Keynote Speaker

Jane Ginsborg

Jane Ginsborg is Associate Director of Research, Director of the Centre for Music Performance Research and Programme Leader for Research Degrees at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, UK, where she holds a professorial chair in music psychology. She won the British Voice Association’s Van Lawrence Award in 2002 for her research on singers’ memorizing strategies and was shortlisted for a Times Higher Education award in 2013 for research on musicians with hearing impairments. Recently appointed Editor-in-Chief of Musicae Scientiae, she is also Associate Editor of Music Performance Research and the Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies, and serves on the Editorial Boards of Psychology of Music and Performance Science (Frontiers in Psychology). Between 2012 and 2015 she was President of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music

Title: Working together: collaborative research on collaborative music performance

In this keynote lecture I provide an overview of the research I have conducted over the past 15 years on the social and cognitive processes that underlie expert preparation for collaborative performance. This falls into two broad categories: practice-based research in which I have combined the roles of performer and researcher, and research on other duos and small ensembles. The practice-based research has taken the form of a series of longitudinal case studies. In collaboration with the cognitive scientist Roger Chaffin, the pianist George Nicholson and the viola player Dawn Bennett, I explored the consequences of decisions made while practising alone and rehearsing together on performance from memory and long-term recall of the music, and their implications for Chaffin’s performance cue theory, which seeks to explain musicians’ memory for music. Methods included documenting and analysing verbal commentaries, rehearsal talk and rehearsal behaviour. Questions arising from the findings of these studies informed two further investigations. First, two established student and two established professional singer-pianist duos took part in a study of the roles of expertise and familiarity on preparation for performance, including the analysis of rehearsal talk and what my research collaborator Elaine King and I came to refer to as ‘gestures and glances’. Second, the final study to be discussed was carried out in collaboration with Richard Wistreich and involved the participation of two student string quartets and a wind quintet whose members kept diaries and took part in interviews over the course of an academic year. The findings of these studies, taken together, provide insights not only into what musicians say and do when they practise and rehearse, and how they interact with each other, but why these matter - to the musicians themselves, to music performance students and their teachers, and to researchers in the fields of social and cognitive psychology.