr Geoff Baker, one of the most influential scholars in my work. I cannot thank enough SIMM organizers for their support in fostering capacity among emerging scholars such as myself.

Hector Vazquez-Cordoba Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Victoria (Canada)

SIMM is a significant and impactful initiative that deserves appreciation for its dedication to exploring the social benefits of music engagement. The SIMM-seminars provided a very valuable space for presenting my research and collaborate with many great colleagues. For myself as researcher and practitioner, the SIMM-network not only contributes to academic knowledge but also plays a vital role in advocating the social benefits of music engagement, inclusion, and community building, emphasizing the transformative power of music in fostering social change and well-being.

Filip Verneert – Post-doctoral researcher, LUCA -KU Leuven / CESAMM – UGent (Belgium)

SIMM podcasts were a phenomenal resource when starting my PhD and learning about the field of social impact in music, and the chance to present my early-stage work at a SIMM-seminar was invaluable. The intense discussion, peer feedback, and networking are not opportunities I would have received anywhere else, and the lessons learned over those days still impact my work today. I am incredibly grateful for my chance to attend the SIMM research seminar of 2022 on which music is being proposed and developed within participatory music projects.

Peter Underwood – PhD student, Bath Spa University (UK)

The work of SIMM and Lukas Pairon is as inspiring as it is vital. The several SIMM-posia, SIMM-seminars and SIMM podcasts that I have had the privilege to participate in, have always brought together the world’s leading practitioners in the field of socially engaged practice. SIMM demonstrates the richness and breadth of  their crucially important work and showcases its delivery to a wide range of communities across the globe and within some of the most deprived areas of the world. The opportunity for researchers and practitioners to sit alongside each other, comparing projects and practices, is of enormous value and informs our shared mission to bring transformational change to people’s lives through the arts.

Jonathan VaughanPrincipal, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London (UK)

At the 2023 SIMM-posium in Brisbane I felt over a decade’s work and dedication seen, understood and articulated many different ways that validated the hours of often unpaid dedication I have given to the practice of inviting people into music making. As a teacher and community music leader the work is messy, complex, joyful, immediate and bodily. There is rarely time for reflection, summation, deep analysis of the outcomes and strategies. You are in the tough stuff of leading the room, connecting the participants to the moment and, to quote Stephen Taberner, co-creating a ‘near life experience’. To hear the zoomed out analysis, the project tracking and how a whole globe of practitioners are wrestling with similar issues, ideas and constraints was deeply inspiring and motivating. There was also a lot of incredibly generous perspectives and wisdom shared with non-Indigenous participants from the First Nations presenters that prompted some deep reflection on methodology, frameworks and praxis. As someone now working the development space with Community Music Victoria, it is incredible to know how much more understanding and evidence there is to share with funders and stuffed shirts to support cases for resourcing more community and participatory music activity. I look forward to this year’s SIMM-posium and, even though my work falls well outside academia, I feel invited into the community and space to engage in my deepest love of participatory music.

Jane York – Consultant and educator in community music, Community Music Victoria / Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

I personally value the space SIMM offers to connect with a community of like-minded researchers and practitioners. Every SIMM event I go to inspires me with new ways of thinking, and facilitates us beautifully to reflect together on how we can make the biggest possible difference to society through our art and research.

Toby YoungProfessor of Composition & Programme Leader MA in Opera Making and Writing, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London (UK)