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Staff Profile

Professor Helen Julia Minors

Professor and Head of the School of Arts

Staff profile image of Helen Julia Minors

I am Professor and Head of the School of Arts, joining York St John University in October 2022. I am also a Visiting Professor of Artistic Research at Lulea Technical University in Sweden (since 2020). I am a musician, trumpeter, singer, musicologist and educational researcher, with a particular interest in:

  • Gender and leadership.
  • Inclusive music education.
  • Collaboration between music, dance, drama, theatre, design, fashion magazines and sculpture.
  • Music and translation, a field which explores the cultural communication of the performing arts.

Previously, I was School Head of Department of Performing Arts and Associate Professor of Music at Kingston University London, during which time I was also the Aurora Champion, TECHNE Training Lead for Doctoral Students, EDI LQBTQ+ subgroup lead, university level Athena Swan subgroup lead for self-assessment, and faculty subgroup lead for anti-bullying, anti-harassment and anti-discrimination. Prior to that, I was Head of the Department of Music also at Kingston University. I was Programme Director for Music and Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Music Research. I began my academic career as part time lecturer in Music at Lancaster University.

I am founder (2019) and previous co-chair (2020 to 2022) of EDI Music Studies Network, and previous chair/vice chair of Music HE (formerly NAMHE, National Association for Music in Higher Education, 2012 to 2022) sitting on the committee for 10 years. I've also previously been chair of Kingston Choral Society (2015 to 2018) and Administrative Secretary of the Society for Dance Research (2006 to 2010).

I have received funding for my research, including: AHRC Network, Women's Musical Leadership Online Network (January 2022- November 2023), Arts Council, Women's Voice, Club Inegales (2020), and AHRC Network, Translating Music (2013 to 2014). In addition, I was co-PI for Taking Race Live, funded by the office for fair access (2014 to 2018), for which we won the Rose Award for "Teaching, Learning and Assessment and Research" (2016) and we were nominated and became a CATE (Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence) Finalist of AdvanceHE (2017), and I latterly won the Student Award for Employability at Kingston University, Student Union Awards (2021).


I have taught across a range of modules during my career, and continue to supervise research degrees, including currently Emma Haughton, Ali Kiresci, Michael Backman and Georg Guylas, Chamari Wedamulla, John Martin.

MA modules have included: Researching Music, Critical Aspects of Performance, Performance Aesthetics and Philosophy, Music Education in the UK, Major Project, Musical Multimedia, Music and the Others Arts, and Critical Musicology.

Undergraduate modules have included: Individual Project, Music in Motion, Current Debates in Music Education, Paris: City of Light, Aural, Analysis, and Improvisation, Orchestration and Arrangement, Musical Multimedia, Research Skills, Musical Revolutions, Popular Music Revolutions, Foundations of Music, Music Theory, Collaborative Project, as well as some modules sitting in dance and drama, and others in gender studies and media.


I enjoy an active creative and research life, which in most instances directly connects to my research and professional practice.

I have published a number of books: Music, Text and Translation (2013); Building Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Bridges: Where Theory Meets Research and Practice, co-edited with Pamela Burnard, Valerie Ross, Kimberly Powell, Tatjana Dragovic and Elizabeth Mackinlay (2016); Paul Dukas: Legacies of a French Musician, co-edited with Laura Watson (2019); Artistic Research in Performance Through Collaboration, co-written and co-edited with Martin Blain (2020); Music, Dance and Translation (in press); The Routledge Companion to Women and Musical Leadership: the nineteenth century and beyond, co-edited with Laura Hamer (forthcoming 2023); and The Routledge Companion to Choreomusicology, co-edited with Simon Morrison and Samuel Dorf (forthcoming 2024).

Articles have appeared in Tibon (2021), London Review of Education (2017, 2019), Choreologica, European Association of Dance Historians (2013), Cahiers de la Société quebecoise de recherche en musique (2012), Ars Lyrica (2011), Dance Research (2009), Opera Quarterly (2006).

Book chapters have appeared (in addition to the above books) in Routledge Companion to Applied Musicology (2022), The Intersemiotic Perspectives on Emotions Translating across Signs, Bodies and Values (2022), Opera in Translation: Diversity and Unity (2019), Translation and Multimodality Beyond Words (2019), Historical Interplay in French Music and Culture (2017), Routledge Handbook of Intercultural Arts Theory, Research and Practice (2016), Sound Music and the Moving-Thinking Body (2013), Erik Satie: Music, Art and Literature (2013), Bewegungen zwischen Horen und Sehen: Denkbewegungen uber Bewegungskunste (2012), La musique française: esthétique et identité en mutation 1892–1992 (2012).

