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Exploring pre-professional musicians’ experiences of a somatic movement approach as a practice method for musical phrasing

Wyers, Marilyn. 2019. Exploring pre-professional musicians’ experiences of a somatic movement approach as a practice method for musical phrasing. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis explores pre-professional musicians’ experiences of a Somatic Movement approach as a practice method for musical phrasing. It develops possibilities for music performance learning through Enactive perspectives and the principles of Somatics. The Enactivist-based notion of Image Schemata, proposed by Mark Johnson (1987, 2007) and George Lakoff (Lakoff & Johnson 1980), is drawn upon to consider ways in which sensorimotor interaction can establish patterns of understanding of musical phrasing. In conjunction, Somatic Movement approaches including Laban Movement Analysis/Bartenieff Fundamentals (LMA/BF) and Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT) are used to look at how the application of a Somatic Movement-inspired approach can be an important mediator in helping performers fulfil their musical phrasing intentions with a greater sense of ease and agency.

Using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach, seven undergraduate students of western classical music performance participated in a series of Somatic Movement-inspired workshops (six in the pilot study and one in the main study). The workshops, which were video-recorded, focused on Somatic Movement/music exercises and explorations. Observation, individual interviews and video-assisted recall were used to collect data, which also acted as feedback to the participants. Laban-inspired Kestenberg ‘Shape Flow’ categories were used to look at participants’ movement patterns and the musical material. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse the interview data allowing participants’ experiences to be examined ideographically and in detail. Themes identified included Embodiment, Musical Intentionality, Performer Agency and Learner Autonomy. The potential contribution of these findings toward developing a framework that supports a pedagogical orientation of embodiment for pre-professional music students in higher education was discussed. The implications and benefits concerning attending to movement and, the shaping and refining of pre-professional music students’ own practice as reflective learners and as future embodied music performers were considered.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00026602

Keywords:

Somatic Practice, Embodiment, Piano Performance, Learning and Development

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music

Date:

30 June 2019

Item ID:

26602

Date Deposited:

11 Jul 2019 13:22

Last Modified:

12 Jul 2019 03:05

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/26602

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