Choral Blend: Sound or Sensation? An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Conservatoire Training Students' Perceptions of Ensemble Singing.

James Slimings is currently in his third year FTE of studying towards a PhD at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and St Andrews University.  He is investigating how trained singers sing in a choral situation, with a particular interest in spectrographic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis, and 'choral blend'.  He has presented his research at the Oxford International Conducting Studies Conference in Sydney, Australia; SEMPRE Music, Education, Technology conference in London; the International Symposium on the Histories and Practices of Choral Singing in Lund, Sweden; the Scottish Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities Doctoral Showcase, Glasgow; and the Conservatoires UK Research Student Conference.  He was the elected student representative for the Research Degrees Committee at the RCS, and has been asked to present his research for Scottish Funding Council Staff as part of their staff development day. As part of this role, he also organised the Research and Knowledge Exchange exhibition and lecture series 'Research on Display'. He is a copy editor for the Scottish Journal of Performance, and has peer reviewed for academic journals.  He has also delivered Exchange talks for the RCS, and chaired many sessions for them notably the Petcha Kucha presentations for first year doctoral studnets.

With an interest in quality assurance, James is a reviewer for QAA Scotland and MUSIQUE. His teaching at the RCS is diverse and ranges from delivering Vocal Skills lectures to BEd students, to Portfolio Musician seminars for Undergraduate Vocal Studies students, through to supervising and marking academic writing to Masters' level. He has also facilitated workshop performances in the RCS' innovative Introduction to Collaborative Practice module. 

To see more on James' research, visit his research profile on the RCS WEBSITE


Postponed due to COVID-19

Owning the Choral Sound: Utilizing Real Time Spectrographic Data to Improve Choral Blend, European Platform for Artistic Research in Music, Royal Academy of Music, London.

Presented or Published

Slimings, J. (2020) Virtual 'Choir': A Perceptual Comparison of Synchronous and Asynchronous Individual Track Recordings Mixed for Performance Purposes, Spheres of Singing 2020, Online (COVID-19).

Slimings, J. (2019). You Get What You're Given: The agency of choral blend according to trained singers, presented at the Oxford International Conducting Studies Conference, Oxford Conducting Institute, Sydney University, Sydney

Slimings, J., Whiteside, B. (2018). Developing Advanced Practitioners: A Focus on Doctoral Study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, presented at the Becoming Musicians - student involvement and teacher collaboration in higher music education, Association of European Conservatoires, Oslo, Norway

Slimings, J. (2017) Understanding 'Choral Blend': A Live Rehearsal Utilizing Phenomenological Methods to Explore Signers' Ensemble Vocal Techniques. Conservatoires UK Research Students' Conference, Glasgow, UK

Slimings, J. (2016). 'Choral Blend': The Use of Real Time Sectrophraic Data in a Choral Rehearsal, International Colloquia on the Histories and Practices of Choral Singing, Lund, Sweden

Slimings, J. (2016). Singing in the Information Age: Using Real Time Spectrograph Data to Help Define Choral Blend, present at Music, Education, and Technology , Society for Education and Music Psychology Research, London, UK