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Melissa Forbes is a singing practitioner-researcher who leads social connection through singing. As an Associate Professor in Contemporary Singing at the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ), Australia, Melissa's research explores the lived experience of singing across various contexts, from professional singers to community groups.

With a focus on positive psychology, Melissa's research uses qualitative methods to position singing as a unique health and wellbeing practice accessible to everyone. Her work has been published in scholarly journals and book chapters, and she also writes for The Conversation and appears in podcasts (see below), making her research accessible to a wider audience.

Melissa's commitment to developing early career researchers is evident in her role as the Early Career Development Chair for the Australian Society for Music Psychology, where she curated the AMPlify Your Research professional development series. Her contributions as an educational leader were recognized when she was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) in 2021.

As a Churchill Fellow, Melissa had the opportunity to study with leading contemporary singing pedagogues in the USA. She is certified in Somatic Voicework(TM) The LoVetri Method and has twice hosted master singing teacher Jeannette LoVetri (USA) at UniSQ in 2017 and 2019. This has resulted in training over 70 singing teachers from across Australia, New Zealand and Asia in The LoVetri Method.

Melissa's work with Park n Songs, a health and wellbeing singing group for people with Parkinson's and their carers, showcases her dedication to making a positive impact through singing. Her commitment to community engagement and service was recognized with the UniSQ Vice-Chancellor's Award in 2022.

Currently, Melissa is working on a book manuscript for Routledge, The Positive Musician: Leading Self and Others to Flourish Through Music set, for release in late 2025. The book positions musicians as positvely energizing leaders who build social connection in their communitities, and features case studies of inspiring musician leaders from across the globe.


SHORT PERFORMANCE BIO

Melissa Forbes is an Australian singer whose voice has the ability to seamlessly move between genres.  Melissa is equally at home singing jazz, rnb and soul, blues and folk music. Brisbane News described her sound as the "best of Ella, Etta and Aretha". She has released two albums, No More Mondays, and The Intimacy of Distance which was a collaboration with Brazliian singer and guitarist Bianca Obino. Performance highlights include appearances at the Queensland Music Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Brisbane Jazz Festival, Women In Voice 21 and 23, featured vocalist with David Hobson and singing backing vocals for Michael Buble with a cappella super group Naturally 7. 

SOME PERSONAL BACKGROUND

My path to the professional practice of music and then academia has been somewhat circuitous, having spent a good ten years devoted to the study and practice of law before studying music as a mature-aged student. I also studied English literature during my first stint at university. Given my favourite subject at school was maths, I'm clearly interested in lots of different things! I love being at home with my family and my two dogs, Mr Chips the (mad) dachshund and Shine, the (even madder) Italian Greyhound. 

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