Music & Mental Health: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

Music & Mental Health
Friday, April 12, 2019 - 7:00pm to Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 7:00pm

Music & Mental Health
An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

13th to 14th April 2019
Bruges, Belgium

Music is the soundtrack to our lives. Listening to and creating music has strong intuitive resonances with our sense of well-being and our mental health and has a direct impact on our moods, motivations and creativity. On a typical day, music might awaken us, entertain us on the morning commute, assist us in focusing on tasks and absorbing information, energise us for a gym session, cheer us up, remind us of things past, inspire us to create something, stimulate desire, relax us after a long day and, ultimately, lull us to sleep. For many of us, music is so engrained into our existence that we fail to acknowledge the tremendous impact music has on our thoughts and feelings.

Indeed, music can be associated with healing and catharsis and can be a valuable tool in a therapeutic context. while music is a powerful mechanism for coping with loss, grief, pain, lonelieness and other adversity, it is also a catalyst for euphoric sensations that result in intense pleasure and forge connections with others. Music can be correlated to enhanced cognitive performance and be used to support those with specific mental health conditions, including but not exclusive to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, various forms of depression, but its use can also arguably lead to harms where music plays a role in supporting negative emotion.

While the health benefits of music have been broadly recognised across various disciplines, professions and practices, this event offers an opportunity for a fully inclusive interdisciplinary exploration of music’s impact on the mental health of listeners, and the impact of mental health on the creation and performance of music. By considering the relationship between music and mental health in this bi-directional manner, the event aims to foster a dynamic dialogue that will:

facilitate sharing of concrete knowledge and techniques for using music to address mental health issues;
support direct engagement between musicians and health practitioners;
assist professionals from diverse disciplines in identifying ways that music can be used to promote mental health in work environment;
support individuals seeking personal development by highlighting strategies to maximise the mental health benefits of music.
The event will also aim to build an innovative publication which will engender further collaboration and discussion going forward.

While the organisers welcome presentations on any aspect of music and mental health, the following topics have been identified as key areas of exploration for the event.

Mental health expression and experience in popular music
Music, alienation, order and disorder
Music, pain, loss and grief
Music related to specific mental health conditions
Music therapy and intervention: best practice, case studies of effective programmes, challenges for practitioners and opportunities for innovation
Music and mental health research
Practitioner perspectives
Medical/scientific perspectives on how and why music affects cognitive and neurological processes
Solfeggio and other systems of tonal therapy
Apps and business start-ups that facilitate use of music to promote mental health
Music and mental health of animals
Music and sports psychology
Music and the spiritual mind
Social media, networking and music
Case studies of how (un)healthy minds impacts the creation and performance of music
Use of music to address mental health issues in vulnerable communities (LGBTIQ, people with disabilities, the elderly, Indigenous people, religious and ethnic minorities, etc.)
Strategies for using music to improve mental health in schools, businesses and health and welfare initiatives sponsored by governments and non-governmental organisations
Identifying and overcoming challenges to using music to promote mental health
Using music to reduce the social stigma around mental health issues
What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, roundtables etc.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 9th November 2018. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 23rd November 2018.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 1st March 2019.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Music &….Mental Health Submmission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Organising Chair: Dr Niall Scott:
Project Administrator:

What’s so Special About Progressive Connexions Events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.

Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

Further enquiries should be sent to:

Further details and information can be found by visiting the conference web page:
Web address:

Sponsored by: Progressive Connexions


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