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Over the years I have worked extensively as a piano teacher, piano accompanist, and as a solo pianist particularly interested in the works of Chopin and Mozart. After completing an MA in Music Psychology in Education at the University of Sheffield (graduating with distinction) I embarked on a PhD project exploring the role of body movement and gestures used in the context of teaching and learning to play the piano, after being awarded a D.E.L. scholarship in 2011. I am particularly interested in looking at the ‘physicality’ involved in learning to play a musical instrument and the role of teachers’ in the development of this embodied skill. This is a multidisciplinary project at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in collaboration with the School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast, supervised by Dr Franziska Schroeder and Dr Matthew Rodger and through this work a categorisation of teachers’ gestures for the instrumental music teaching context was devised, that can help establishing an empirical base for further research in this context.
As independent researcher I have studied the dynamics of expectations in Music Performance Modules in Higher Education, with a view of changing attitudes among students, part-time tutors and full-time staff, a project funded by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). This project represents the first research collaboration between the Music Departments of the University of Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast. My wide research interests include instrumental and vocal music education, musical learning processes, student engagement in the Higher Education environment and the contribution of music to emotional wellbeing.
If you share an interest towards the development of excellence in instrumental and vocal teaching please visit http://www.handsthatsing.com/ where you can interact with a community of like-minded people and contribute to the development of our profession by communicating your views on established topics and posting new ideas for discussion.
Work in Progress:
Communicating musical knowledge through gesture: piano teachers’ gestural behaviours across different levels of student proficiency (submitted).
Piano Teachers’ Mimic Gestures and Student Learning Outcomes in Learning to Perform Staccato (submitted).
Beyond expectations in music performance modules in higher education: Rethinking instrumental and vocal music pedagogy for the 21st century (submitted)
Simones, L.; Schroeder, F. & Rodger, M. (2013). Categorisations of physical gesture in piano teaching: a preliminary enquiry. Psychology of Music. Epub ahead of print. DOI: 10.1177/0305735613498918
Simones, L. (2011). The Dynamics of Expectations in Music Performance Modules in Higher Education: changing attitudes among students, part-time tutors and full-time staff. Briefing paper, HEA Learning and Teaching enhancement fund Northern Ireland (2010/2011), available at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/nations/northernireland/NI_E_Fund_Briefing_Reports
Simones, L. (2011). The Dynamics of Expectations in Music Performance Modules in Higher Education. In Charles A. Shoniregun & Galyna A. Akmayeva (Eds), peer-reviewed conference proceedings of the Ireland International Conference on Education (IICE-2011). Dublin, Ireland: 213-216. (Funded by the HEA).