Music and Parental Wellbeing Research Network

Supporting parental wellbeing through music, research, and collaboration

The Music and Parental Wellbeing Research Network is the first of its kind to foster novel, international, and interdisciplinary collaborations to explore the role of music in supporting parental wellbeing.

The Music and Parental Wellbeing Research Network recognises that parental wellbeing is suffering in the UK and beyond, exacerbated by factors such as health inequalities, austerity, conflict, and COVID-19. While there is already evidence that music can support wellbeing, including for parents, there is work required to diversify and extend the knowledge base, and to bridge a translational gap between practice and research, on the one hand, and policy and long-lasting implementation, on the other.

This international Network will collaboratively address this agenda, focusing on three key questions: What musical practices could be used to support parents in a wide range of contexts? How can music practitioners working in this area be supported and cared for? How can music be implemented as a sustainable part of parental wellbeing practices and policies? The complexity of these questions and who they involve necessitates the need for a collaborative approach, bringing together people working at the intersection of music and parental wellbeing to work across and between disciplinary and conceptual boundaries.

Network activities will include a series of online and hybrid events over 2024 and 2025. Network activities will be shared through a series of short films, a resource bank sharing exemplars of work, and an agenda article and accompanying policy briefing that lays out progress to date and the key questions and policy implications needed to advance the field. The Network leads, Professor Rosie Perkins and Dr Katie Rose Sanfilippo aim to develop the Network into a new Alliance for Music and Parental Wellbeing that will raise awareness, facilitate ongoing collaborations, and host network outputs.

To join the Network please click here.

For more information, please contact Debi Graham:

Project events


Project team

Michael Durrant, RCM
Debi Graham, RCM
Rosie Perkins, RCM (PI)
Katie Rose M. Sanfilippo, City University of London (CI)

Supported by

Arts and Humanities Research Council

Learn more

Read a selection of related articles by the network leads and colleagues:

Fancourt D & Perkins R (2018), The effect of singing interventions on symptoms of postnatal depression: A three-arm randomised controlled trial, British Journal of Psychiatry, 212, 119-121 [DOI].

Perkins R, Spiro N, & Waddell G (2023), Online songwriting reduces loneliness and postnatal depression and enhances social connectedness in perinatal mothers: Randomised controlled trial, Public Health, 72-79 [DOI].

Perkins R, Yorke S, & Fancourt D (2018), How group singing facilitates recovery from the symptoms of postnatal depression: A comparative qualitative study, BMC Psychology, 6, 1-12 [DOI].

Perkins R, Yorke S, & Fancourt D (2018), Learning to facilitate arts-in-health programmes: A case study of musicians facilitating creative interventions for mothers with symptoms of postnatal depression, International Journal of Music Education, 36, 644-658 [DOI].

Sanfilippo, KRM, Stewart L, & Glover V (2021), How music may support perinatal mental health: An overview, Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 24, 831–839 [DOI].

Sanfilippo KRM, McConnell B, Cornelius V, Darboe B, Huma HB, Gaye M, Ceesay H, Ramchandani P, Cross I, Glover V, & Stewart L (2020), Community psychosocial music intervention (CHIME) to reduce antenatal common mental disorder symptoms in The Gambia: A feasibility trial. BMJ Open, 10 [DOI].

Sanfilippo KRM, McConnell B, Cornelius V, Darboe B, Huma HB, Gaye M, Ramchandani P, Ceesay H, Glover V, Cross I, & Stewart L (2019). A study protocol for testing the feasibility of a randomised stepped wedge cluster design to investigate a Community Health Intervention through Musical Engagement (CHIME) for perinatal mental health in The Gambia, Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 5 [DOI].

Sanfilippo KRM, de l’Etoile S, & Trehub SE (2022). Musical care in infancy. In Spiro N & Sanfilippo KRM (Eds.), Collaborative Insights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Musical Care Throughout the Life Course (pp. 12-43), Oxford University Press. 

Shaughnessy C, Hall A, & Perkins R (online first), Becoming the right musician for the job: versatility, connectedness, and professional identities during personalised, online music-making in hospital maternity wards, Musicae Scientiae [DOI].

Stewart L, McConnell BB, Darboe B, Glover V, Huma HB, & Sanfilippo, KRM, Cross I, Ceesay H, Ramchandani P, & Cornelius V (2022). Social singing, culture and health: Interdisciplinary insights from the CHIME project for perinatal mental health in The Gambia, Health Promotion International, 37 (Supplement_1) [DOI].

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