Special Music Education and Music Therapy Commission

13-16 July 2022
Venue: To be confirmed, Brisbane, Australia

The Commission pre-conference seminar will focus on equity, diversity and inclusion with particular reference to special music education and music therapy. Its purpose is to advance practice, research and theory, as well as to promote interdisciplinary dialogue between practitioners and scholars in the wider field of music and health.  While retaining the overall conference theme at its heart, the Commission pays specific attention to contemporary pedagogical practices and curricula for people with special needs; therapeutic interventions and applications of music within diverse settings within and beyond special education; socio-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives on music practices for promoting people’s health and wellbeing.

Proposals for research spoken papers, research posters, best practices spoken papers, and best practices posters are invited from participants worldwide including researchers and practitioners at all career stages including graduate students and early career professionals.


I warmly welcome you to the 2022 pre-conference seminar of the Commission on Special Music Education and Music Therapy.  Building on the Commission’s history of practice innovation and international development, this seminar aims to promote interdisciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue within the broader music and health arena. To this end, the voices of practitioners and scholars from diverse areas within and around the fields of Special Music Education and Music Therapy are welcome.

Kimberly VanWeelden (Commission Chair) 

Submission Requirements

Please read the requirements carefully. Only submissions that adhere to the requirements will be considered.

  • Proposal Submission. A 400-word maximum abstract is required for all submissions.  Please note, full papers are not required for the initial submission.  The abstract must include the following:
    • Title of the proposal at the top of the page (no more than 15 words)
    • 400 words maximum abstract
    • Keywords (5 or less) at the bottom of the abstract
  • All submissions must be made   without author identification, for anonymous  Submissions that include author(s) name and/or identification will be automatically rejected.  
  • The formats available to presenters for the Special Music Education and Music Therapy Commission are as follows:
    • Research Spoken Papers
    • Research Posters
    • Best Practices Spoken Papers
    • Best Practices Posters

All submissions and presentations must be in English.

  • The following policies are in place to ensure the originality of the proposal submissions.
    • A person may not submit the same proposal for a Commission pre- conference seminar and the World Conference.
    • A person may not submit a proposal that has been previously published.
    • A person may not submit a proposal that has been previously presented at a Commission seminar or ISME World Conference.
  • If your submission is accepted for presentation, please note that sessions may not be used to sell resources, publications, or other products.
Submission Policy

Please read the policies carefully, as the following must be adhered. Failure to follow these policies will result in submissions being removed from consideration.

  • The deadline for all submissions is November 12, 2021 at 11:59pm Pacific Time. Late submissions will not be accepted and there will be no deadline extensions.  Thus, applicants should ensure they begin the process of submitting in good time and should not assume the deadline will be extended.
  • Submissions are accepted online only through a system available to ISME members on the ISME 2022 World Conference website (ismeworldconference.org).
  • Submission is open to ISME members only. All presenters and co-presenters/authors must be an ISME member at the time of submission, at the time of acceptance, and at the time of presenting.
  • To be included in the published program, all presenters and co-presenters/authors must be registered for the Commission seminar through the online submission system.
  • Submission review. Each proposal submission will be assessed by blind review using the following criteria:
  1. Theoretical/pedagogical background
  2. Aim/focus of the work/research reported
  3. Method/approach/modes of inquiry
  4. Results and/or summary of the main ideas
  5. Conclusions and implications for special music education or music therapy
  • Participant registration and attendance requirement. All presenting authors of accepted papers and all participants in accepted sessions (presenting authors, chairs and discussants) are required to register for and attend the Commission seminar and to be present at the scheduled sessions. Submission is a commitment to do so.
  • For general questions about submissions, contact the Commission Chair Kimberly VanWeelden at kvanweelden@fsu.edu

Presentation Formats

The instructions for each submission format for the Special Music Education and Music Therapy Commission are provided below.

  1. Spoken Papers – Research and Best Practices
  2. Posters – Research and Best Practices

•        All presentations must be in English.

•        During spoken paper sessions, authors will have 2o minutes for their presentation followed by 10 minutes for audience discussion, creating a 30-minute time slot for each.

•        All spoken paper session rooms will have a screen, LCD projector, audio player, and speakers available.  It is strongly advised that authors utilize this technology to show tables, figures, references, etc. corresponding with their work to better engage the attendees during their presentation.

  • All posters must be in English.
  • During the poster session(s), authors will set up displays representing their work in a large area with other presenters. Because of the physical configuration of this type of session, no additional audiovisual equipment, such as a screen or LCD projector, is provided.

  • During the poster session(s), authors must provide a physical display if presenting in-person or a virtual display if presenting online.

  • Poster specifications (size, format, etc.) will be provided upon acceptance.

  • Abstracts for each poster in the Poster Session will appear in the pre-conference seminar program.

Multiple Submission Policy

Presenters of spoken papers at the Special Music Education and Music Therapy Commission pre-conference seminar are invited to present their work as a poster at the World Conference in Brisbane. 

Because seminar presentations will be reviewed by the Commission for inclusion in a pre-conference seminar, presenters will not go through review again by the World Conference committee but will be taken on the recommendation of the Commission Chair for the poster session.

This policy does not include any sessions to which the presenter has been invited by ISME or a Commission to contribute. It refers only to submissions that are made through the Commission Pre- Conference Seminar online submissions system.


Common Submission Mistakes to Avoid
  • Uploading proposal submissions with author identification. Submissions must not include author
  • Exceeding the word limits.
  • Submitting the same submission to both a Commission seminar and the World Conference. This is not permitted.
  • Submitting a previously published This is not permitted.
  • Uploading the incorrect paper to a particular submission.

More information or questions

While we have tried to provide a comprehensive overview of the call for submissions and the processes through which to do so we understand that there might be further questions or information required.

You can email (to be added) for all submission related questions though we first suggest you read or download the Frequently Asked Questions document.

Please allow a minimum of 24 hours for a response. 

For information about ISME memberships email ISME directly via admin@isme.org