I have also published many score prefaces, programme notes, book reviews, audio papers, conference proceedings, conference reports and consultation reports. I have broadcast on BBC Radio, including BBC Radio 3 (Proms 2021) and ABC Australia (2015), and I run my own Hospital Radio Show weekly, Helen’s Classical Journey, Radio Wey (since March 2020). I’ve also made films and been part of documentaries concerning my research on the inclusive curriculum and on the performance approach, Soundpainting.

Professional activities

My professional activity is varied and overlaps with my research, outlined above. I have been on the executive board for two charities previously, and currently volunteer for the NHS, as Radio Broadcaster for Radio Wey. I have often spoken on radio, for BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Surrey, BBC Radio Berkshire and others. I have also spoken at BFI events.

I perform fairly regularly and tend to choose performance opportunities whereby educational activities are included. I am a trumpeter for Aldworth Philharmonic, for whom I regularly lead the pre concert talks and with whom we've had a few Arts Council Grants supporting outreach activity.



(2022-2024) Women’s Musical Leadership Online Network, AHRC Network grant submission, CI, with PI Dr Laura Hamer, c. £30,000. Successful. 23 months from January 2022.

(2021-2022) Sensory Storytelling, Imagination and Wellbeing, PI Freya Bailes, Leeds University, I am an external academic partner for the project. Successful. October 2021-June 2022. £7,989.42.

(2020-2021) Women’s Musical Leadership Online Project (WMLOP), co-PI. Open University, £7,420, RES Engagement and Impact Fund, with Drs. Laura Hamer and Laura Watson.

(2020) Transcription funding for interviews with music industry women in leadership roles, with Laura Hamer, for Routledge Companion to Women and Musical Leadership £500 Open University.

(2020) CJ-ENM sponsored £20,000, BTS A Global Interdisciplinary Project, International Conference 4-5 January 2020, Kingston University, Conference Committee with Colette Balmain and Mata Ayoub.

(2020) Arts Council £!5,00 with Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra, Planets, accessible performances, Reading Concert Hall, February.

(2019) Arts Council £15,000 with Club Inegales and Peter Wiegold, with 4 live pre-concert events I curated: 2nd May - Layale Chaker: Violin, baroque, Arabic and new music; 16th May - Rebecca Saunders played by BCMG Next: The music of Rebecca Saunders and new 'one-pagers' with this outstanding young ensemble; 30th May - Gazelle Twin: her amazing new album is Pastoral; 13th June - Jasmin Kent Rodgman: composer at LSO and British Council & PRS Foundation China Musician in Residence 2018/19. Successful bid.

(2019) IMR Conference Grant, International Women and/in Musical Leadership. Symposium for student bursaries, co-chaired with Laura Hamer, £500. Successful bid.

(2019) Royal Musical Association, Conference funding, International Women and/in Musical Leadership Symposium for student bursaries and venue hire, co-chaired with Laura Hamer, £500. Successful bid.

(2018) Inclusive Curriculum Bursary, £2000, successful June 2018, for dissemination of research from Taking Race Live. Successful bid.

(2014-2019) Principal Investigator, “Taking Race Live”, Office for Fair Access, Access Funding: staff-student partner pedagogic research – used as part of the TEF institutional case study 2017. Annual funding application for 5 years. Total funded over £40,000. ‘Taking Race Live’, in collaboration with Sociology, with support from Drama, Dance and Media, e.g. £11,762 (2014-2015, repeated 2015-2016), funds, repeated and increased (2016-2017), continued (2017-2018). It focused on using the performing arts to bring sociological understandings of race and ethnicity ‘alive’ for students. The inter-disciplinary approach enhances the learning of students of both disciplines, each discipline bringing their specialist methods, theoretical understandings and personal experiences to the learning process. In sum, the project aims to design and deliver engaging student experiences; make HE more accessible and inclusive; develop a sense of community and belonging; develop student and staff knowledge and capabilities (HEA Framework for Partnership in Learning and Teaching in HE, July 2014, p. 2). Successful bid.

(2016) Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra, bid to The Cultural Partnership / Reading Council, for Project, Pictures at our Exhibition (2016), part of the bid as an orchestra member and researcher. £2,500. Successful bid.

(2014) In Place, Erasmus+ Programme, Gruntdvig, ‘Soundpainting Workshops’, in collaboration with Ben Nid (Lyon University), Ceren Oran (Salzburg), Walter Thompson (Helsingborg), Samu Gryllus (Budapest), requested 50,000 euros to run 5 workshops utilising this compositional method to foster social mobility. Positive scores and feedback, unsuccessful.

