The Role of Bodily Movement in Learning and Performing Music: Applications for Education

Jane W. Davidson

in The Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Volume 1

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730810
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Role of Bodily Movement in Learning and Performing Music: Applications for Education

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  • Music Education and Pedagogy


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This article explores the fundamental role of bodily movement in the development of musical knowledge and performance skills; in particular, how the body can be used to understand expressive musical material and to communicate that meaning to coperformers and audience. The relevance to the educator is explored (whether working with a child or adult beginner, or a more advanced learner). The article is divided into six main sections, tracing the role of body movement skill in music production, expressive musical performance, developing learners to play their musical instruments with technical and expressive appropriateness, coperformer coordination, and projection for audience perception. The work builds on a growing interest in the embodied nature of musical experience. The article concludes with case study observations of practical insights and applications for the teacher.

Keywords: body movement; musical learning; musical knowledge; performance skills; musical expression; musical performance

Article.  5927 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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