Felicity Laurence

Tutor in Academic Studies (Research)

BSc, DipEd, MA, PhD, LRSM

Email: [email protected]

Felicity Laurence was born in New Zealand and has worked in the music educational field since 1968, in primary, secondary and tertiary education. Teaching positions in New Zealand, London and Bergen were followed by a lectureship at the Bergen University College of Education, held from 1976-1983, where she taught across the curriculum of the music department, founded a demonstration children’s choir, led the early years music programme, taught music in the drama pedagogy programme, and music education philosophy and aesthetics on the Masters programme in music education. An international freelance career followed, in which she worked as composer in a number of countries (for example composer-in-residence at Wellington College of Education 1989, commissioned work Dreams of Mother Earth, from the Swedish State Church 1998, commissioned work Frugvin Margrete, Bergen 1992) and as children’s choral specialist, director and educationalist, director of children’s choral festivals, and children’s opera director in many countries. From 1995-2000 she was associate lecturer in choral pedagogy at the Trossingen Hochschule fuer Musik, founded and directed that institution’s demonstration children’s choir, and directed this in numerous productions of children’s opera and other works. She is currently Lecturer in Music Education at the International Centre for Music Studies, Newcastle University, UK and research supervisor at the RNCM.

Current and Future Research

Developing a theory of musicking and empathic response

Students’ experience in transition into and throughout their university studies
Music as a potential facilitator of children’s transition from primary to secondary school
Sociological aspects of music education

Research methodologies within music education

Music in and after conflict

Current Work

Project arising from involvement in ‘Musicians without Borders’ (Manchester, UK branch), investigating the role of musicking, in particular creative musical work, in children’s formulations and articulations of the significance of understanding others’ lives, especially those who have experienced conflict; exploring deeply beyond a ‘music makes friends; bring us together’ view.

Project based in the Middle East, investigating practices and dilemmas in the use of music to attempt to alleviate profound political conflict there.

Research Supervision

Dr Danielle Sirek (PhD completed 2013)

Daniele Parziani


    Edited Books

  • MasterClass in Music Education: Transforming Teaching and Learningc, ed. by Felicity Laurence and John Finney, (London: Bloomsbury, 2013).
  • Music and Solidarity: Questions of Universality, Consciousness and Connection, ed. by Felicity Laurence and Oliver Urbain, (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2013).
  • Chapters in Books

  • Felicity Laurence, Ian Cross and Tal Rabinovitch, ‘Empathy and creativity in musical group practices: towards a concept of empathic creativity’, in Oxford Handbook of Music Education, ed. by Graham Welch and G McPherson, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp.337-533.
  • ‘Musicking and Empathic Connections’, in Music and Solidarity: Questions of Universality, Consciousness and Connection, (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, Rutgers University, 2011), pp.171-183.
  • ‘Listening to children: voice, agency and ownership in school musicking’, in Sociology and Music Education, ed. by Ruth Wright, (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), pp.243-262.
  • ‘Music and Empathy’, in Music and Conflict Transformation: Harmonies and Dissonances in Geopolitics, ed. by Oliver Urbain, (London: I.B.Tauris, 2008), pp.13-25.

Professional Activity

Felicity Laurence is a published composer of many works (including African Madonna, Cambridge University Press 1990, Arbugi Press Sweden 1997, 2001; Dreams of Mother Earth, Arbugi Press 1999) working to commissions from community organisations, educational institutions, choral organisations and others: and has wide expertise as a children’s choral leader within the UK and worldwide.