"I see you baby...": expressive gesture and nonverbal communication in popular music performance education

Pipe, Liz (2019) "I see you baby...": expressive gesture and nonverbal communication in popular music performance education. In: The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music Education: Perspectives and Practices. Bloomsbury Academic, London, UK. ISBN 9781350049413

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Jane Davidson (2002, p. 146) states that ‘the use of the body is vital in generating the technical and expressive qualities of a musical interpretation’. Although technique and expression within music performance are separate elements, ‘they interact with, and depend upon, one another’ (Sloboda, 2000, p. 398) and, therefore, require equal consideration. Although it is possible for a musician to perform with exceptional technical prowess but little expression (Sloboda, 2000), it is important that the significance of the expressive qualities of the performer is acknowledged because whilst ‘sound is the greatest result of performance’ (Munoz, 2007, p. 56), music is not exclusively an auditory event, principally because ‘sound is essentially movement’ (Munoz, 2007, p. 56). It is vital to understand the importance of the delivery of expressive gesture just as much as the accomplishment of secure and proficient instrumental technique.

This chapter centres on findings from an ethnographic study into the use of expressive gesture and non-verbal communication in the ensemble rehearsal and performance practices of undergraduate popular music performance students. A discursive approach to performance and teaching practice is interwoven with relevant theoretical perspectives from the field of music education and beyond, and identifies relationships between gesture and the musical performance, and how the areas of leadership, trust and confidence can influence the expressive delivery of a performer. The chapter culminates in an explanation of how findings from this project provide the content for specifically designed classes and workshops which focus on the teaching of expressive performance to popular music performance undergraduates at the University of West London. These classes place the art of performance alongside the equally crucial skill of secure technique and proficient instrumental handling and allow performers to develop their own unique style of artistic expression – creating well-rounded, empathetic, and employable musicians who have a visceral understanding of their art form.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Education > Higher education > HE pedagogies
Education > Teaching and learning
Music > Music performance
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Depositing User: Elizabeth Pipe
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2018 19:44
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:10
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/5116

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