Gladys Heng (Dr.), Nanyang Technological University

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The combination of music’s affordances for therapeutic use and recent technological advances has brought the field of Music Medicine to new and exciting territories. With this in mind, Agres, Schaefer, Volk, et al (2021) proposed a roadmap for music, computing and health, which (1) adopted an interdisciplinary approach among the disciplines of music therapy, music information retrieval, and music psychology and neuroscience, (2) summarized various uses of music technology in healthcare settings, and (3) offered best practices, challenges and examples of interdisciplinary collaboration for developing music technology for health.
The current paper aims to operationalize this roadmap in Singapore’s context so as to provide clearer directions for future music educational and healthcare policies. Firstly, we outlined the existing research landscape in Singapore and observed that while each of the aforementioned disciplines has generated a considerable amount of work, interdisciplinary dialogues between music researchers and clinicians/therapists are limited. Secondly, despite some examples of music technology in healthcare settings, such as the development of affective music-based brain computer interfaces (Ehrlich et al., 2019), as well as music therapy clinics offering online services, the use of music technology for health is still in its infancy. This may be due in part to limited interdisciplinary interactions, which can be fostered by organizing music-related symposiums, as well as limited funding opportunities and alignment with existing funding sources.
In conclusion, the current paper demonstrates the feasibility and usefulness of utilizing the roadmap proposed by Agres, Schaefer, Volk, et al (2021) to start thinking about the current state of music research in Singapore and its future directions. Other countries can thus adopt this roadmap to make more concrete plans of how to foster interdisciplinary collaborations within and across institutions and fields, and select relevant research topics.

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