Saved by a Song
The Transformative Power of Songwriting

What do we mean when we speak of the transformational Power of Songwriting? What evidence is there out there that the writing and performance of song may actually make a difference to the way we live our lives? These are the questions that lie at the very heart of our Saved by a Song conference.

While songwriting has long been valued for its expressive power and potential for evoking a world of experience within a highly time-efficient framework (often compared to the writing of poetry), song used more specifically in the service of therapy and transformational practices in general, is a more contemporary phenomenon.

Our conference is an open invitation to explore the theme of transformational songwriting in its broadest remit. The conference welcomes anyone with an interest in songwriting, including scholars, musical practitioners, industry practitioners, campaigners, etc. The organisers are indebted to songwriter and author Mary Gauthier for the loan of our conference title from her book of the same name.

Save the date

Wednesday 5th June

ICMP Queen's Park Campus
76-78 Salusbury Rd
London, NW6 6PA

Book Ticket

Event Panelists

mary_guathier_circle_0.jpgKeynote Speaker

Mary Gauthier (Online)

“There is a power in song that is nothing short of alchemy.”

Mary’s songs have been recorded by icons like Dolly Parton and Jimmy Buffett, and her 2019 album, “Rifles and Rosary Beads,” earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Folk Album.

Her 2021 book, “Saved by A Song: The Art and Healing Power of Songwriting,” praised by Rolling Stone as a ‘must-read’, is the inspirational force behind this conference -  learn more about Mary here.

felicity_baker.jpgFelicity Baker (Online)

Professor Felicity Baker, Associate Dean of Research at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music and Director of International Research Partnerships, Creative Arts and Music Therapy Research Unit, is renowned for her research in therapeutic songwriting, including her 2015 publication “Therapeutic Songwriting: Developments in Theory, Methods, and Practice.”

kiz_manley.jpgKiz Manley

Kiz Manley is the ‘Lived Experience and Programme Coordinator’ within AHRC/UKRI’s national research team for the ‘Mobilising Community Assets to Tackle Health Inequalities Programme’, at University College London (UCL). As the UK’s first Hip Hop Therapist, Kiz's research interests include narrative and poetic inquiry. Her MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes thesis explored the lived experiences of rappers and the therapeutic potential of Hip Hop and UK Bass Music culture.

Event Agenda

The event will take place from 9:30-18:00. Details of the day's schedule can be found below.

9:30 - Coffee/Registration is scheduled in the Refectory

10:00 - Housekeeping - hosted by Lucy James in the Venue

10:10 - Welcome Session - presented by Sophie Daniels & Jonathan Whiskerd, taking place in the Venue

10:30 - Session 1
Hosted by Shane Beales in the Venue

  1. "Songwriters and The Celestial Jukebox: Attributing Creativity to Outside Forces" - presented by Simon Barber
  2. "Musical attention and emotional awareness in songwriting" - presented by Odd Torleiv Furnes
  3. “How I got over” - presented by Brenda Rattray

11:30 - Break in the Refectory

11:45 - Session 2 
Hosted by Julian Marshall in the Venue

  1. “Trauma-informed Hip-Hop" - presented by Kiz Manley
  2. "End of Life Songs and The Legacies They Inspire"  - presented by Bob Heath
  3. "Swan Songs- Can writing a song help with acceptance of death?" - presented by Ben Slack

13:00 - Lunch in the Refectory

14:00 - Session 3 
Hosted by Jonathan Whiskerd in the Venue. 

  1. "Creative Resiliency Derived from Childhood Trauma.” - presented by Jamie Teachenor 
  2. “Musical Theatre Songwriting and Self-Transformation”  - presented by Lucy James
  3. "The lyrics to my life. How songwriting has shaped and healed me: My Story." - presented by Kemi Sulola

15:00 - Break in the Refectory

15:15 - Session 4
Hosted by Lucy James in the Venue

  1. "Songs in the Key of Collaboration: Engaging with Anthropocene moments through personal and collaborative songwriting."  - presented by Martin Høybye
  2. "Enhancing Family Communication Through Songwriting"   - presented by Thiago Jorge
  3. "I am Liberty’s Mother: Re/constructing my identity through research songwriting - EP2 Peaceful Warrior" - presented by Sophie Daniels

16:15 - The Keynote - Hosted by Sophie Daniels in the Venue featuring Mary Gauthier (online)

17:00 - The Panel - Hosted by Sophie Daniels in the Venue, featuring Mary Gauthier (online) , Felicity Baker (online)  and Kiz Manley

18:00 - Drinks available in the Refectory to wrap up the day's events

The Venue

Nestled within our stunning Queen’s Park campus, the 100+ capacity venue is used for both events and teaching. From informative masterclasses and captivating showcase gigs to pivotal networking events and cultural celebrations, it's the ideal space for this conference.


Getting there

  • Queen's Park Overground: 6 mins walk
  • Brondesbury Park Overground: 7 mins walk

Directions can be found here.


The Power of Song
A Symposium of ICMP Students

Tuesday 4th June
10:00am-6pm ( followed by ICMP Songwriter's Circle)

The Venue, ICMP Queen's Park

In preparation for the 'Saved by a Song' conference, please join us at the Power of Song Symposium.  The symposium is designed to be a precursor to the Saved By A Song Conference on 5th June.  Guests are welcome to attend both days along with the ICMP Songwriter Circle on the evening of 4th June.

At the Symposium you will participate in interactive sessions led by songwriting masters students and alumni who have completed in-depth research into the following areas:

  • Songwriting for self - how can songwriting be used as a tool for personal transformation and healing
  • Songwriting for connection - the power of song to build bonds and change relationships
  • Songwriting for change - the power of song to reflect and change society

The symposium welcomes current/prospective students and alumni, along with anyone interested in songwriting, including scholars, musical/industry practitioners and campaigners.  You can expect an interactive session with plenty of opportunity to debate the transformative applications of song.