- Effective teaching and learning in higher and professional education;
- Primary school music education;
- Music making across the life-course;
- Music for health and wellbeing;
- Intergenerational music making;
- Ear-playing and vernacular performance practices;
- Choral conducting education, and instrumental tuition.
I have a strong and international research profile including interdisciplinary collaborations. I have extensive experience in teaching music education, music pedagogy, and music and health modules at undergraduate, post-graduate and teacher training programs. I have a Ph.D in choral conducting education. I currently work as Lecturer in Music Education at Mary Immaculate College, Ireland. I have designed and have led a Pathway on Music Education, Health and Psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University where I worked for seven years. The modules of the Pathway focus on preparing music graduates for diverse, portfolio careers in music. I have set up and conducted children’s choirs in schools and in the community. I took a leading role in major music education projects such as the Greater London Authority Music Education Audit, London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) Music education program, the Music for Life and the Ear Playing projects.
- Creech, A., Varvarigou, M., and Hallam, S. (2020) Contexts for Music learning and participation: developing and sustaining musical possible selves through informal, non-formal and formal practices. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://www.palgrave.com/gp/b…
- Creech, A., Hallam, S., Varvarigou, M. and H. McQueen (2014) Active Aging with Music: supporting wellbeing in the Third and Fourth Ages. London: Institute of Education. http://www.maturetimes.co.uk/music-can-work-wonders-older-people/
1. Varvarigou, M. and Creech, A. (in press) ‘Models of Learning’, Handbook of Music Psychology in Education and the Community across the Lifecourse. S. Hallam, D. Hodges and A. Creech (Eds), London: Routledge.
2. Varvarigou, M. (2019) ‘Nurturing collaborative creativity through group playing by ear from recordings in formal music education’, in Artistic thinking in the school: Toward Innovative arts in education research frameworks for 21st century learning. P. Costes-Onishi (Ed), Singapore: Springer Series. 175-193.
3. Βαρβαρίγου, Μ. (2019) ‘Η σημασία των ομαδικών μουσικών δραστηριοτήτων για την υγεία – εκπαιδεύοντας μουσικούς σε νέους επαγγελματικούς ρόλους’, Λ. Στάμου (εκδ.), Διαλεκτική και Πρωτοπορία στη Μουσική Παιδαγωγική. (σελ. 237-258), ΕΕΜΕ: Αθηνα. [Varvarigou. M. (2018) ‘The importance of community music making for health – training musicians for new professional roles’, in Dialectic and Innovation in Music Education. (pp. 237-258), EEME: Athens.]
4. Varvarigou, M. (2019) ‘Group playing by ear from recordings as a vehicle for the social inclusion of disadvantaged youth’, in Inclusive Music Activities for Youth. Pieridou-Skoutella, A. (Ed.), STAMP (Shared Training Activities for Music Professional). https://stamp-music.org/projectsresults/inclusive-music-activities-for-youth/the-handbook/group-playing-by-ear/
5. Durrant, C. and Varvarigou, M. (2019) ‘Perspectives on choral conducting: theory and practice’, The Oxford Handbook of singing. In Welch, G. Howard, D. Nix, J., (Eds), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 823-836.
Peer-reviewed Articles (Selected)
1. Varvarigou, M. (in review) ‘Fosterning Professional identity Development through therapeutic community music’, Special Issue, Psychology of Music.
2. Varvarigou, M., Abad, V., Poon, J. and Willingham, L. (in review) ‘Workforce Development for Music across the lifecourse’, International Journal of Community Music, Special Issue.
3. Varvarigou, M. (2017a) ‘Group Playing by Ear in Higher Education: the processes that support imitation, invention and group improvisation’. British Journal of Music Education, 34(3), 291-304.
4. Varvarigou, M. (2017b) ‘Promoting collaborative playful experimentation through group playing by ear in Higher Education’. Research Studies in Music Education. 39(2), 161-176.
5. Varvarigou, M. (2016a) ‘Collaborative playful experimentation in Higher Education: A group playing by ear study’. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, Special Digital Issue. August, pp. 1-16/
6. Varvarigou, M. (2016b) ‘I owe it to my group members who critically commented on my conducting…’ – cooperative learning in choral conducting education. International Journal of Music Education. 34 (1), 116-130.
7. Varvarigou, M. and Green, L. (2015) The Ear-playing Project: musical learning styles and strategies in the instrumental music lesson. Psychology of Music. 43(5), 705-722.
