Press Release

18 August 2011

The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health will be hosting a SEMPRE* conference next month to discuss current developments in research and practice in the field of music, health and wellbeing.

Professor Raymond MacDonald
Professor Raymond MacDonald

The Research Centre is part of Canterbury Christ Church University and is committed to researching the potential value of music, and other participative arts activities, in the promotion of wellbeing and health of individuals and communities.

The two day conference will focus on the use of music in health and social care settings, public health promotion and community development, as well as the role and value of established community music activity for wellbeing and health.

The event will comprise of presentations from researchers in the field including keynote speaker for the conference, Professor Raymond MacDonald, Head of Glasgow Caledonian University’s Music Psychology Research Group and a leading contemporary jazz saxophonist and composer with over 40 recordings to his name. 

Professor Macdonald will be speaking on ‘Conceptualising music, health and wellbeing: evidence and multidisciplinary perspectives’.

There will also be a postgraduate research day to reflect the significant growth of work in this field and allow students to present and discuss their current research projects.

The SEMPRE conference, ‘Striking a Chord’ will be held at University Centre Folkestone on Friday 9 and Saturday 10, September 2011. For more information visit:

*SEMPRE : Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research


Notes to Editor

Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health

  • The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health is internationally recognised for its commitment to researching the potential value of music, and other participative arts activities, in the promotion of wellbeing and health of individuals and communities.
  • The Folkestone based Centre has recently completed a systematic review of research on singing and health, conducted a cross-national survey of choral singers in Australia, England and Germany, and undertaken a formative evaluation of the 'Silver Song Club Project' run by Sing For Your Life Ltd.
  • Currently, the Centre is undertaking further research on singing for the wellbeing and health of older people, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients and people with enduring health problems.

Professor Raymond MacDonald

  • After completing his PhD at the University of Glasgow, investigating therapeutic applications of music, Professor MacDonald has worked as artistic director for music company, Sounds of Progress, specialising in working with people who have special needs. His ongoing research focuses on issues relating to improvisation, musical communication, music health and wellbeing, music education and musical identities. He studies the processes and outcomes of music participation and music listening. This work contributes to debates highlighting the ubiquitous importance of music, stressing that everybody has a biological and social guarantee of musicianship. He runs music workshops and lectures internationally and has published over 60 peer reviewed papers and book chapters.
  • As a saxophonist and composer his recorded output can be heard on over 40 CDs and he performs internationally with some of the world’s leading improvising musicians including Evan Parker, Keith Tippett, George Lewis and Barry Guy. He co-leads The George Burt / Raymond MacDonald Quartet (‘leading Scottish contemporary jazz’, The Guardian) and is a founder member of The Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (‘the premier league of the international improvisation scene’, Sueddeutsche Zeitung). 

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.

  •  In 2010 the Faculty of Education received 'outstanding' grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University's primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
  • 94 % of our recent graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating (2009/10 DLHE survey).
  • Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:14:00