PhD Candidate (USQ)
BCA (Hons)
Certified Level I, II and III Somatic Voicework™ The Lovetri Method


Courtney is currently completing her PhD at the University of Southern Queensland (2018-2021), where she is examining the connection between piano skills and high-level vocal jazz improvisational ability.

doctoral research summary

While the piano can be externally and directly controlled by pressing keys, the voice is a physiological instrument; an instrument housed within the body. Improvising jazz pianists can engage with rigorous learning approaches to reinforce their technical, theoretical, aural and stylistic learning, however, vocal jazz improvisers are limited by the range and registration of their voice, and their skills of internal audition, to guide their learning in the same domains. It could be argued that by learning piano as a secondary instrument, vocal jazz improvisers could develop a deeper level of knowledge in their vocal improvisational practice, reinforcing their vocal learning through theoretical application, kinaesthetic, aural and visual referencing on the piano. Recent studies in music education demonstrate that by adopting the perspective of the learner, researchers can develop a deeper understanding of how musicians learn in musical and non-musical contexts, and on an individual and collective level. By investigating the experiences of a group of high-level vocal jazz improvisers, who also play piano, this study seeks to examine the possible contributions that learning piano can bring to vocal jazz improvisers.

research interests

Jazz improvisation learning and performance technique; functional vocal training for spoken voice professionals; the history of women in jazz; professional development for studio music teachers; musical agency and learner experience.


Feldman, c. (2017). Enhancing singer teacher agency through professional development: Investigating the impact of Somatic Voicework™ the LoVetri Method of singing teachers. (Honours Thesis), University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia.


Feldman, C. (2019, June). Storied lives and relational research: Using narrative inquiry as a research methodology in jazz and jazz improvisation studies. In R. Burke (Chair), Embodying jazz and improvisation: Playing with ideas and keeping it real. Paper presented at the 3rd Australasian Jazz and Improvisation Research Network Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

lectures and workshops

Feldman, C. (2017). Exploring the voice: Physiology, anatomy and the acoustics of sound. Honours Research Project. Lecture conducted at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia.

Feldman, C. (2017). CCM vocal styles: Historical context and performance practice for the CCM vocalist. Honours Research Project. Lecture-Recital conducted at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia.

HE sector involvement

Courtney serves as the elected HDR student member of the USQ Academic Board; the USQ Research Committee, and a number of its working groups. She also serves as the HDR student advisor for the USQ Ethics Learning and Teaching Group.


To request a copy of Courtney’s curriculum vitae, please get in touch.