8. Hallam, S., Creech, A., Varvarigou, M., McQueen, & H. Gaunt, H. (2015). Does active engagement in community music promote enhanced quality of life in older people? Arts and Health, 6 (2), 101-116.
9. Varvarigou, M. (2014) ‘Teachers’ responses to ear-playing tasks during one to one instrumental lessons’, Music Education Research, 16 (4), 471-484.
10. Varvarigou, M., Creech, A. and Hallam, S. (2014) ‘Partnership working and possible selves in music education’, International Journal of Music Education, 32(1) 84–97.
11. Varvarigou, M., Creech, A., Hallam, S., & McQueen, H. (2013) Different ways of experiencing music-making in later life: Creative music sessions for older learners in East London. Research Studies in Music Education. 35 (1), 103-118.
12. Varvarigou, M., Hallam, S., Creech, A., & McQueen, H. (2012) ‘Benefits experienced by older people who participated in group music-making activities’. Journal of applied arts and health, 3(2), 183-198.
13. Varvarigou, M., Creech, A., Hallam, S., & McQueen, H. (2012) ‘Bringing different generations together in music-making – an intergenerational music project in east London’. International Journal of Community Music, 4(3), 207-220.
14. Varvarigou, M. Creech, A. and Hallam, S. (2012) ‘Benefits of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programs in Music for KS2 (Primary) teachers through the example of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) On Track program’, Music Education Research, 14 (2), 149-169
1. SPLISH SPLASH – An Evaluation for Oily Cart -
2. KUBLA KHAN – An Evaluation for Oily Cart http://www.oilycart.org.uk/uploads/files/KUBLA%20KHAN_EVALUATION_FINAL.pdf
3. MIRROR MIRROR – An Evaluation for Oily Cart
4. THE LIGHT SHOW – An Evaluation for Oily Cart
- Varvarigou, M. (2012) Arts Development Case Study – Canvey Community Choir – Evaluation Report. Essex County Council, pp. 31.
- Varvarigou, M. (2011) Evaluation Report from the Sing Up Canvey Island Project: October 2010 – March 2011. Essex Music Services, pp. 43.
- Varvarigou, M. (2011) Leading from the Front (Phase II), Evaluation Report: June 2009 – February 2011, Sing Up and the Association of British Choral Directors, pp. 27.
- Hallam, S., Creech, A., Gaunt, H. Pincas, A., McQueen, H. and Varvarigou, M. (2011) Music for Life Project: Promoting social engagement and wellbeing in older people through community supported participation in musical activities – Final Report. London: Institute of Education, University of London and Guildhall School of Music & Drama (funded by the ESRC New Dynamics of Ageing Research Program), pp. 1- 156.
- Hallam, S., Creech, A. and Varvarigou, M. (2011) Evaluation of the EMI Music Sound Foundation Project rollout: Training Key Stage 1 Primary School Teachers (2010-2011), London: Institute of Education, University of London, pp 1-72.
- Hallam, S., Creech, A., Rogers, L. and Varvarigou, M. (2011) Greater London Authority Audit of Music Education Provision in London. London: Institute of Education, University of London, pp. 1-221.
- Hallam, S., Creech, A., Shave K. and Varvarigou, M. (2010) Report from the LSO On Track Evaluation, September 2009 – August 2010, London: Institute of Education, University of London, pp 1-62.
