Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research Conference

The role of music psychology research in a complex world: Implications, applications and debates

Guest speaker: Professor David Hargreaves (Roehampton University)

The study of the musical mind its associated behaviours has become increasingly socially conscious, with more emphasis on applications and values, and calls to reflect on music(king)’s capacity to afford (inter)subjectivity and empathy; to engage with music’s global diversity, and to encourage interdisciplinarity communality. Recent years have seen rapid societal and cultural change, which has impacted on priorities for the environment, education, community, wellbeing, politics, and social justice, as well as mounting concern about the rise of intolerance in an increasingly polarised society. 

This SEMPRE conference aims to bring together researchers to (re)consider music psychology (in the broadest sense of the term) in light of current social, cultural, and environmental challenges, and seeks to foster discussion and debate about the role that music psychology might play in addressing them. 


Call for Proposals

Encouraging a broad and inclusive approach, we invite submissions for individual 20-minute papers or posters that address a wide variety of topics, methodologies, and questions, including (but not limited to):

• (How) can music psychology understand and address current societal challenges?

• What should a socially engaged music psychology look like today?

• What are the urgent/difficult questions?

• What new approaches to socially applicable research are there? 

• What key assumptions remain in the field and how might they be challenged?

• Any paper/poster that explicitly applies music psychological knowledge to address socially urgent research questions.  

Submissions are encouraged from scholars and postgraduate researchers at all stages of their careers. Proposals of 250–300 words should be sent as a .doc attachment to sempreconf2020@leeds.ac.uk, and must include the following: title, author(s), affiliation(s) (if any), email address, and technical requirements.

Postgraduate researchers whose abstracts are accepted for inclusion may be eligible for a SEMPRE Conference Award to help cover travel and registration costs. Please indicate on your application if you would like to be considered for an award.

The deadline for proposals is Monday 30 March 2020 at midday (GMT). Decisions on proposals will be communicated by early May. 

Registration will open in May 2020. Information about the conference—accommodation, travel information, draft programme and so on—will be available soon. 

It is hoped that some papers from the conference will contribute to a Music & Science Special Collection, ‘Music Psychology Research in a Complex World’, guest-edited by Karen Burland and Emily Payne. More information can be found here.

Conference committee: Karen Burland, David Ireland, Melissa Kirby, Emily Payne