How do we sense, understand, and respond to other people’s feelings? What neurobiological, situational, and sociopolitical influences modify these reactions? In the pandemic era, how have online interactions and social distance modified our capacities for empathy? Can empathy be trained; can it go too far; and does it always lead to helpful action? This presentation will combine research from animal studies, neurology, and social psychology, plus real-life examples, leading to suggestions for effective teaching and impactful artistry.
DEFINITIONS: WHAT IS EMPATHY?
Three recognized components: Somatic; Cognitive; Action-oriented
SOMATIC OR EMBODIED EMPATHY
Neurobiological mirroring of others’ feeling-state
- Influence of sensitivity to own feeling-state
- Influence of kinship and close social bonds
- Relevance of boundaries: whose feelings are whose?
Thinking about, imagining, or mentally assuming how someone else feels
- Influence of group affiliation, moral judgment, and cognitive bias
- Importance of active listening and verbal confirmation
The choice to relieve others’ distress, or to withdraw
- The difference between caring and making a difference
- How the arts may inspire action—or not
THE TRAINABILITY OF EMPATHY
- Subjective, experiential training
- Objective, formal training
- How compassionate action can feed-back into feelings
- How screens (virtual world) help or hurt
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ARTS AND ARTS TEACHERS
- Empathy enhances learning
- Empathy touches audiences
- The importance of self-care
- The importance of community
- Life after lockdown: empathy at home, in classrooms, and in the wider world
Monday 4th December 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Compassion Focused Training (CFT) for Singers, Singing Teachers and Other Music Professionals (2-week course)
Dr David Juncos
In this two-part course, you will learn about the theoretical underpinnings of Gilbert’s CFT model and Neff & Germer’s model of self-compassion. You’ll also learn about the three emotion regulation systems, and specifically how to increase activity in the Soothing & Contentment system, which is known to create feelings of safeness within oneself & with others, when activated. Specifically, you’ll learn compassion-enhancing strategies to help manage common sources of stress for musicians.
Tuesday 5th December 2023
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Developing Inclusive Praxis & Safe Spaces for Global Majority Vocal Students
This workshop considers what it means to provide a safe learning space for all students; engages in self-reflection and wider reflection; challenges, where necessary, some of the frameworks and systems that dominate vocal theory and praxis; and seeks to make visible some of the many issues Global Majority students and teachers face that remain largely invisible in mainstream vocal rhetoric.
Thursday 7th December 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Vocal Warm-ups For Children; why, how, what?
This talk will cover both the importance of vocal warm-ups for children and the best approaches for different ages. We will look at working one-to-one as well as great ways to engage classrooms of children and choirs.