Sing&Grow Research Projects

The impact of Sing&Grow on parental self-efficacy to support their child’s development through the use of music (Queensland University of Technology)

Prior research in collaboration with QUT School of Early Childhood has produced evidence showing the value of the program in increasing positive parenting behaviours, stimulating child social and communication development and the extent to which the program also stimulates positive changes in children’s self-regulation skills. This project builds and extends upon the ongoing program of research collaboratively undertaken by QUT and Sing&Grow (SnG) AUSTRALIA since 2005. In particular, this evaluation focuses on the effectiveness of the Sing&Grow program to increase parent and child capacities through

A) measuring the extent to which the program participants report changes in parenting self-efficacy, responsive parenting, and home use of music with children over time, in addition to measuring changes in child self-regulation and behaviour over time.

B) exploring qualitative data from participating families in relation to children’s transition to school following earlier participation in Sing&Grow.

In 2019, Sing&Grow conducted a national evaluation project in conjunction with Queensland University of Technology. This study makes an important contribution to the existing Sing&Grow evidence base through demonstrating for the first time, significant improvements in children’s cognitive self-regulation over time, as reported by parent, with important implications for school readiness for children. The study also documents for the first time, pre to post intervention improvements in parents use of music at home, and self-efficacy in two areas with strong ties to Sing&Grow key parenting messages, discipline, and play. To read the Research Brief and full report please follow this link:

Sing&Grow Publications

Sally Savage , Kate E. Williams , Lorna Berry & Julia Oreopoulos (2020): Parental perceptions of the Sing&Grow programme: group music therapy building knowledge, confidence and social support, Journal of Family Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13229400.2020.1776755. Article link:

Stanley, M. & Berry, L. (2019). Too much too soon? Balancing relationship-building with the gathering of meaningful data. Communities, Children and Families Australia, 13(1), 1-26.

Teggelove, K., Thompson, G., & Tamplin, J. (2019). Supporting positive parenting practices within a community‐based music therapy group program: Pilot study findings, Journal of Community Psychology, 47(4), 712-726.

Teggelove, K. (2017). Building stronger families through music: Sing&Grow group programs for families at risk. In Music therapy with families: thereapeutic approaches and theoretical perspectives Eds. Jacobsen, S.L. and Thompson, G. (p. 152-172). Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London; Philadelphia.

Williams, K., Teggelove, K., & Day, T. (2014). Contemporary cultures of service delivery to families: Implications for music therapy. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 25, 148-173.

Williams, K. E., Berthelsen, D., Nicholson, J., Walker, S., & Abad, V. (2012). The Effectiveness of a Short-Term Group Music Therapy Intervention for Parents Who Have a Child with a Disability. Journal of music therapy, 49(1), 23-44.

Abad, V. (2011). The effectiveness of a short-term group music therapy intervention for young parents and their children. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Williams, K. E., Nicholson, J. M., Abad, V, Docherty, L., & Berthelsen, D. (2011). Evaluating parent-child group music therapy programmes: Challenges and successes for Sing & Grow. In J. Edwards (Ed.), Music therapy and parent-infant bonding (p. 73-92). New York: Oxford University Press.

Nicholson, J. M., Berthelsen, D., Williams, K. E., & Abad, V. (2010). National Study of an Early Parenting Intervention: Implementation Differences on Parent and Child Outcomes. Parenting Program Implementation. Prevention Science, 11(4), 360-370.

Sherwin, L. & Freeman, L. (2009). The Sing & Grow Program Young parents bonding with their children through music, Music Forum, 15(2), 55-57.

Abad, V., & Williams, K. (2009). Funding and employment conditions: Critical issues for Australian Music Therapy beyond 2009. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 20: 20th Anniversary Special Edition, 56-62.

Nicholson, J. M., Berthelsen, D., Abad, V., Williams, K., & Bradley, J. (2008). Impact of music therapy to promote positive parenting and child development. Journal of Health Psychology, 13(2), 226-238.

Docherty, L., Nicholson, J., & Williams, K. (2007). Sing & Grow: the co-existence of evaluation research and clinical practice in an early intervention music therapy project, The New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy, 5, 1-16.

Abad, V., & Williams, K. (2007). Early Intervention Music Therapy: Reporting on a 3-Year Project To Address Needs with At-Risk Families, Music Therapy Perspectives, 25(1), 52–58.

Williams, K. (2006). Action inquiry into the use of standardized evaluation tools for music therapy : a real life journey within a parent-child community program. Voices : A World Forum for Music Therapy, 6(2).

Abad, V. & Williams, K. (2006). Early intervention music therapy for adolescent mothers and their children, British Journal of Music Therapy, 20(1), 31-38.

Williams, K., & Abad, V. (2005). Reflections on music therapy with indigenous families: Cultural learning put into practice. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 16, 60-69.

Abad, V., & Edwards, J. (2004). Strengthening Families: A Role for Music Therapy in Contributing to Family Centred Care. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 15, 3–17.