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

Series: Creative Thinktanks

Ideas explored: music for health and 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