Name: Shelly CoyneShelly Coyne

PhD Title : Exploring the world of choirs and community singing groups with singers who have experienced homelessness

Departments: Music and Sociology

Supervisors: Prof. Raymond MacDonald, Dr Niamh Moore & Dr Katie Overy




 Community Musician and Choir Leader Shelly has been working in local communities for over 15 years, leading community choirs and training other musicians, children and teachers to do the same. Her primary focus has been working with singers affected by issues associated with poverty and homelessness and has worked in prisons, setting up a choir in HMP Cornton Vale.   She completed her Masters in Music in the Community at Edinburgh University in 2009 then worked for Sing Up, the National Singing Programme under the Government’s Music Manifesto at The Sage Gateshead. In 2010 she set up and managed the successful Community Music charity Givin’ it Laldie in Glasgow, to address poverty, poor health and Sectarianism though community singing. This involved executing large scale projects, including taking the Lodging House Mission Choir, a Glasgow homeless choir, to perform at The Royal Opera House as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.


Research Interests 

Shelly’s research interests largely focus on community singing and its impact on health and wellbeing, particularly for marginalised participants and whether participation can lead to long term life transformations.

Her PhD research will draw on Community Music, Community Music Therapy and Music Education practises and will also consider the sociomusical environment within a choir, musical identity and the musical communication processes.

Previous research took her to a remote part of Albania, called Thethi, where she looked at the impact of learning a second language through singing. This led to the following piece of research, What is the Effect of Using Music and Singing with Albanian Children Learning English as a Foreign Language.


Musical Interests 

Shelly (mis)spent much for her 20’s and 30’s singing in various bands and singing and arranging songs for her a capella group Cat’s Chorus. She plays the piano and accordion and is a member of the Edinburgh University Balkan Music project.



Credited contributor to two publications developed by the Institute for IMHSD in 2009, Teaching Foreign Languages through Songs and Teaching Music in Prisons.

Credited developer and contributor to three singing resources, produced by The Sidney de Haan Research Centre at Canterbury Christchurch University entitled, Singing Well-being and Health: Context, Evidence and Practice.

Co – wrote the training manual for Sing Up, Young Singing Leaders (2011).


Invited Lectures & Conference Presentations

Singing as a Driving Force for Change: What is the perceived effect of participating in a Community Choir in an Area of High Deprivation in Glasgow. SEMPRE, Canterbury 2011

We’re Givin’ it Laldie: Can Community Singing improve wellbeing in an area of multiple Deprivation in Glasgow. Scottish Music and Health Network / SEMPRE, Glasgow 2015


Funding Awarded

2015 – AHRC DTP Studentship

2009 – Edinburgh School of Music Travel Scholarship



Lecturer on the Folk and Traditional Music Degree at Newcastle University (2010) .

Training of community choir leaders, both adult and children

Teaching both class based music curriculum and performance to primary and secondary school/ GCSE children.



Treasurer and Board member of the Glasgow charity, Hear My Music