(2014) Additional funding was given to Translating Music by the European Commission Language Officer to support events at Europe House amounting to £5000. Successful bid.

(2013-2014) AHRC: ‘Translating Music’ Translating Cultures Network Develop Call. May 2013–January 2014. PI: Lucile Desblache, CI: Helen Julia Minors, EU Partner: Elena Di Giovanni. Total: £28067.09. Successful bid.

(2011) Research Council of Canada £1000 Funding, flight, accommodation: Dance and Music: Moving Dialogues Conference, University of Montreal, McGill University, Société de recherché en musique, Concordia University and the
Observatoire international de la création et des cultures musicales, group application. Successful bid.

(2009) German Research Council £550 Funding, flight, accommodation, subsistence: Between Hearing and Seeing, University of Bayreuth, group application. Successful bid.

(2009) Research Council of Canada £800 Funding, flight, accommodation, subsistence, Francophone Criticism Network, at McGill University, group application. Successful bid.

(2008) Methodist Governing Body £2000 Funding for artist fees, accommodation, travel and equipment, Soundpainting, Walter Thompson Artist in Residence. Successful bid.

(2005) Royal Musical Association £300 funding: to support the study day, ‘Exploring Music Sources’. Successful bid.

(2004) Royal Musical Association £250 student research funding: to support travel to the University of Melbourne to deliver a paper (July 2004). Successful application.

(2004) Research Student Bursary, Lancaster University, £1000. Successful application.

(2003) Research Student Bursary, Lancaster University, £1000. Successful application.

(2002) Research Student Bursary, Lancaster University, £1500. Successful application.

(2001) Student Bursary, Lancaster University, £1000. Successful application.



(2024) Choreomusicology: Dialogues in Music and Dance, edited with Samuel Dorf and Simon Morrison, Routledge (under contract, due to deliver September 2023).

(2023) Routledge Companion to Music and Musical Leadership: nineteenth century and beyond, co-edited with Laura Hamer, Routledge (under contract, delivery date 1 September 2022).

(2022) Music, Dance and Translation: intersectional practices in music-dance works, sole edited, 9781350175730 (to deliver August 2022) London: Bloomsbury.

(2020) Artistic Research in Performance through Collaboration. Co-edited with Martin Blain, Basingstoke: Palgrave. ISBN 978-3-030-38598-9.

Review: “This is a valuable book that addresses the growing crossovers between academia and the professional arts sector, in specifically discussing collaborative research practices. The contributors extend existing discourses on collaborative practices and practice-as-research n the arts, considering in detail a range of artistic disciplines such as music, dance, theatre and the visual arts. The volume offers writing from various perspectives, importantly including those of practitioners and practitioner researchers.” – Stefanie Sachsenmaier, Middlesex University.

(2019) Paul Dukas: Legacies of a French Musician, co-edited with Laura Watson. Routledge ISBN 9781138573246.

Review: “…is the first non-biographical study of Dukas’s career in any language… Every chapter of this book will be met with warm interest by students of Dukas.’ Tadhg Sauvey, Nineteenth Century Music Review (2021).

(2017) Building Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Bridges: Where Theory Meets Research and Practice, co-edited with Pamela Burnard, Valerie Ross, Helen Julia Minors, Kimberly Powell, Tatjana Dragovic and Elizabeth Mackinlay, BIBACC Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9957727-0-0.

(2013) Music, Text and Translation, sole editor, London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781441173089.


“All in all, this is a good and innovative contribution to the growing interest in music and translation, probably more comprehensive than previous monographs since it significantly extends the approach to intersemiotic translation and the visual arts, widening the perspectives of the study. The theoretical issues addressed and the case studies analyzed, some of which present really interesting and illustrative examples, prove that there is still a lot to research in the ‘marriage’ between word and music in the context of translation.” Marta Mateo, JosTrans, 23 (2015).

“This volume issues a powerful challenge to everyone who uses the word "translation" in relation to music. The sheer diversity of its essays demonstrates, as no previous book has, the extraordinary intellectual and artistic fertility of bringing together the notions of music and translation - and the dangers of thinking we know what we're talking about.” – Peter Dayan, Professor of Word and Music Studies, The University of Edinburgh, UK

“This is a very rich and wide-ranging collection which combines real interdisciplinarity with a keen awareness of the current relevance of this topic to Translation Studies. The book is likely to give new energy to an already-lively field of research. Its store of fascinating detail and its blend of professional and critical input, from the world of opera in particular, should also interest admirers of opera, art song and other musical-textual forms.” – Carol O’Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in Italian Language and Translation Theory, University of Portsmouth, UK.