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Queen Margaret University

Article Published 24/05/2022

On 8th - 12th June 2022, Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh will host the 12th European Music Therapy Conference which is expected to be attended by more than 500 delegates. It is the first time the conference has taken place in the UK in 30 years.

Over the course of three decades, the music therapy profession has grown significantly, and the European Music Therapy Conference has become a prestigious triennial event. The conference offers a unique space for developing music therapists' professional and disciplinary identity, knowledge and expertise internationally.

Lynn Barclay, Commercial Manager - Conference, Events and Accommodation at Queen Margaret University (QMU) discusses the bidding process and why the university was chosen to host the event.

Tell us more about the bidding process for the event

The entire bid process took five months; we started in September 2018, and we were informed that we had secured the event in February 2019.

QMU's on-site conference and events team worked closely with the local convention centre and the British Association of Music Therapy, to prepare a very detailed bid document which showcased the university's expertise, location and on-site facilities.
The university is renowned for its research and knowledge exchange work within the music therapy sector, which focuses on making a positive impact on society. It is also widely recognised for its expertise in health and rehabilitation, as well as creativity and culture and offers the only MSc in Music Therapy in the country.

QMU has become a dynamic hub for music therapy in Scotland and is growing its global reputation by regularly hosting international music therapy symposia and research days. The university also has strong links with other European and international organisations including Metropolitan College with campuses across Greece, the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine in Liverpool and the Ace International Business School in Kathmandu; these relationships are critical in sharing knowledge and best practice.

The university has over 30 flexible event spaces, with the largest lecture theatre hosting up to 250 delegates and a catering and exhibition space for 500. QMU has a rich and successful experience of hosting international academic conferences on campus. We will have around 200 delegates staying on campus in the run-up and during the event. QMU has a team of event specialists who have been fantastic to work with throughout the planning and organising of the event. 

In addition to the 500 delegates attending in-person, we will also be broadcasting the event online, using the infrastructure we have in place and an external virtual events company to connect the spotlight sessions and stream to a live audience. 

What can delegates expect at the conference?

In Scots, to 'shoogle' means to shake… and this resonates with the ethos of this conference.

The intention for the conference is to create a playful yet rigorous space where delegates can shoogle and be shoogled. The conference committee hopes that the conference's exciting programme brings diverse and radical perspectives, which may disrupt existing notions, practices and methodologies.

QMU will host the opening ceremony on the 8th June at 6pm and the conference from 9th - 12th June. Delegates can expect to enjoy some traditional Scottish hospitality and entertainment.

As part of the conference programme, a gala dinner with live music will be hosted on 10th June at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Delegates will also have the opportunity to explore the university campus, which is surrounded by beautiful, landscaped grounds and take part in some outdoor learning and mindfulness sessions across the event days.

Find out more about QMU Conferences and Events here.