Current research involvement
Ethno-Research – Pedagogy and Professional Development (led by Prof. Lee Higgins, York St. John’s University, UK) ($6.000)
Students who completed
- Kerry Boyle (EdD) – ‘Understanding the development of professional identity in instrumental teachers’ (Completed May 2018)
- Zita Hernandes Contreras – ‘Musical Engagement and its relationship to wellbeing’ (Visiting PhD student from Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Mexico; October 2016 to March 2017; Completed August 2017)
- Eleni Keventsidou – ‘Max Reger’s Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme op. 73: Issues of musical structure, performance practice and interpretation’ (Completed March 2016)
- Moira Azzopardi-Barbieri – ‘Teaching Music Theory in Higher Education through the example of the Malta School of Music’ (January 2017– to date)
- Michael Heinen – ‘Analysis of the Pharaonic and Greek impact on Coptic sacred music, its lyrics and melodies’ (October 2015 – March submitted 2020)
- Georgina Murphy Clifford – ‘The teaching of beginning recorder players in the UK: teachers, technique and tutor books’ (January 2019 to date), Guildhall School of Music and Drama
- Rea Efstathiou – ‘Musical experiences of highly functional autistic children in primary school’ (October 2018 – to date), European University Cyprus
MMus/ MA supervision
- ‘Learning Music theory online’ – Elliot Robinson, 2019
- ‘Music therapy in hospice and palliative care for adults suffering with terminal illness’ – Cecilia Maude, 2017
- ‘Supporting positive change in the wellbeing of offenders through active music making’ – Harriet Shortall, 2017
- ‘The use of percussion in health musicking for children with autism and ADHD’ – Chris Hills, 2016
- ‘Community music as a vehicle for changing perceptions of mental health issues’ – Debbie Rodgers, 2016
- ‘Using Music to Rehabilitate: Empowering musicians to contribute to health and wellbeing’ – Victoria Matthews, 2015
- Leadership in Choral Conducting: A Choral relationship? MA in Music Education, Lucy, M.C. Innes, 2012
Tallinn, Estonia (25-25 October 2019) – Developing and sustaining musical possible selves through informal, non-formal and formal practices in music education
- ‘1ο Διεπιστημονικό Συνέδριο Ειδικής Αγωγής και Ειδικών Θεραπειών (Αθήνα, 5-6 Μαίου 2018) [1st Cross-disciplinary conference on Special Education and Specialised therapies] - Η σημασία των ομαδικών μουσικών δραστηριοτήτων στην Ειδική Αγωγή– εκπαιδεύοντας μουσικούς εκτελεστές σε νέους ρόλους’.[The contribution of community health musicking in Special education – training musicians in new professional roles].
- 32nd World Conference – International Society of Music Education (ISME) (Pre-conference Community Music Activity Commission, Edinburgh, 19-24 July 2016): (1) Mental health and wellbeing through active music making: the Me2/Orchestra (Rodgers and Varvarigou); (2) How can musical repertoire be composed, arranged and selected to support the values of the adult community choir? (Peasgood and Varvarigou).
- 7th Conference of the Greek Society for Music Education (G.S.M.E.) affiliated member of ISME, 27-29 November 2015, Thessaloniki, Greece: (1) Principles and practices of facilitating musical activities for older people - Issues in training musicians; (2) Collaborative playful experimentation in Higher Education: A Group Ear Playing Study.
- International Symposium on Performance Science 2015 in Kyoto, Japan, 2-5 September 2015: Facilitating collective musical and improvised interactions through ear playing in higher education.
- 9th International Research in Music Education Conference, Exeter, 14-18 April 2015: (1) Paper Presentation as part of symposium on ‘Strategies for increasing motivation during instrumental learning’; (2) Encouraging collective experimentation and improvisation through Group Ear Playing in Higher Education.
- Reflective Conservatoire Conference: Creativity and changing cultures (London, UK, Guildhall School, February 26 – 1 March 2015): Promoting collaborative playful experimentation through group ear playing in Higher Education.
- International Association for Music and medicine – IAMM (Toronto, Ontario; 24-27 July 2014): Intergenerational music-making – a vehicle for active ageing for children and older people.
- Society for Education and Music Psychology Research - SEMPRE (Folkestone, UK, 2013): (1) ‘Facilitator Approaches in intergenerational and creative music workshops’; (2) Musical Possible Selves: supporting subjective wellbeing in later life.
- 8th International Research in Music Education Conference (Exeter, UK, April 2013): (1) ‘Play it by ear – teachers’ responses to ear playing tasks during one to one instrumental lessons’; (2) ‘Musical Possible Selves: supporting subjective wellbeing in later life’.
- Canadian Association on Gerontology (Vancouver, British Columbia, 18-20 October 2012) Aging in a Changing world: ‘Maximizing the benefits of participation in music – principles and practices of facilitating older learners’.
- Society for Education and Music Psychology Research - SEMPRE (London, UK, 2012): ‘The ‘Ear Playing Project’: Musical learning styles and strategies in the instrumental music lesson’.
- 29th World Conference – International Society of Music Education (ISME) (Thessaloniki, Greece, 2012): (1) ‘Facilitating collaborative learning in choral conducting education during face-to-face sessions and on-line’; (2) ‘The role of collective and choral singing in primary school education in Greece’.
- 7th International Research in Music Education Conference, Exeter, UK, April, 2011: (1) ‘Issues in training musicians as facilitators in activities with older people’; (2) ‘An exploration of the value of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs in music for KS2 (primary) teachers through the example of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) On Track programme’.
- British Psychological Society (Milton Keynes, December 2011): Poster – Intergenerational Activity.
- 6th Conference of the Greek Society of Music Education (G.S.M.E) affiliated member of ISME, Athens, Greece, 30-31 October and 1st November 2009: ‘Modelling Effective Choral conducting education: Theory and practice’.
