Previous Conferences and Workshops

Conference: Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology 2022 (CIM22) “Participation”

Dates: 8-10 June 2022

Location: Hyrbid – University of Edinburgh, The University of Hong Kong, & Online

MHSD Workshop Series: The Diverse Musical Brain

Date: March – July 2019

Location: Reid Concert Hall and Reid School of Music

Inspired by a recent seminar on “Decolonising Music Education” in the Reid School of Music, we are hosting a series of five workshops that aim to highlight the diversity of global music and music neuroscientists.

To date, much music neuroscience research has predominantly considered Western, European music. Our aim for these workshops is to broaden out our concept of music to include a greater variety of musical traditions. As research begins to uncover how music may be able to help with global health issues such as dementia and stroke, understanding a range of different types of musical experience is important, to take such work forward effectively.

The series will include practical and lecture workshops. Participants will have the opportunity to experience playing a range of styles of music for themselves, and speakers will be invited to consider to what extent their own research addresses non-Western musical experience. Each workshop will be followed by a 30-minute panel discussion and an informal drinks reception.

Find out more about this series >

Workshop: Music, Improvisation and Embodied Cognition

Date: 27th June 2018

Location: 3.11, Dugald Stewart Building, Bristo Square

This will be a small informal workshop bringing together academics within the University – but working in different disciplines – interested in one or more combinations of: music and improvisation, music and cognition, and improvisation and embodied cognition. For more information or to attend the event contact Mog Stapleton or Dave Ward.

Workshop Series: Musical Activities Programme for Supporting Children with Dyslexia

Dates: May 2018 – November 2018

Locations: Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh and Feversham Primary Academy, Bradford

This series of four interactive workshops is aimed at music specialists, classroom teachers and support for learning teachers who would like to learn about using music to support children with dyslexia. The workshops will offer materials and training to enable teachers to use a specialist musical activities programme (MAP) (Overy, 2008) designed to improve phonological and literacy skills in 7 to 11-year-old children with dyslexia. In each workshop we will provide opportunities to learn and practice the musical activities and space to share feedback on experiences using the activities.

The workshops are funded by an ESRC Impact Grant and will be run by Dr Katie Overy and Emma Moore in collaboration with our partner organisations, The City of Edinburgh Council Arts and Creative Learning Department and Feversham Primary Academy.

Symposium: IMHSD Welcome Event

Date: Wednesday 15th November 2017

Time: 14.00 – 17.00

Location: St Cecilia’s Hall, Niddry St, Edinburgh, EH1 1NQ

This welcome event will feature a series of short talks by IMHSD members about their current research. Talks will cover a variety of disciplines including music, psychology, neuroscience, sociology, linguistics, education and medicine.

Conference: The Musical Brain

Title: The Evolution of Singing

Date/Time: Friday 28th April 2017, 10.30-19.30

Location: Church of the Order of St John, Clerkenwell, London

The one-day Evolution of Singing conference will explore the evolution and the physical, psychological and social benefits of singing from the Stone Age to the present day.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Evangelos Himonides, Reader in Technology, Education, and Music at UCL Institute of Education, on the vocal instrument, its function, properties, needs and uniqueness as we understand it today.
  • Prof Steven Mithen, author of The Singing Neanderthals, on how modern humans benefit from their musical Stone Age past.
  • Dr Katie Overy, Music Psychologist, Cognitive Neuroscientist and Director of the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development.
  • Prof Michael Trimble, Behavioural Neurologist at UCL Institute of Neurology, on the differences between the human brain and the brains of our nearest living ancestors to try to understand the changes which may have been important for the development of singing.

For more information or to register for the conference please visit The Musical Brain website.

Workshop: Move with Music

Date/Time: Thursday 23rd February 2017

Location: Lecture Room A, Alison House, 12 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh. EH8 9DF

This creative music and movement workshop for 3-5 year-olds and their carers is part of the Festival of Creative Learning. This interdisciplinary, child-led workshop aims to develop the creative skills of 3-5 year-olds through music, movement, improvisation and play. In this workshop, carers (students and staff of the University) will also be active participants in a hands-on experiential learning process.

The creative activities are based on the concept of free improvisation and will be facilitated by two practitioner/researchers: Una MacGlone and Dr Ana Almeida.

The workshop is part of a new, innovative project in which the creative output will be co-authored by the children, carers and workshop leaders.

