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Singing with awareness: A phenomenology of singers’ experience with the Feldenkrais Method
Research Studies in Music Education  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-07-12, DOI: 10.1177/1321103x211020642
Stephen A Paparo

Though methods of somatic education such as the Feldenkrais Method are becoming more widely recognized as complementary approaches in vocal and choral pedagogy, there is little research that examines the experiences of singers who participate in such mind–body approaches. With the intent of exploring pedagogical implications of somatic education in music education, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the experiences of undergraduate vocal music education majors enrolled in an elective, 7-week Feldenkrais course. Specifically, how do singers describe in their participation in Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons, and how do these experiences inform their understanding of how they sing? Data were gathered from questionnaires, weekly journals, and semi-structured interviews. Phenomenological data analysis following Moustakas’s approach revealed three themes reported as textural and structural descriptions: (a) improved quality of movement, (b) heightened awareness of singing, and (c) enhanced practice. The overall essence of participants’ experience may be summarized as a process of self-discovery that provided individualized benefits for singing. Discussion includes pedagogical implications of somatic teaching and learning in PreK through university contexts as well as suggestions for future research.