Fostering Wellbeing in Times of Global Crisis                                          

A virtual conference hosted by Boston University, Boston Massachusetts, USA

Tawnya D. Smith and Karin S. Hendricks, co-conveners

July 5-7, 2021

We are pleased to announce that the Music Spirituality & Wellbeing Conference: Fostering Wellbeing in Times of Global Crisis to be held on July 6-7, 2021 is being fully sponsored by Boston University; therefore, the registration for this virtual event is free. That said, we would like for everyone to register so that we can send out Zoom links and passwords for security purposes. To register, please e-mail Allyn Phelps, the Conference Administrator, at to be added to the list of registrants. Please register no later than July 2nd so that we can ensure that you receive attendance details. We hope you will join us!

Scholars, researchers, musicians, theologians, clergy, music teachers, music and expressive arts therapists, and relevant stakeholders are invited to participate.

The purpose of the MSW conference is to forward the aims of MSW which are to:

  • Work in partnership with local, regional, national and international organisations to deliver high-quality research and knowledge exchange in the area of arts as wellbeing including spirituality.
  • Encourage best practice in performing and participatory arts as wellbeing in individuals, communities and organisations.
  • Embrace the social, spiritual and political aspects of wellbeing and the effect of societal values on the individual and the potentially transformative effects of artistic practice.
  • Explore the relationship between spirituality and music, with reference to both the great faiths and other transformative contexts
  • Develop best practice in performing and participatory arts as wellbeing in individuals, communities and organisations.
  • Embrace the social, spiritual and political aspects of wellbeing and the effect of the inculcation of societal values on the individual and the transformative effects upon artistic practice.

Authors should submit abstracts of 900 words or less (excluding references) and indicate preference for one of the following modes of presentation:

Paper Session: Paper presentation of 25 minutes followed by chaired discussion.

Symposium: Two or three related papers by different authors addressing a single topic or theme scheduled in one 90-minute session and hosted by a moderator or discussant proposed by the authors. 

Performance: Musical, multi-media, and/or participatory pieces that are explicitly connected to the conference theme or a subtheme.

Mediated Discussion: A discussant will facilitate a conversation amongst those in attendance on a specified topic. The discussant should propose a problem statement and potential questions to outline the scope and boundaries of the conversation.

Virtual Poster Presentation: Posters will be displayed on the MSW website, a public forum.

A 500-word professional bio and photo (high-resolution .jpeg files please) should be submitted for each author. Bios and photos will be displayed on the MSW website prior to the conference.

Submissions should be submitted by December 11 to Karin Hendricks at Submissions will be reviewed by the conference submission review committee composed of international academics, researchers, and practitioners. 


Conference presenters will be notified by February 1, 2021.  

Proposal submission, conference registration and further information related to the conference may be obtained from the MSW website http://mswinternational.orgwhich will be in place by early September 2020. Any immediate questions regarding the conference can be directed to Tawnya Smith,

The conference theme is Fostering Wellbeing in Times of Global Crisis. Presentations and performances that explore the intersections of music education and spirituality, as well as one or more of the following areas of emphasis:


          • Race, Class, Gender, and/or Sexuality

          • COVID-19

          • Climate and Environmental Degradation

          • Decolonizing Pedagogies and Practices

          • Compassion and Care

          • Interfaith and Inter-Spiritual Peacebuilding

          • Music and Spirituality and the Global Economy

          • Developments in Music and Public Worship in a Global Crisis

          • Building Musical and Spiritual Communities Online

          • Teaching Music with Compassion in a Virtual World

          • Singing, Spirituality, and Wellbeing in a Virtual World

          • The Therapeutic use of Music Online

Edited Book Opportunity

Papers related to the Music Spirituality and Wellbeing Conference: Fostering Wellbeing in Times of Global Crisis may be considered for publication in an edited book in June Boyce-Tillman’s Music and Spirituality book series with Peter Lang.  Chapter proposals of 4,000-5,000 words (including abstract and references) should be submitted electronically to Karin Hendricks,, by October 10, 2021.  

Submission Guidelines – Deadline: December 11