March 2019: Singing and Maternal Mental Health: New Frontiers in Research and Practice

Series: Creative Thinktanks

Tags: PND, Singing, Thinktank, Wellbeing

Creative Thinktank

This Creative Thinktank was co-created with researchers Dr. Daisy Fancourt and Dr. Rosie Perkins and independent facilitator Katherine Zeserson.

The event built on the promising studies by Dr. Rosie Perkins and Dr. Daisy Fancourt which, through combinations of a randomised controlled trial, qualitative enquiry and laboratory experiments, show that group singing can reduce symptoms of postnatal depression in new mothers. Publications arising from the project can be found here.

16 leading researchers, singing practitioners, healthcare professionals and policy makers convened at Snape Bridge House to explore how singing can be used in supporting the mental health of new mothers, and how this valuable work might be developed in a wider context.

Actions/outcomes include:

  • A planned residency to develop a training offer for practitioners wanting to deliver this work
  • The establishment of a focus group of Thinktank attendees
  • A proposal to funders to upscale the Melodies for Mums programme (Breathe Arts)

Music and Motherhood was funded by Arts Council England from 2015-2017 to investigate the impact of creative activities on maternal wellbeing.

A video from the British Council‘s Serious Science series featuring Daisy Fancourt talking about how babies perceive sounds, and how this affects the mother-baby relationship.


Rosie Adediran
Lisa Cassidy
Nikki Crane
Daisy Fancourt
Cathy Green
Amy Mallett
Maddalena Miele
Helen Mottram
Tim Osborne
Rosie Perkins
Phillipa Reive
Claire Tustin
Rachel Whatmough
Tony Woods
Yvonne Wyroslawska
Katherine Zeserson


Singing for maternal mental health – Roundtable event at the Great Exhibition Road Exhibition on 29 June 2019:

Postnatal depression is a growing public health concern, affecting around 1 in 8 women in the UK. New research has suggested that group singing can support recovery, especially among women with moderate-severe symptoms. This round-table brings together a synthesis of the current evidence along with perspectives from researchers, clinicians and practitioners on how singing can support maternal mental health.

Convenor: Professor Aaron Williamon, Royal College of Music | Imperial College London

Speakers: Dr Rosie Perkins, Reader in Performance Science, Royal College of Music | Imperial College London, Tim Osborn, Project Manager Melodies for Mums, Breathe Arts Health Research, Dr Maddalena Miele, Consultant in Perinatal Psychiatry, St Mary’s Hospital, Dr Sunita Sharma, Lead for Postnatal services, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital