In mid-September, The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, hosted 27 students, ECRs, and established academics from the fields the arts and psychology for the GAPS2 Conference. GAPS – the Global Arts and Psychology Seminar – prides itself on its academic diversity, interdisciplinary, and quality, and offers students and early career researchers from all around the globe an innovative platform through which ideas, experiences, insights, and knowledge about (the relationship between) music, art, and creativity can be shared in an inclusive and rigorous way. GAPS was hosted across four face-to-face hubs in Melbourne, York, Graz, and La Plata, as well as online. 

As Australians, we are all familiar with the joys and tribulations of late-night meetings and attendances at international events, and GAPS2 was no different. Our dedicated group came together across three evenings – from 6-9pm – to zoom in with our colleagues in York and Graz, and share knowledge and network. Coffee was at hand for those who needed some extra support staying focused during the later sessions, and we also had an ongoing series of ChatGPT-generated jokes to keep us engaged. The food … ahhh, the food … was a highlight (shoutout to the Asylum Resource Centre!), and our extraordinary IT, tech, and front of house team were dedicated in making sure the conference went off without a hitch. 

Participants relished in the opportunity to meet face to face in a friendly, collegiate and supportive atmosphere. The combination of local hub events as well as the international hybrid sessions meant that participants connected on a personal level in addition to sampling the wider international research context. 

While the night was all about GAPS and linking in with our international colleagues, the days were dedicated to our Australian hub. As a group we came together over coffee and cake to engage in panel discussions, reflect on our work and practice through a guided art gallery experience, and chat research and careers during our much-loved mentor-mentee lunch. More coffee, food, and laughs bridged the space between the Aussie activities and the conference, creating a blend of close-knit community building and international exposure, especially for our student members. 

Looking towards ESCOM 2024 

The operational success of GAPS2 places us in good stead to host the upcoming ESCOM-12 conference from 3-6 July 2024 with confidence. The planned format is the same – multiple hubs with University of York as the central location, in a hybrid format (in-presence and virtual), supported by local face-to-face academic and artistic activities in Melbourne during the day. Talk time will be more generous at 20 minutes, with 5 minutes for questions and 5 minutes to handover to the next speaker.  

An important difference is that the focus expands from an early career focus to all levels of researcher. So – we call on you to mark this time in your diaries and plan your submissions and journeys to Melbourne NOW! If you have any questions about ESCOM12 @Melbourne in 2024, feel free to email us at 

We look forward to welcoming you to Melbourne in July 2024. 

Dr Solange Glasser & Dr Margaret Osborne 

Melbourne Chairs 

More information on ESCOM 2024 can be found here

The call for papers will be published in the coming days, so watch this space!