A growing need exists for more research into the role that music can play in social practice, as well as for quality training and accompaniment for cultural workers and musicians who want to use their artistic competences to support a more inclusive and socially just society. The Academic Chair Jonet of the Ghent University (UGent) and University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HoGent) researches diverse aspects of participatory music making, and develops new research and innovative methodologies in this topic field. 

Music for social impact: practitioners' contexts, work and beliefs. 

(January 2020- March 2023)

This research project is an international cooperation between Sibelius Academy, University of Arts (Helsinki, Finland), Royal Holloway, University of London (London, UK), Guildhall School of Music & Drama (London, UK), University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Ghent (Ghent Belgium) and Fundación Universitaria Juan N Corpas, (Bogota, Colombia). Prof. dr. An De bisschop was the Chief Investigator for the Belgian part of the research, Dr. Anemone Van Zijl was the postdoctoral researcher on the project for Belgium.

The research thematizes the growing body of participatory music-making activities being offered to groups around the world defined by their social needs or deprivation, work which focuses on marginalised or excluded groups. As these participatory music-making activities generally employ professional musicians as facilitator-trainers, the outcomes therefore reflect what these practitioners do in their sessions, the skills, beliefs and motivations they bring to their work, and the conditions and constraints under which they operate.

Therefore, this big-scale international research focuses on this perspective of the involved musicians or music facilitators in these projects. This research provides an integrative cross-cultural analysis of the field as a whole from the perspective of the practitioners who deliver the work, undertaking a systematic in-depth analysis practitioner's backgrounds, training, and beliefs and how these affect the way they carry out their work and assess and improve its effectiveness. The project consisted of different (internationally shared) research phases and different dissemination conferences. 

Some research results:

  • (pdf) article Layers and dynamics of social impact: Musicians' perspectives on participatory music activities published in Musicae Scientiae (2023)
  • (pdf) presentation Research Introduction & Survey Results, presented at the dissemination event for Belgium in Ghent (December 7th 2022, Ha'Concerts, Ghent)
  • (pdf) presentation Interview Results Belgium, Workshop 1: Dynamics of social Impact, presented at the dissemination event for Belgium in Ghent (December 7th 2022, Ha'Concerts, Ghent)

Bridging the gap: artistic strategies for musical and social inclusion in intercultural participatory music practices with refugees. 

(November 2023-November 2027)

This research project by Drs. Tina Reynaert explores how co-produced intercultural co-creation can be a space for the exploration and expression of migrant identity of participants, but at the same time challenges this notion. It critically examines potential assymetrical power relations that shape organised cultural encounters, and offers insights and methodological tools towards more inclusivity. Rather than offering yet another attempt to 'measure' social effect, it examines how the artistic dynamic potentially generates musical and social inclusion.

Besides a literature review on artistic strategies in relation to musical and social inclusion, ethnographic field work in existing music practices will be conducted. Furthermore, a "critical reflection-on-action" auto-ethnography in which the role of the researcher as a musician-composer and the (musical) agencies of newcomers-participants in a co-produced intercultural creation process is explored, will take place.