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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Forbes

Interpersonal neurobiology and group singing

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

I recently gave a short presentation on this topic at the SIMM-Posium in Brisbane and I thought I would record a version of it to post here. SIMM stands for "social impact of music making" and you can read all about the focus of SIMM here.

I'm very interested in understanding two things: optimising wellbeing outcomes for group singing participants, and researching those outcomes from an experiential perspective ("What is it like to...?").

This short presentation suggests that Dan Siegel's Interpersonal Neurobiology is a way to help us amplify and understand the wellbeing effects of group singing using a systems thinking perspective.

The SIMM-Posium was one of the best conferences I've been to, perhaps because it really wasn't very "conferency"! It was intimate, supportive, and inspiring. The next SIMM-Posium will be held in Copenhagen.


Camlin, D. (2023). Music making and civic imagination. Intellect Books.

Camlin, D. A., Daffern, H., & Zeserson, K. (2020). Group singing as a resource for the development of a healthy public: A study of adult group singing. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 7(1), Article 1.

Forbes, M., & Bartlett, I. (2020). ‘This circle of joy’: Meaningful musicians’ work and the benefits of facilitating singing groups. Music Education Research, 22(5), 555–568.

Krause, A. E., Davidson, J. W., & North, A. C. (2018). Musical activity and well-being: A new quantitative measurement instrument. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 35(4), 454–474.

Siegel, D. (2012). Pocket guide to interpersonal neurobiology: An integrative handbook of the mind. Norton.

Siegel, D. J., & Drulis, C. (2023). An interpersonal neurobiology perspective on the mind and mental health: Personal, public, and planetary well-being. Annals of General Psychiatry, 22(1), 5.


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