Katey Warran

Name: Katey Warran

PhD Research Areas: Sociology of the Arts, Community Cohesion, Social Integration

Department: Sociology

Supervisors: Dr Lisa McCormick, Dr David Stevenson, Lyndsey Jackson

E-mail:  katey.warran@ed.ac.uk


Katey has extensive experience in Arts and Health, with a particular focus on music interventions within healthcare. Previously she coordinated a major study at the Centre for Performance Science in London (a partnership of the Royal College of Music and Imperial College, London) exploring whether singing impacted upon mental health, wellbeing, quality of life, immune function and social support for people affected by cancer. Alongside the main psychobiological study, Katey led on phenomenological and grounded theory studies, showing that group singing can improve resilience for those affected by cancer. Katey also completed her MSc in Performance Science (Distinction) at the Royal College of Music where she further explored the benefits of singing for cancer patients.

As well as this, Katey has worked on a range of other arts and health projects, including leading the coordination of the arts programme at Chelsea and Westminster hospital, and she is currently a coordinator for the Arts Health Early Career Research Network and a member of the Arts Health Network Scotland working group.

Katey has given a range of presentations and lectures about music and health, and she is currently a Tutor in the Reid School of Music and a Research Assistant at Edinburgh Medical School.

Research Interests

Katey’s PhD research is exploring social integration, collective identity and the notion of ‘community’ in the context of arts festivals, seeking to unpack what constitutes belonging for those who participate in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Katey’s interest in community cohesion stemmed from her work in the field of arts and health where she worked with many different patient populations including oncology, dementia, stroke, physiotherapy, paediatric and surgery patients; often the provision of social support led to psychosocial benefits. In particular, it was throughout her time working with community choirs where she became interested in the relationship between social and artistic processes. Thus, her current research seeks to further unpack and understand these processes, including how the organisation of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe society optimise social and artistic experiences for social integration.

Musical Interests

Katey sings and plays the flute and guitar. She enjoys choir singing and is currently a member of HarmonyChoir, a choir specifically set up to support mental health and wellbeing.


Warran K, Fancourt D, Wiseman T. (2019) How does the process of group singing impact upon people affected by cancer? A grounded theory study. BMJ Open https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/1/e023261

Warran, K. (2019). Book review: Christina Scharff. Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work: The Classical Music Profession. Psychology of Music https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735619830316

Warran, K & Welch, G. (2019) Research Evidence: Supporting older people through orchestral music. In From Bingo to Bartok: Creative and Innovative Approaches to involving older people with Orchestras. Orchestras Live / City of London Sinfonia. (pp.40-44) http://www.orchestraslive.org.uk/news/bingo-to-bartok/

Warran, K. (2019). Social integration and social inequality at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In Conference Proceedings for the European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry.

Fancourt, D., & Warran, K. (in press). Singing for Cancer: Implications from Psychoneuroimmunology. In Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Research in Singing: Volume III Well-being. Routledge.

Fancourt, D., & Warran, K. (in press). A logic model for the effects of singing on health. In Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Research in Singing: Volume III Well-being. Routledge.


6 Mar 2019, Arts and health: the benefits of group engagement for children and adults. Childhood Studies Annual Jamboree, University of Edinburgh, UK (spoken presentation and workshop)

13-15 Feb 2019, Social integration and social inequality at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry, John McIntyre Conference Centre, UK (spoken presentation)

25-26 Jun 2018, Group singing for male cancer patients: A phenomenological study. Music, selves and society, University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK (poster presentation; also invited workshop contributor)

13 Jun 2018, Singing for cancer: psychological, biological and qualitative studies. Applied Therapeutics for Palliative Medicine Conference, Royal Society of Medicine, London UK (spoken presentation)

5 Jun 2018, Communities at the fringe: grappling with researching complex contexts. Methods and Sources, Postgraduate Research Conference, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh UK (spoken presentation)

3 Mar 2018, Singing for cancer. CU Oncology Society Inaugural Conference, University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK (spoken presentation)

30 Aug – Sept 2017, An exploration of the process of group singing for male cancer patients: A phenomenological study. International Symposium on Performance Science, Reykjavik Iceland (poster presentation)

28 June 2017, Singing for cancer: results from psychological, biological and phenomenological studies. Association for Medical Humanities Annual Conference 2017, Keele UK (spoken presentation)

Scholarships and funding

AHRC SGSAH Creative Economy Studentship 2017-2020

SGSAH Cohort Development Fund: Doctoral Training Events 2018

Institute for Academic Development Action Fund 2018

Elmley Foundation Small Grant Award 2015-2017

Elmley Foundation Small Grant Award 2011-2012

Lionel Bart Foundation Bursary 2010-2011