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How singing is good for usSignposts for Living with Dr Kirsten Hunter
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Melissa is Associate Professor in Contemporary Music at the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ), Australia. Melissa is a singing practitioner-researcher who researches the lived experience of singing across a broad range of contexts, from elite, professional singers to  community groups. Informed by positive psychology, her research uses qualitative methods to position singing as a unique health and wellbeing practice from which all can benefit.

To date, Melissa has written a PhD, 16 scholarly journal articles, and two book chapters on topics related to music education and singing and health and wellbeing. She writes for The Conversation and is the co-editor of Australian Voice, the scholarly journal for the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is an Academic Editor for PLOS One.
Melissa has received fellowships and awards for her work as a music and singing educator, including the Churchill Fellowship. This Fellowship enabled Melissa to travel to the USA in 2011 where she studied with leading contemporary singing pedagogues Jeanie LoVetri and Robert Edwin. In 2012, she was also privileged to study with eminent voice scientist Johan Sundberg at a short course held at his summer house in rural Sweden. In recognition of her contributions as an educational leader, she was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) in 2021.


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. 


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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