Dr Michael Bonshor


My research and current practice combine my professional work as a musician with a special interest in positive performance psychology. My MA dissertation focused on managing performance anxiety amongst adult singers, and my PhD thesis was an in-depth study of choral confidence. I teach on the MA Music Psychology course at the University of Sheffield, where I am the module leader for Qualitative Research Methods, and I have taught the Music and Wellbeing module at York St John’s University.

As an Honorary Research Fellow in the Music Department at The University of Sheffield, I am developing a project designed to encourage self-professed ‘non-singers’ to reap the benefits of group singing activities. As a Research Associate in Sheffield’s Music and Wellbeing Unit, I am also working on a collaborative project with Brass Bands England, for which I have been awarded a SEMPRE Gerry Farrell Travelling Scholarship. I have been awarded an Early Career Fellowship with the Institute of Musical Research, Royal Holloway, University of London, and received IMR sponsorship for organizing an interactive conference on ‘Real World Applications of Choral Research’. 

My research interests were inspired by my early experience as a professional singer and a diverse portfolio career as a conductor, musical director, piano accompanist, singing and instrumental teacher, and workshop leader. Recent projects have included research consultancy for Making Music, the national association of amateur and semi-professional musicians, and vocal consultancy for a commercial theatre production of Phantom of the Opera. I am a long-standing Fellow of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and Associate Membership of the International Centre for Community Music is a recent, and very welcome, development.

I have presented my original research at national and international conferences, including the Oxford Conducting Institute’s Conducting Studies Conference, at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford; The International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS 2013), the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna; The Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium IX, Memorial University, St John’s, Newfoundland; and Choir in Focus: International Conference on the Practices and Concepts of Choral Singing, Lund University, Sweden. In 2017, I will be a keynote speaker at the Symposium of the Cornwall International Festival of Male Choral Singing.

Publications include a chapter on collaborative learning in Choral Singing: Histories and Practices, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishers and conference proceeding papers. Several peer-reviewed journal articles are also in press with Research Studies in Music Education, Psychology of Music and the International Journal of Community Music. My first book, The Confident Choir, is now in preparation and publication is planned for 2017.


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