Events Archive

Research Forum

Videos of previous Research Forum presentations can be viewed in our Research Forum archive.

For further details on any aspects of the series, please contact [email protected].


ESCOM 2015

The Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music was held at RNCM, 17-22 August 2015.


AHRC Network: Voices and Books, 1500-1800

The Voices and Books Network Workshop 1 was held at the RNCM in April 2014. It was convened by Professor Richard Wistreich.  Co-led by Professor Jennifer Richards (Newcastle University) and Professor Richard Wistreich (Royal Northern College of Music).

This was an AHRC-funded network of early modern scholars based in the UK and US (literary scholars, linguists, historians, musicologists) and partners (British Library; City Library, Newcastle; National Early Music Association UK; The Reading Experience Database; Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books) who are committed to recovering the history of reading aloud and listening to books. In 2014 we organised three workshops, to be held at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, Strathclyde University, Glasgow and the British Library, London. And in 2015 we hosted an International Conference on Reading Aloud 1500-2015 at City Library, Newcastle. For more information, see this website.

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Promoting Health and Well-Being in Music Lessons

This training event held in January 2014 was open to all musicians and other interested parties, although the event was primarily aimed at instrumental and vocal teachers of all instruments and genres. Event sessions provided practical information regarding how musicians can avoid developing performance-related problems and how they could pass this information on to their instrumental/vocal pupils. The day included instrument-specific sessions and more general sessions; see below for more details.

Sessions and speakers were:

Health support for musicians – Deborah Charnock (BAPAM)
Performance-related problems – Drusilla Redman
Performance Anxiety – Carol Chapman
Performance Coaching – Karen O’Connor
Psycho-physical re-education – Alison Loram
String Specialist – Christine Harrison
Voice Specialist – Ian MacDonald
Wind and Brass Specialist – Andrew Roberts
Focus group sessions – Volunteer delegates and speakers

This event was organised by Naomi Norton as part of her PhD research, which is entitled ‘Health education in instrumental and vocal music lessons: the teacher’s perspective’. This research event received approval from the Royal Northern College of Music Research Ethics Committee. If you have any questions or concerns about the research elements at the event please contact Naomi Norton for more information [email protected]

In addition to conducting research at the event a sample of approximately 15 delegates were also invited to take part in an interview study; this involved meeting up with the researcher prior to the event  and also taking part in a follow-up interview approximately six months after the event.

Event sponsors


British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM)

The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) is a UK based charity that delivers specialist health support to performing artists. They maintain a directory of practitioners across the country, run regular clinics in some of the major UK cities, provide bespoke health education sessions and have recently introduced the Student Advocate Scheme, which aims to inspire tertiary level performing arts students to act as health promotion advocates, raising awareness of healthy performance practice, sign-posting available resources and support, and helping to prevent students developing performance-related health problems. More information about BAPAM and their activities.


Mundo Music Gear

The home of innovative ergonomic supports and straps for guitars and other plucked string instruments. We are a family company hand making the world’s first integrated guitar support system; a system designed for guitarists to enjoy pain free whether playing sitting or standing.



The Pegmate

The Pegmate is a new, revolutionary and easy to use tool for turning and tuning the pegs of orchestral stringed instruments. Whether it be your child’s first 32nd size violin, or your full size cello, The Pegmate will make tuning and turning pegs easy.


Ton Kooiman

Like top athletes, instrumentalists are constantly involved in trying to get the maximum output from the energy and effort that goes into performing on their instrument, while at the same time maintaining a free and natural playing posture and a perfect technique. The Ton Kooiman thumb rest is for both children and adults: large and small hands: for every type of player (amateur or professional) who would like to play, and continue to play, with less physical fatigue and much improved results.

Added BrassErgobrass

Added Brass and ERGOBrass

Added Brass is a family business based in County Durham which aims to promote new innovative products to Brass Bands and Brass Players. One of the products that they distribute is the ERGOBrass support system which takes the weight of heavy brass instruments and helps the musician to stay totally relaxed while playing.

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Music Education Expo

Music Education Expo is the UK’s largest conference and exhibition for anyone involved in music education, be you a classroom teacher or flute teacher, a hub leader or a university lecturer. Spanning two days, the event offers you the chance to attend over 50 seminars, workshops and debates, the chance to meet and browse the services of over 150 exhibitors, and the chance to network with over 2,000 of your peers. An essential experience for any music educator! What’s more, Music Education Expo is completely FREE to attend if you pre-register online at


International Society for Music Education, Musicians’ Health and Wellness Special Interest Group

Our primary mission is to provide educators with a broad and diverse stream of conference sessions focusing on essential health and wellness information.  Educating musicians on this crucial information will positively affect the wellbeing of countless future musicians throughout the world, helping to stem the growing numbers of injured musicians and also providing strategies for maintaining their psychological health.  The intent of this special interest group is to offer sessions that will encompass the physiological and psychological needs of beginning music students (of all ages) to seasoned professionals performing at the highest level.

Contact details for Promoting Health and Well-Being in Music Lessons event: Naomi Norton: [email protected]

Interactive performance for musicians with a hearing impairment 

On 30th May 2013 we held an AHRC dissemination conference. Interactive performance for musicians with a hearing impairment consisted of:

  • Talks and discussions with deaf musicians
  • A performance by Ruth Montgomery with pianist Emmanuel Vass
  • Q & A sessions about the experience of making music with a hearing impairment
  • Presentations and demonstrations about vibrotactile technology
  • Panel session on inter-disciplinary research issues
  • Presentations by project members including:

The motivations, challenges and strategies of musicians with hearing impairments
The human sense of touch
Existing vibrotactile technology for music perception
Perception of pitch using vibrations
The future of vibrotactile technology

Participants included Danny Lane, Janine Roebuck and Angela Taylor.

Read our write-up on what was a very successful and enthusiastically received day. The full programme for the day along with contact details of key people on the AHRC project is in the blue box to the left. Among many highlights was the video made by Dr Gary Seiffert and his colleagues to demonstrate that vibrotactile technology can really work – you can see and hear this yourself here. The project was shortlisted for a 2013 Times Higher Education award.