Attending the workshop is free, but places are limited. If you would like to take-part, places can be booked here:

Event: Concurrent 2

Date: 13th – 14th January 2017

Times: 13th January 18.00 – 19.30; 14th January 10.30 – 21.45

Location: Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square, Edinburgh

Concurrent#2 was the second meeting of Edinburgh College of Art’s network for improvisation between disciplines and followed on from Concurrent#1 in January 2016. Friday 13th featured a talk from Sophia Lycouris about developing movement explorations of Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens, and performances integrating saxophone playing with live drawing and dance.  Saturday 14th comprised a series of daytime workshops by Tara French, Adam Linson and Peter Wiegold, about on-going work that aims to integrate the improvisation of dance and music therapists, and evening performances of Peter Wiegold’s workshop material as well as new cross-disciplinary improvisations directed by Raymond MacDonald and Graeme Wilson.

For more details about the Concurrent#2 programme please refer to the Concurrent website

Event: Disability Research Edinburgh Launch Event trumpet-player-in-wheelchair

Date: Wednesday 15th June 2016

Time: 14.00-16.45

Location: Main Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place, EH3 9DF

Disability Research Edinburgh is a network of researchers whose work engages with disability across and beyond the University of Edinburgh.  This event provided members of the network and anyone who is interested in the area of disability research with an opportunity to come together and celebrate the launch of our new website and highlight the diversity of research in this field. 

Speakers included:

  • George Low, Disability Research Edinburgh
  • Professor Dorothy Miell, Vice Principal and Head of College of Humanities and Social Science, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor John M Davis, Professor of Childhood Inclusion, Moray House School of Education.
  • Inclusion Scotland
  • Disability History Scotland will present their Lottery Funded animation One Last Push: the final Battle of World War One? This film provides short history of disability in Scotland and questions how social attitudes towards disability have changed, developed and often stalled, from WWI to the present day

Please contact us ( if you would like any further information about the network.

Symposium: Musician Movement: Capture and Analysis

Date: Monday 7th March 2016

Time: 12-5pm

Location: Common Room/Lecture Room B Alison House, Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh

This Symposium featured a talk from Dr Donald Glowinski (Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics Lab, University of Geneva) entitled Automatic behavioural analysis of expressive performance movements,’ as well as talks from PhD students currently working on movement capture and analysis methods in relation to music. The event was organised by Dr Nikki Moran, Dr Donald Glowinski and Sarah Gross.

Conference: Concurrent 1

Date: 16th January 2016

Time: 14.00-21.45

Location: Teviot Debating Hall/Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh.

Concurrent is a network of key researchers and leading improvisers to share approaches and theoretical insights, apply psychological understandings to collaborative performance and consider how performers share or construct meanings at the cutting edge of contemporary improvisation.

To register for the event or to learn more about the Concurrent network please visit the Concurrent website.

Symposium: Musical Learning Across the Lifespan (MLAL)WesternUni logo

Dates: Saturday 17th October 2015

Location: Western University, Canada

This public symposium was the launch event of MLAL, a new research initiative, directed by Dr Katie Overy, that brings together faculty and students from the Don Wright Faculty of Music and the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University, Canada, to facilitate collaborative, interdisciplinary research on musical training and expertise. The symposium featured guest lectures from IMHSD members from Dee Isaacs, Dr Ana Almeida and Emma Moore as well as keynote lectures from Dr Psyche Loui (Wesleyan University) and Dr Steven Demorest (Northwestern University). Dr Katie Overy opened the event and chaired a panel discussion. 

Conference: 3rd Meeting of the Scottish Music and Health Network

Date: Friday 23rd October 2015

Location: Technology and Innovation Centre, 99 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1RD

This was the 3rd meeting of the Scottish Music and Health Network (SMHN), which is a collaborative network between the University of Edinburgh and Glasgow Caledonian University, funded by the Carnegie Trust. The network aims to conduct and share high-impact research exploring the connections between music and health and to facilitate communication between researchers, practitioners and the public.

For more information about the SMHN please visit the SMHN website.

Conference: SEMPRE Conference on Music and Health

Dates: 21st-22nd October 2015

Location: Technology and Innovation Centre, 99 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1RD

This event comprised of a post-graduate study day focused on music psychology, education and related topics on Wednesday 21st October, followed by a one-day conference exploring the relationship between music and health.

For further information about this event please visit the conference website.

Conference: Developing Research on Music and Health

Date: 2nd March 2015

Locations: Paterson’s Land & Reid School of Music, Edinburgh

This one day event was the second meeting of the Scottish Music and Health Network and brought together music practitioners, healthcare workers, researchers and members of the public to explore research exploring the potential of music to benefit health and wellbeing. The morning session took the form of a workshop to explore new research proposals, whilst the afternoon session consisted of presentations about current research and practice with a focus on using music to improve health and wellbeing in children and young adults. 

