Music and Parental Wellbeing Research Network

Network Event 1 (online)
Thursday 21 March 2024

We are delighted to announce the first online event of the Music and Parental Wellbeing Research Network, which will take place on Zoom on Thursday 21 March 2024. Two time options are planned to help accessibility and attendance around the globe: 0600-0830 GMT (option 1) and 1430-1700 GMT (option 2). The event is free of charge to attend and we do hope you can join us.

Event 1 will address a main question: What musical practices could be used to support parents in a wide range of contexts?

Our international speakers for this event are: Mark Ettenberger, Claire Flower, Charulatha Mani, and Namvula Rennie.


Mark Ettenberger

Mark is an Ethno-Music therapist trained in Austria and obtained his PhD in Music Therapy from Anglia Ruskin University, UK. He trained in RBL (Rhythm, Breath, Lullaby) at the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine in New York and holds a M.A. in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace, University Jaume I, Spain. He currently lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia, where he is the director of SONO – Centro de Musicoterapia ( and a university lecturer at various music therapy programs internationally. Mark coordinates the music therapy services at the various hospitals in Colombia and has a specific interest in researching music-based interventions in medical settings.


Claire Flower

Claire is Consultant Music Therapist within Children’s Therapies at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London.  She has extensive experience in clinical practice with children and families. Her doctoral studies investigated processes through which child, parent/carer, and therapist collaborate in improvisational music therapy.  The interest in working with families is also present in her work with Together in Sound, a music therapy project run in partnership between Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research and the arts venue, Saffron Hall, which offers groups for people living with dementia and their companions. Claire is on the organising group of the International Music Therapy with Families Network, was Chair of the Scientific Committee for the 2022 European Music Therapy Conference, and has an ongoing interest in the challenges of aligning practice, research, and training in the profession.


Charulatha Mani

Charulatha is a renowned vocal performer of Karnatak classical music and a music researcher/pedagogue. She gained a PhD in historical musicology from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in August 2019. Having completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2022) on Creative Arts and Human Flourishing at the School of Music, University of Queensland, she has held academic roles in Creative Arts and Health at the University of Tasmania. Since 2023, she is Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra. Her research expertise includes music-making in ethnic minorities, traditional lullabies, and music for perinatal health.


Namvula Rennie

Namvula is a critically-acclaimed singer and songwriter whose artistic journey is an exploration of cultural intersections and heartfelt storytelling. Her music reflects the nuances and complexities of her mixed Zambian and Scottish heritage, and a restlessness born of her diasporic upbringing. She is passionate about encouraging African artists to step up onto global platforms. As the co-founder of Film Africa, London’s largest celebration of African cinema and culture, she has played a pivotal role in promoting the diverse creative voices of the African continent and its diaspora. In her work as a creative music-making workshop facilitator for groups of all ages, Namvula puts into action her belief in the transformative power of music to uplift, heal and engage. At the core, Namvula is a storyteller with an over-arching hope in our capacity as humans to touch each other’s hearts and to fill the world with a little more grace, and a little more love.

We will begin with two short video presentations of current practice from Claire and Namvula. This will lead us into breakout groups, where we will begin to map where we all are in the world and our current work and interests in music and parental wellbeing. We hope to generate an interactive members’ map!

Back together, we will then enjoy two video provocations from Charu and Mark, who will pose some key questions for practice going forwards. These questions will take us into breakout group discussions and generate a shared list of goals for the Network to focus on as we move forwards together. We plan to use these goals to write and publish an agenda paper for the Network. We hope that many of you will join this process as co-authors when we get in touch following Event 1. Finally, we will end the event with a short plenary session.

We hope you can join us at one of the available time options and please feel free to forward the event details to any colleagues, contacts, and parents/carers who you think might be interested in attending.

Start typing and press Enter to search