Musical Care International Network

The aim of the network is to bring people together to explore examples of musical care from different disciplinary and cultural perspectives. We invite discussion of a broad range of musical care practices, from private experiences (including informal singing between caregivers and infants or formal music therapy sessions) to public ones (such as group music-making and music in health campaigns), from all over the world. Although musical care practices occur around the world in very different contexts and are the topic of research in several disciplines, there is little international and interdisciplinary collaboration on the topic. 

This network of practitioners and researchers working on musical care throughout the life course emphasises international and interdisciplinary collaboration. We include practitioners and researchers from a broad range of disciplines and practices, including but not limited to community music, ethnomusicology, medical humanities, medicine, music anthropology, music in health, music education, music psychology, music sociology, and music therapy.

If you’d like to be a part of the network, become a member here.

Small grants

The Musical Care International Network has a small grants scheme to support projects and events that advance musical care research and practice. The call has now closed and the projects are currently underway.

Grant holders

More than performance: A workshop exploring how the performing arts can be used to support health and wellbeing across the lifespan
Terry Clark
Mount Royal Conservatory 

Musicalization of mothers for children: Teaching musical tools for care and well-being among families affected by the Zika virus
Alana da Silva Costa
Federal University of Bahia

Musical experiences of people with hearing disabilities
Juanita Eslava
Orquesta Filarmonica de Medellin

Musical Care in the face of illness: Musical care groups for patients, caregivers, staff and the community of the Hospital Clínica El Carmen in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Mark Ettenberger
SONO – Centro de Musicoterapia

Completing the content validity process of the assessment tool called Musical Functional Assessment Profile in Autism (MFAP)
Nuria Marsimian
Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires
Instagram: @musicoterapiatea
Facebook: Musicoterapiatea

BMTN Black Musical Placemaking Initiative: Expanding Musical Care Offerings to Black Communities and Music Health Practitioners
Marisol Norris
Black Music Therapy Network

Small grants call


The musical care small grants scheme will support projects and events that:

  • advance musical care research and practice 
  • promote equity and inclusion in musical care research and practice 
  • highlight musical care practices of underrepresented groups, including Black, Indigenous, and communities of colour. 

What does funding cover?

The maximum that can be requested for any project under this scheme is £800

We are able to consider: 

  • Travel and accommodation for research or events.  
  • Research assistance
  • Administrative and technical support 
  • Catering costs for events — but please note that the expectation is that these will be kept to a minimum. 
  • Funds for the development of web content or other online resources 

In allocating grants:

  • We will give preference to projects with clearly described and achievable outcomes.
  • Events that have a public-facing aspect or are open to the participation of Musical Care International Network members are encouraged.
  • We are keen to encourage new collaborations among established and early career musical care scholars and practitioners, or the further development of existing ones.


All Musical Care International Network members are eligible to apply. New members can join the network by clicking the “Become a member” button above.


  • Applications due: 13 April 2023, 10 am BST
  • Applicants advised of outcome: 28 April 2023 
  • Projects completed: 30 June 2023

For more information and the application form see the small-grants-application form.

Upcoming network events

Interdisciplinary workshop on musical care
February 2023
In-person event (hosted by Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)

More details to come soon!

Organising network liaison: Georgia Pike-Rowney & Bonnie McConnell 


Previous network events

The second Musical Care International Network meetings
May 2023
Online event 

We shared experiences and insights from local network events, announced the network’s small grant recipients, and discussed future directions for the network. 

For more information about the event, please see the meeting booklet.

Breaking through disciplinary boundaries: Emerging approaches in musical care
January 2023
Hybrid event (hosted by IESA Arts and Culture and Ascencia Business School, Paris, France)

This two-day symposium focused on the role of care and the potential for musical care in musical performance and other performance practices.

Organising network liaison: Phillip Cartwright

How to incorporate music into mental health work
December 2022
In-person (hosted in upstate New York, USA)

This event was a discussion among mental health therapists about how to incorporate music into their work.

Organising network liaison: Naomi Raymond

South African National Arts Therapies Association (SANATA)
November 2022

Presentation and discussion about ‘Music (Arts) as Care: Interdisciplinary Arts practice and research. Broadening the scope of music (arts) care practices.’

Organising network liaison: Sunelle Fouché

The 3rd annual symposium of St Columba’s Hospice Care for the Arts in Palliative Care
November 2022
Online event (hosted by St Columba’s Hospice, Edinburgh, UK)

This year’s theme was “reimagining creativity and care” and the symposium aimed to offer a space for revisiting how creativity and care are embodied within and around the wider context of the arts in palliative care.

Organising network liaison: Giorgos Tsiris 

Panel on European Music Therapy Day MIDDEL: Music interventions for dementia and depression in elderly care
November 2022
Online event (hosted by Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University Turkish Music State Conservatoire, Ankara, Turkey)

This event discussed experiences and preliminary results from the MIDDEL project in Turkish and English with Burçin Uçaner Çifdalöz, Yeşim Saltık, Monika Geretsegger, Jo Dugstad Wake, and Özgür Salur.

Organising network liaison: Burçin Uçaner Çifdalöz 

Music therapy self-care groups for surgery staff
October 2022
In person (hosted by SONO – Centro de Musicoterapia, Bogotá, Columbia)

This event was for staff of the hospital surgery unit, including nurses, doctors and residents.

Organising network liaison: ​​​​Mark Ettenberger

Embedding music therapy in perinatal grief
October 2022
Hybrid event (hosted by SONO – Centro de Musicoterapia, Bogotá, Columbia)

This event, which focused on music therapy in perinatal grief, was attended by 30 people, 26 online. It included parents who had lost a child in hospital, social workers, psychologists and staff.

Organising network liaison: ​​​​Mark Ettenberger

Music therapy and other music interventions in dementia care
September 2022
Public Seminar (hosted by Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University Turkish Music State Conservatoire, Ankara, Turkey)

This was a seminar attended by about 50-60 participants at Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University Turkish Music State Conservatoire.

Organising network liaison: Burçin Uçaner Çifdalöz

Introducing Collaborative Insights:
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Musical Care Throughout the Life Course
July 2022
Hybrid event (hosted at the Royal College of Music, London, UK)

On the 11th of July 2022 we launched Collaborative Insights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Musical Care Throughout the Life Course edited by Neta Spiro and Katie Rose M. Sanfilippo

This event included:

  • An introduction to the book by the editors.
  • The debut of the animated video series inspired by the book.
  • Invited responses to the book by speakers across a range of disciplines:
  • A panel discussion with some book chapter authors including
  • Introduction of the international and interdisciplinary network on musical care

Learn more and watch a video of the event here

Musical Care International Network: Inaugural meetings
Online event (hosted by the Royal College of Music, London and City, University of London, UK)

On the 18th and the 21st of January 2022, we held the inaugural online meetings of the new Musical Care International Network. The meetings brought together practitioners and researchers from around the world from practices and disciplines related to musical care, including anthropology, arts and health, community music, economics, ethnomusicology, geography, health sciences, music education, music therapy, music and science, and sociology. The discussion, by the 42 delegates, centred around key questions:

Based on your own work and experience:

  • What is musical care to you?
  • What are musical care practices? Who do they involve?
  • What can musical care do? What kinds of outcomes can it have? Is there evidence for that?
  • Where does musical care sit within the wider cultural landscape?

For more information, see the meeting booklet.


Project Team
Neta Spiro
Bonnie B. McConnell
Katie Rose M. Sanfilippo

Royal College of Music:
Knowledge Exchange Fund
Policy Support Fund

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