Conference: Mapping the Future of Music and Health Research in Scotland

Date: 23rd June 2014

Location: St. Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh

This was the first meeting of the newly formed Scottish Music and Health Network. Presentations on research pertaining to music and health included musically interventions for stroke rehabilitation, pain management and childhood trauma. The day also featured a performances by musicians from Limelight and Drake Music Scotland, whilst members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO ReConnect) gave a practical demonstration of musical activities used to improve the quality of life and sense of wellbeing in dementia patients.

Workshop: EBRAMUS Workshop on Music in the Rehabilitation of Memory and Learning

Dates: 17th-18th January 2013

Location:  University of Lille

This workshop explored the role of music in the rehabilitation of patients with learning and memory deficits. The workshop was jointly organised by the Neuropsychologie et Cognitive Auditive, University of Lille and IMHSD, University of Edinburgh. 

Workshop: Hearing, Seeing and Imagining: Music and the Visual Arts

Dates: 28th-31st August 2012

Location: Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex

A three-day, interdisciplinary summer workshop on the topic of Hearing, Seeing and Imagining: Music and the Visual Arts organised by the IMHSD, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh in collaboration with Queen’s University, Canada and the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) at Herstmonceux Castle.


Workshop: Rhythms in Scotland

Date: July 2012

Location: Glasgow

In Scotland today, there is a wealth of research exploring rhythm in speech, poetry and music. Rhythms in Scotland was a programme of events in Edinburgh and Glasgow held to celebrate and share that research, making connections between people, disciplines, ideas and techniques.


Rhythms in Scotland was a collaborative project involving the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and Edinburgh, together with University College Dublin. ECA’s award holder was Dr Katie Overy, Director of the flagship research centre, the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (IMHSD). Participants in the workshops included both academic and non-academic stakeholders, including contributors from the Edinburgh Youth Music Forum, Art Beat, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and ABC Creative Music. Over the series of events, music psychologists, music neuroscientists and musicologists shared knowledge, not only with community musicians, performers and music therapists, but also with linguists, cognitive scientists, speech therapists, teachers and sports scientists.


Benefits and outcomes 

Rhythms in Scotland was an outstanding example of interdisciplinary communication, which can often be difficult to achieve. As part of the project, practitioners were given the opportunity to inform new research, while researchers were given the opportunity to inform new practice. Events included a one-day symposium, Approaches to Rhythm and Timing in Scotland Today (ARTiST), which included brief presentations, focus group discussions, an overview of potential funding opportunities in Scotland and the formation of the ARTiST network. This has established an infrastructure for future knowledge exchange and the transferring of research into practice beyond the life of the project.

Rhythms in Scotland culminated in a three-day international workshop, Perspectives on Rhythm and Timing, which was held in Glasgow in July 2012. Over 100 delegates attended and the event was shared with audiences via a live Twitter feed. The project partners have collaborated to co-edit a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Communicative rhythms in brain and behaviour which was published in November 2014

Conference: The Neurosciences and Music – IV: Learning and Memory

Dates: 9th-12th June 2011

Location: Assembly Hall and The Hub, Edinburgh

Organised by the IMHSD In partnership with the Mariani Foundation for Paediatric Neurology, this conference was  a continuation of the foundation’s previous meetings on the relation between Music and the Neurosciences.



Conference: The Child’s Curriculum: What is the Value of Early Childhood Education and Care?’

Dates: 11th September 2010

Location: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Edinburgh

 A one-day conference organised by the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde, in association with the IMHSD and the British Association for Early Childhood Education ( to discuss the value of early childhood education and care, with a particular focus on the implications for future practice and policy in Scotland.



Workshop: Music, Pattern and Mathematics

Dates: 9th-11th August 2010

Location: Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex

A three-day, interdisciplinary summer workshop on the topic of Music, Pattern and Mathematics, hosted by the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (IMHSD), in collaboration with Queen’s University, Canada and the International Study Centre (ISC) at Herstmonceux Castle.



Conference: Arts in Prisons: their impact and potential

Dates: 12th-14th February 2010

Location: St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh

A three-day, international conference designed to bring arts practitioners and academic researchers together to explore the impact and potential of the arts in prisons.


 Conference: Communicative Musicality

Dates: 6th December 2008

Location: St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh

Conference: Dance, Timing and Musical Gesture

Dates: 13th-15th June 2008

Location: St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh

Workshop: Music, Language and Movement

Dates: 6th-10th August 2007

Location: Herstmonceaux Castle, East Sussex

 Hosted in collaboration with Canada and the ISC, Herstmonceaux Castle, East Sussex.

Conference: Music and Disability

Date: 22nd October 2006

Location: St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh

Conference: Rhythm, Time and Temporal Organisation

Dates: 2nd-4th June 2006

Location: St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh

The inaugural interdisciplinary conference hosted by the IMHSD on the topic of rhythm.