Dr Kim Burwell

Dr Kim Burwell

Senior Lecturer

PhD, MA (University of Kent at Canterbury, UK); BMus (University of Durham, UK); FTCL (Trinity College of Music London), DSCM (Newcastle Conservatorium of Music), LMusA (Australian Music Examinations Board).

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of the Arts and Media

My interests are related to musical performance skills, knowledge and acquisition. 

My monograph, Studio-based instrumental learning, is part of the Psychology of Music series sponsored by the Society for Education and Music Psychology Research (SEMPRE). I have also published research studies investigating teaching and student behaviour in instrumental lessons, and student approaches to individual practice.

Current supervisions include work on music performance anxiety, and jazz pedagogy. I have supervised a range of postgraduate studies, including the life and work of Pierre Sancan, piano memorisation, advanced practice skills, theoretical and professional literature related to the studio, and feminist pedagogy in music. 

After completing my first degree in Australia, I studied piano with Ronald Smith, and performed particularly as an accompanist and chamber musician, in UK, Canada and the Middle East. With further degrees in composition and performance, I completed my PhD with a thesis investigating instrumental teaching and learning in Higher Education. As a lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, I established and led undergraduate and postgraduate courses in music performance and pedagogy, before coming to UNSW to establish the specialist BMus pathway in music studio teaching.  


+61 2 9385 7675
110, Robert Webster Building
  • Books | 2016
    Burwell K, 2016, Studio-based instrumental learning, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315611167
    Books | 2012
    Burwell K, 2012, Studio-based instrumental learning, Ashgate, Farnham
  • Book Chapters | 2004
    Burwell K; Young V; Pickup D, 2004, 'The dynamics of the instrumental tutorial.', in Hunter D (ed.), How am I doing? Valuing and rewarding learning in musical performance in higher education, edn. 1, University of Ulster, Ulster, pp. 22 - 33
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Burwell K, 2023, 'Power relations in the music teaching studio', British Journal of Music Education, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0265051723000220
    Journal articles | 2023
    Mazzarolo I; Burwell K; Schubert E, 2023, 'Teachers' approaches to music performance anxiety management: a systematic review', Frontiers in Psychology, 14, pp. 1205150, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1205150
    Journal articles | 2022
    Leung H; Burwell K, 2022, 'Pierre Sancan: “Master of the Masterclass”', Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, pp. 153660062211443 - 153660062211443, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15366006221144333
    Journal articles | 2021
    Burwell K, 2021, 'Authoritative discourse in advanced studio lessons', Musicae Scientiae, 25, pp. 465 - 479, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1029864919896085
    Journal articles | 2019
    Burwell K; Carey G; Bennett D, 2019, 'Isolation in studio music teaching: The secret garden', Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 18, pp. 372 - 394, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474022217736581
    Journal articles | 2019
    Burwell K, 2019, 'Issues of dissonance in advanced studio lessons', Research Studies in Music Education, 41, pp. 3 - 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1321103X18771797
    Journal articles | 2018
    Burwell K, 2018, 'Coaching and feedback in the exercise periods of advanced studio voice lessons', Orfeu, 3, pp. 11 - 35, http://dx.doi.org/10.5965/2525530403012018011
    Journal articles | 2017
    Burwell K, 2017, 'Feeling and thinking about studio practices: Exploring dissonance in semi-structured interviews with students in higher education music', British Journal of Music Education, 34, pp. 189 - 202, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0265051716000474
    Journal articles | 2016
    Burwell K, 2016, 'Dissonance in the studio: An exploration of tensions within the apprenticeship setting in higher education music', International Journal of Music Education, 34, pp. 499 - 512, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0255761415574124
    Journal articles | 2016
    Burwell K, 2016, '“She did miracles for me”: An investigation of dissonant studio practices in higher education music', Psychology of Music, 44, pp. 466 - 480, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0305735615576263
    Journal articles | 2013
    Burwell K; Shipton M, 2013, 'Strategic approaches to practice: an action research project', British Journal of Music Education, 30, pp. 329 - 345, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0265051713000132
    Journal articles | 2013
    Burwell K, 2013, 'Apprenticeship in music: a contextual study for instrumental teaching and learning', International Journal of Music Education, 31, pp. 276 - 291, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0255761411434501
    Journal articles | 2012
    Burwell K, 2012, 'Rich transcription. Exploring lesson interactions in higher education music.', Scientia paedagogica experimentalis, 47, pp. 305 - 331
    Journal articles | 2011
    Burwell K; Shipton M, 2011, 'Performance studies in practice: an investigation of students' approaches to practice in a university music department.', Music Education Research, 13, pp. 255 - 271, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14613808.2011.603041
    Journal articles | 2006
    Burwell K, 2006, 'On musicians and singers. An investigation of different approaches taken by vocal and instrumental teachers in higher education.', Music Education Research, 8, pp. 331 - 347, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14613800600957479
    Journal articles | 2005
    Burwell K, 2005, 'A degree of independence: teachers’ approaches to instrumental tuition in a university college.', British Journal of Music Education, 22, pp. 199 - 215, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0265051705006601
    Journal articles | 2003
    YOUNG V; BURWELL KIM; PICKUP D, 2003, 'Areas of Study and Teaching Strategies in Instrumental Teaching: a case study research project', Music Education Research, 5, pp. 139 - 155, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14613800307110
    Journal articles | 2003
    Young V; Burwell K; Pickup D, 2003, 'Areas of study and teaching strategies in instrumental teaching. A case study research project.', Music Education Research, 5, pp. 139 - 155, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1461380032000085522

Much of my research has been empirical, investigating studio lesson behaviours and student approaches to practice through filmed observations, interview and questionnaire studies. I have become increasingly interested in more theoretical aspects of studio pedagogy: the 'apprenticeship' model, authoritative discourse in the studio, and the isolation of studio practices. I am currently investigating power relations in music teaching and learning, the nature of authority, and the potential of coaching.

In July 2018 I was Sydney Hub Co-organiser for the 15th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC) combined with the 10th triennial conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM), at UNSW. The innovative conference format had live and virtual presentations streamed among hubs in Australia, Austria, Canada and Argentina.

My research publications include papers in the International Journal of Music Education, Arts & Humanities in Higher Education, Musicae Scientiae, British Journal of Music Education, Research Studies in Music EducationPsychology of Music, Music Education Research, Orfeu, and Scientia Pedagogica Experimentalis. Most of my papers are available through the institutional repository, here.


My Research Supervision

Theo Bonny (in progress) Jazz pedagogy in raising secondary student classroom engagement. (Joint 1st supervisor, with Dr Sandy Evans]

Isabella Mazzarolo (Scientia scholar; in progress) Music performance anxiety. [Joint 1st supervisor, with Professor Emery Schubert]


My Teaching

The Music pedagogy stream in the Bachelor of Music programme includes Music studio teaching, Becoming a performer, and Educating the musical novice. I also coach Chamber music ensembles, within Performance lab courses.