- British Psychological Society Conference, Education Section, 30-31 October 2009: ‘Modelling Effective Choral conducting education’.
- 6th International Research in Music Education Conference, Exeter, 14-18 April, 2009: ‘Who tutors our choral conductors? – Perceptions of expertise’.
- 17th International Seminar for Music in School and Teacher Education Commission (MISTEC), Rome, July 14-19, 2008: ‘Real time and virtual: Tracking the professional development of choral conductors’.
- 4th Conference of the Greek Society for Music Education (EEME) affiliated member of ISME, Lamia, Greece, July 1-3, 2005: ‘Teaching choral singing to children aged 7-12 years old: the outcomes of a project and suggestions for teaching choral singing with creativity’.
May 2020: University of Macedonia, Greece – Department of Music Science and Art, Online Distance Learning Professional Development Programme entitles Music and Arts with Socially Vulnerable Groups; My contribution was a 15-hour programme entitled ‘Music making with health older people, older people with dementia and other conditions – Intergenerational music making’.
March 2018: University of Macedonia, Greece – Department of Music Science and Art, Masters in Music and Society, Modules: Topics on the Pedagogy of Music; Approaches to Music Education Research
- UCL Institute of Education – Fostering musical autonomy through playing by ear from recordings - 28 January 2019
- University of Edinburgh, Reid School of Music - Fostering musical autonomy through playing by ear from recordings - 17 January 2019
- SOAS - Fostering musical autonomy through playing by ear from recordings - 10 October 2018
- Projeto Guri and Jeunesses Musicales, MASP, São Paulo, Brazil – Musical Autonomy in children and young people through playing by ear from recordings - 25-27 June 2018
- UCL Institute of Education - Playing by ear in one to one tuition and in group Higher Education - 30 January 2018
- National and Kapodestrian University of Athens, Greece – BMus Programme, Module: Music Education - December 2017
- American College of Greece (Deree) – BMus Programme, Modules: Music in the Community; Practical Musicianship - October – November 2017
- UCL Institute of Education - Playing by ear in one to one tuition and in group Higher Education - 31 January 2017
- The Arts College of Xiamen University, China – Group playing by ear in higher education: the processes that support imitation, invention and group improvisation’. The presentation was part of ‘New Directions for Performance Music Teacher education – A symposium on university music education in China’ - 2-5 November 2016
- Academy of Music, Wroclaw, Poland – Who tutors our choral conductors? - 26 October 2016
- Webinar – 2016/17 Global Leaders program (YOA Orchestra of the Americas) – Academic Curriculum – Playing by ear in one to one tuition. - 17 October 2016
- Mary Immaculate College, Ireland – Peer learning and group creativity through playing by ear in formal music education. - 18 June 2016
- Kingston University - Informal learning practices of popular musicians in music classrooms and in one to one tuition. - 27 January 2016
- Royal College of Music - Informal learning practices of popular musicians within music classroom and in one to one tuition. - March 2015
- Rye Studio School, Rye, East Sussex - Music for Wellbeing and Health Day – ‘Active Ageing with Music: Supporting Wellbeing in the Third and Fourth Ages’ - July 2014
- Institute of Education, University of London - The Ear Playing Project: Adapting popular musicians’ informal learning practices for the classical instrumental lesson. - May 2014
- Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA - Ear Playing in the instrumental lesson: learning styles and teaching strategies. - September 12-17, 2013
- Institute of Education, University of London, Department of Culture, Communications and Media - Music, Art and Aesthetic Experience. Philosophy of Music and Music education module. MA program in Music Education. - November 2011
- Institute of Education, University of London, Department of Culture, Communications and Media - Lecture and Workshop – ‘Research Methods in Music Education’, MA in Music Education Study Day - October 2011
- Institute of Education. Department of Arts and Humanities -‘Issues in training musicians as facilitators in activities with older adults’ – MA Florida State University students. - July 2011
- Institute of Education, University of London, Department of Arts and Humanities -‘Research Methods in Music Education through the example of the Music for Life Project’, MA in Music Education Study Day. - October 2010
- Institute of Education. Department of Arts and Humanities - ‘Using Video in the Preparation of Choral Conductors’ – MA Florida State University students. - July 2010
- Institute of Education, University of London, Department of Arts and Humanities - Lecture/ workshop -‘Qualitative Research Methodologies in Music education: narratives and Interpretations’ – MA in Music Education Study Day. - February 2010
- Institute of Education, Department of Arts and Humanities -‘Modelling effective Choral conducting education’ - MA Florida State University students. - July 2009