Dr Michael Bonshor PhD MA BA (Hons) Dip RSA FISM

Email: m.bonshor@sheffield.ac.uk

Picture of Michael Bonshor

I received my PhD and MA in Music Psychology from the University of Sheffield, after a diverse career as a performer, teacher, conductor and workshop leader. I have performed as a professional singer and accompanist, run my own professional theatre company, and worked as a musical director on a wide range of projects, alongside maintaining a busy private teaching practice. Performing and teaching has included voice, piano, percussion (kit and hand drums), brass, recorders and ukulele, as and when required. Vocal roles have spanned the spectrum from Dr Blind in Die Fledermaus to Audrey II in The Little Shop of Horrors. I am a longstanding Fellow of the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

My interest in Music Psychology has largely been inspired by my practical experience as a singing teacher and conductor. During my previous research, I have focused on the management of performance anxiety amongst adult amateur singers, and explored confidence building strategies for choral singers. My current work at Sheffield includes teaching on the MA Psychology of Music course and contributing, as a Research Associate, to a collaboration between Sheffield’s Music and Wellbeing unit and Brass Bands England.

In September 2015, I was awarded an Early Career Fellowship with the Institute of Musical Research, Royal Holloway, University of London. As part of this Fellowship, I organized an interactive choral research conference designed to give emerging scholars an opportunity to demonstrate some of the practical applications of their research.

My appointment as an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Music at the University of Sheffield is a very welcome development. During this Fellowship, I will be exploring the aetiology of the self-professed ‘non-singer’ and investigating strategies to increase inclusion in group singing activities.

Research interests

  • Music and wellbeing
  • Conducting and musical facilitation
  • Optimal performance and confidence building
  • Group dynamics and collaborative processes
  • Amateur musical participation and community music
  • Life-span learning and inclusion

Publications

Bonshor, M. J. (2015). Confidence and choral configuration: the affective impact of situational and acoustic factors in amateur choirs. Psychology of Music. (In press).

Bonshor, M. J. (2015). Conductor feedback and the amateur singer: the role of criticism and praise in building choral confidence. Research Studies in Music Education. (In press).

Bonshor, M. J. (2014). Confidence and the choral singer: the choir as a community of practice. In U. Geisler and K. Johansson (Eds.), Choral singing: histories and practices. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 185-207.

Bonshor, M. J. (2013). Collaboration in the choral context: the contribution of conductor and choir to collective confidence. Proceedings of The International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS 2013) held at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. 749-754.

Bonshor, M. J. (2013). Choral confidence: some effects of choir configuration, cohesion and collaboration. Proceedings of The Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium IX, held at Memorial University, St John’s, Newfoundland.

Book Reviews

Bonshor, M. J. (2016). Solovitch, S. (2015). Playing Scared: My Journey through Stage Fright. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. Psychology of Music. (In press).

Bonshor, M. J. (2016). Bithell, C. A Different Voice, a Different Song: Reclaiming Community through the Natural Voice and World Song. New York: Oxford University Press. British Journal of Music Education.

Bonshor, M. J. (2016). Papageorgi, I., & Welch, G. (Eds.) Advanced Musical Performance: Investigations in Higher Education Learning. Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited. Psychology of Music, 44 (1), 148-151.

Bonshor, M. J. (2014) A History of Singing by John Potter and Neil Sorrell (2012). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. British Journal of Music Education, 31 (2), 236-238.

Bonshor, M. J. (2011). How High Should Boys Sing? by Martin Ashley (2009). Farnham: Ashgate. British Journal of Music Education, 28 (30), 396-397.

Conference Presentations

Bonshor, M. J. (2016). Choral confidence: the implications of choir configuration, collaboration and communication. Choir in Focus: International Conference on the Practices and Concepts of Choral Singing, Lund University, Sweden.

Bonshor, M. J. (2016). ‘With great power comes great responsibility’: the impact of conductors’ verbal feedback on amateur choral confidence. Oxford Conducting Institute Conducting Studies Conference, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford.

Bonshor, M. J. (2016). ‘Rocks’ and ‘anchors’ in amateur choirs: the role of choral team leaders. Choral practice, performance and pedagogy: real world applications of choral research, Department of Music, University of Sheffield, in partnership with the Institute of Musical Research, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Bonshor, M. J. (2016). Front row seats for ‘back-seat’ musicians: the benefits of musicianship by proxy. In M. J. Bonshor (chair), J. Miller & S. E. Pitts (panel) Back-seat Musicians: Exploring Layers of Musical Participation with Current, Lapsed and 'Surrogate' Musicians. ‘The Hidden Musicians Revisited’ Conference, The Open University, Milton Keynes.

Bonshor, M. J. (2015). Mirroring, modelling and emotional contagion: the impact of non-verbal communication upon choral confidence (poster). SEMPRE Conference on Music and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Bonshor, M. J. (2015). Sharing power and knowledge in adult amateur choral communities: the impact of communal learning on the experience of musical participation. Inaugural National Community Music Student Research Conference, St John’s University, York.

Bonshor, M. J. (2015). Adult choirs building confidence and community. In M. J. Bonshor, M. Hawkes, J. Miller, S. E. Pitts (chair), & C. White (symposium) Preparing for Performing: Four Case Studies of Acquiring Skills and Confidence for Lifelong Musical Enjoyment. The Ninth International Conference for Research in Music Education Conference, University of Exeter.

Bonshor, M. J. (2014). ‘Apprenticeship’ and ‘mastery’ in the choral community of practice. Musicians in the Community: A Music Special Interest Group Conference, The Institute of Education, University of London.

Bonshor, M. J. (2013). Confidence and the choral singer: the choir as a community of practice. Music and Empathy: A SEMPRE Conference, University of Hull.

Bonshor, M. J. (2013). Collaboration in the choral context: the contribution of conductor and choir to collective confidence. The International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS 2013), the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.

Bonshor, M. J. (2013). Confidence and the choral singer: an exploration of confidence issues amongst adult amateur choral singers. The Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium IX, Memorial University, St John’s, Newfoundland.

Bonshor, M. J. (2012). Confidence and the choral singer: an exploration of confidence issues amongst adult amateur choral singers. Choir in Focus: International Conference on the Practices and Concepts of Choral Singing, Lund University, Sweden.