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).

PhD Thesis Title
“Examining the connection between piano skills and high-level vocal jazz improvisational ability”.

PhD Thesis 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 Australian vocal jazz improvisers, who also play piano, this study seeks to examine the possible contributions that learning piano can bring to vocal jazz improvisers.

Courtney’s research interests include jazz improvisation technique; jazz improvisation learning; the history of women in jazz; professional development for studio music teachers; constructivist learning theory in music; musical agency and learner experience.

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


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