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 are currently running a Musical Care in Dialogue Series and there is a call for papers on “Interdisciplinary and intercultural perspectives on musical care” in the journal Music & Science. See more about these initiatives, as well as our information about who we are, how to join, and our previous activities below.

Join the network

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

Interdisciplinary and intercultural perspectives on musical care 

A call for papers for a Special Collection in Music & Science

This Special Collection focusses on musical care which broadly speaking “refers to the role of music—music listening as well as music-making—in supporting any aspect of people’s developmental or health needs” (Spiro and Sanfilippo, 2022, pp. 2-3). Guest edited by Musical Care International Network founders, this Collection follows the Network’s breadth by inviting discussion of numerous musical care practices from all over the world, from private experiences (including music listening and mood modulation) to public ones (such as concerts for babies and music in health campaigns) and from targeted musical care practices (such as music therapy) to everyday musical care practices (including informal singing between caregivers and infants). Musical care practices can include but are not limited to music therapy, community music, music in health campaigns, music in everyday life from around the world and from different disciplinary and practice perspectives.

The Collection invites submissions that reflect the Network’s values which highlight the importance of cultural context, interdisciplinary perspectives, diversity, inclusivity and participation, and ethical and anti-oppressive approaches. The aim of the Collection is to bring together a wide range of perspectives on musical care from numerous disciplines and professional backgrounds as well as perspectives of those with lived experience, with the goal of developing, debating, and elucidating our understanding of musical care around the world.

For more information click here.

Musical care in dialogue

A discussion series hosted by the Musical Care International Network

Join the network (by clicking the become a member button below) to join the discussions.

1. Love and empathy in musical care
Monday 13th May 2024. 09:30 – 10:30 AM (BST)

Filippo Bonini Baraldi (NOVA University, Lisbon, Portugal)
Dave Camlin (Royal College of Music, London, UK)

Chair: Giorgos Tsiris (Queen Margaret University & St Columba’s Hospice Care, UK)

Hear the chair’s opening and presentations by both speakers here:


Read reports about the presentations here:

Report by Nuria Marsimian (University Institute of the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires, Argentina) in Spanish.

Reports by Yi Wang (University of Edinburgh, UK) in Chinese and English.

2. Embedding Musical care
Tuesday 14 October 2024 14:00-15:00 (BST)

Sunelle Fouché (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
Kathleen Van Buren and Sarah Mensink (May Clinic, USA)

3. Margnalised communities and geography in musical care
Thursday 30th January 2025 00:00 – 01:00 GMT

april l. graham-jackson (Berkeley University, USA)
Naomi Sunderland (Griffith University, Australia)

4. Hearing, disability, and musical care 
Tuesday 18th March 2025 14:00 – 15:00 GMT

Juanita Eslava (Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellin, Colombia)
Kjetil Falkenberg (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
Ailsa Lipscombe (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)

5. Musical care supporting perinatal mental health around the world
Tuesday 13th May 2025, 10:00 – 11:00 GMT

Shantala Hegde (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, India)
Bonnie McConnell (Australian National University, Australia)
Katie Rose Sanfillipo (City University, UK)

Who we are

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.

Have a look at this map to find out more about network members and see where we are around the world.


Made with Padlet




Following our inaugural meetings, all of the meeting participants were invited to contribute to a paper. This paper introduces the network, explores the term musical care, and presents a draft mission.

“The discussions developed ideas in three areas: (a) musical care as context-dependent and social, (b) musical care’s position within the broader research and practice context, and (c) debates about the impact of and evidence for musical care. We can conclude that musical care refers to context-dependent and social phenomena. The term musical care was seen as useful in talking across boundaries while not minimizing individual disciplinary and professional expertise. The use of the term was seen to help balance the importance and place of multiple disciplines, with a role to play in the development of a collective identity. This collective identity was seen as important in advocacy and in helping to shape policy. The paper closes with proposed future directions for the network and its emerging mission statement” (p. 1).

Spiro N*, Sanfilippo KRM*, McConnell BB*, Pike-Rowney G, Bonini Baraldi F, Brabec BVan Buren K, Camlin DA, Cardoso TMÇifdalöz BU, Cross I, Dumbauld B, Ettenberger M, Falkenberg K, Fouché S, Frid E, Gosine J, graham-jackson al, Grahn, JL, Harrison K, Ilari B, Mollison S, Morrison SJ, Pérez-Acosta G, Perkins R, Pitt J, Rabinowitch TC, Robledo JP, Roginsky E, Shaughnessy C, Sunderland N, Talmage A, Tsiris G, & de Wit K (2023), Perspectives on musical care throughout the life course: Introducing the Musical Care International Network, Music & Science6, 1-18.


Small grants 2023

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 complete.

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.

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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