Melissa Bremmer

The Pedagogical Body of Singing Teachers

Although the physicality of learning to sing is widely recognized from a student’s perspective, the way voice teachers use their body as a pedagogical tool in one-on-one voice teaching is still underexposed. Only a few research studies mention the teacher’s use of gestures, body-postioning or touch as a pedagogical means to communicate aspects of singing (Nafisi, 2014). Therefore, in this presentation Melissa will take a closer look at how voice teachers can employ their body to facilitate the learning process of singing: Why can the use of teachers’ gestures be functional for voice students? How do teachers employ haptic feedback to help students physically feel how singing can be done? And how do teachers use kinaesthetic empathy to understand their voice students?  Through short video fragments we will explore these questions in order to gain a fuller understanding of the pedagogical body of singing teachers.

After studying classical singing and music education, Melissa Bremmer (1972) obtained her Master of Educational Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. She went on to do her PhD on the pedagogical content knowledge of music teachers from an embodied cognition perspective at the University of Exeter (UK). Currently she is Professor of Arts Education at the Amsterdam University of the Arts and leads the Research Group Arts Education together with Emiel Heijnen. In her work she focuses on embodied music learning and teaching, diversity in music education and ArtsSciences education.