Personal profile


Jo Collinson Scott is a musicologist and multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter (working under the name Jo Mango). She received her AHRC funded PhD in Musicology from the University of Glasgow for her research into the development of creative music analysis methods. During this time she helped develop and launch UWS's unique MA in Songwriting. Since joining UWS she has worked as an investigator on several AHRC Connected Communities research projects and one major ESRC/AHRC funded project all focused on the use of creative (music) practice in generating public dialogue around issues of societal importance. Outputs from these projects have taken the form of songs (featured on BBC Radio 6, performed at international festivals such as Celtic Connections), standard written outputs, recommendation reports and written creative outputs (discussed on BBC Radio 4, used as training materials internationally). Her writing on popular music pedagogy has also been published in editions at the forefront of understanding this relatively new and growing field. Jo is also a touring singer-songwriter and performer working under the name Jo Mango. As a songwriter she has co-written songs with internationally recognised Scottish bands (such as Teenage Fanclub) and had her music featured in film and television in the UK, North America and Europe. As a performer she has toured internationally, including performances in the Carnegie Hall (USA), SXSW (USA), NXNE (Canada), Foundland (Japan) and Morning Becomes Eclectic (KCRW Radio, USA). She is also a community musician having worked (for example) in a variety of settings, including for BBC Radio 1 Academy, as a Live Music Now musician, PRS funded songwriter in residence and for criminal justice-based arts organisation Vox Liminis.

Area of academic expertise - outline

Research interests include popular music pedagogy, popular music analysis, practice-led research in songwriting and performance (especially in participatory community contexts), music and mental health, music and criminal justice and desistence, music festivals and the environment, creativity studies and community-based participatory research methods.

Target collaborative organisations

Vox Liminis

Scottish Prison Service

National Health Service

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

Use of songwriting/songwriting pedagogy in organisations and educational environments for a range of purposes.

Creativity / developing creativity and creative practices in a range of environments.

Popular music and mental health.

Popular music and songwriting in tackling social stigma.

Music and social justice.

Community music practice.

Current research activities

I am currently co-investigator on a major three year research project funded jointly by the ESRC and the AHRC. 'Distant Voices - Coming Home’ is a collaborative action research project with a large practice-led component that explores crime, punishment and reintegration through songwriting and other creative methods. It has been developed in a collaboration between the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (led by Prof Fergus McNeill) and Vox Liminis (led by Alison Urie) - a charity that brings creative practice to criminal justice and its reform - and includes co-investigators from the Unviersity of Edinburgh and the University of the West of Scotland as well as a core group of 'experts in experience' of the criminal justice system (prison, community justice, social work).

I am also developing outputs and further opportunities related to 3 AHRC Connected Communities research projects:

Fields of Green: Addressing Climate Change through Music Festival Communities - my role in this project was to use songwriting as practice-led research to work with Scottish singer-songwrters to investigate the role of travel in their life and work, and its relationship to the environment. The project also looks at the role of festival organisers and audiences in addressing climate change and reducing the carbon footprint of the live music industry. A collaborative project with the University of Edinburgh, the University of Manchester and Creative Carbon Scotland.

When Tomorrow Becomes Yesterday: Sustainability in Song - a research project exploring the role of songwriting in imagining the future in light of the challenges posed by climate change. Working with Creative Carbon Scotland, Julie's Bicycle and Manchester: A Certain Future, as well as the University of Manchester and the University of Edinburgh. See a documentary video about the work here:

Listening to Voices: Creative Disruptions with the Voice Hearing Network - a research project that tries to understand how we can listen to voices that we find difficult, disruptive or challenging, whether these seem to come from inside or outside ourselves. It was been created by voice-hearers, academics and independent artists who are interested in asking why and how we silence voices in ourselves or others and how we might help increase understanding about the experience of hearing voices. The outputs are intended to raise awareness, empathy and understanding about the nature of voice-hearing experiences among support providers, families, friends and the wider public. They seek to subvert and disrupt traditional ways of thinking about voice-hearing experiences and the silencing strategies that stop us from listening. We creatively applied what we learnt through co-producing these works to different forms of research. By doing this we hope to encourage the practice and develop the skill of listening to voices that often go unheard. For more information and outputs see: . A collaboration with the Hearing Voices Network, Time and Space Glasgow, the University of Edinburgh and Queens University Belfast.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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