Andrew Davidson

Andrew Davidson

Senior Lecturer in Acting & Musical Theatre, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Theatre
FHEA, FRSA, MMus, PGDip (Directing), PGDip (Composition), BA (Theatre), BMus (Hons I)
+44 (0)1483 684143
04 GSA 00


University roles and responsibilities

  • Senior Lecturer in Acting & Musical Theatre
  • Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Theatre
  • Teaching on all performance programmes
  • Wellbeing Champion for GSA
  • Mental Health First Aider (MHFA England)
  • LGBTQIA+ Awareness Trainer for UoS

    My qualifications

    Master of Music
    Longy School of Music of Bard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Postgraduate Diploma in Directing
    National Institute of Dramatic Art, Sydney, Australia
    Postgraduate Diploma in Composition
    The University of Sydney, Australia
    Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
    University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Bachelor of Music (Honours Class I)
    University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Diplôme Supérieur Méthode Jaques-Dalcroze
    Institute Jaques-Dalcroze, Geneva, Switzerland
    Certificate in Kodály Music Education
    British Kodály Academy (BKA), London, UK
    CELTA Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
    Cambridge University & University of Technology Sydney
    Continuing Professional Development
    Highlights: Decolonising the Curriculum; Eating Disorders & Body Image; Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity; Intimacy on Set; Mental Health First Aid; Shakespeare & Race; Student & Staff Dynamics; Online Engagement; Unconscious Bias



    Andrew Davidson [in process] (2023) "Identity, relationship, and function: reflecting on student experience in higher music education through the gaps between solfege systems", British Journal of Music Education
    This paper investigates the gaps between solfege systems used for ear training and sight singing in higher music education. It considers historical motivations for labelling musical pitch and asserts that each of these motivations continues to be relevant to the contemporary music classroom. The author discerns three reasons to label musical pitch, dependent on what is being taught: the identity of the note; the relationship between notes; and the function of the note. The paper then takes a philosophical turn, proposing that this same vocabulary (i.e., identity, relationship, and function) can be used to enrich music students’ understanding of themselves and others, as artists and educators, creating a human analogy for the objectives of solfege. This reflective process has particular relevance to music teacher training and continuing professional development for teaching musicians. The paper does not engage with unhelpful debates about better or worse solfege systems. Instead, it urges music educators to recognise the proposed reasons to label and to articulate them to their students, thus clarifying the intent of their teaching. The paper is written from the author’s perspective as a qualified teacher of Dalcroze Eurhythmics, the Kodály Concept, and General Musicianship. Its themes are transferable to readers engaged in music teacher training.
    Andrew Davidson (2021) "Konstantin Stanislavski and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze: historical and pedagogical connections between actor training and music education", Stanislavski Studies
    This paper explores the fields of actor training and music education in order to illuminate the historical and pedagogical connections between the work of Konstantin Stanislavski and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. It identifies historical parallels between their artistic practices, including their dedication to rhythm and polyrhythm. It illustrates the ways in which their pedagogical paths crossed. It analyses the artistic lineage that can be drawn from the work of Jaques-Dalcroze at the Hellerau Institute to the work of Stanislavski at the Moscow Art Theatre. This includes the influence of Dalcroze Eurhythmics on the development of Tempo-Rhythm. The paper considers how aspects of Stanislavskian actor training are reflected in aspects of Dalcrozian music education, including ensemble work, intention and emotion, and the evolution of psychophysical performance. It proposes that there is a correlation between the creative process undertaken by an actor on a play text, known as Active Analysis, and the creative process undertaken by a musician on a compositional score, known as Plastique Animée. Comparing the pedagogical principles of Stanislavski and Jaques-Dalcroze from the author’s own perspective as an actor trainer and music educator reveals areas for further research. This paper presents themes that are transferable to artists and educators engaged in continuing professional development.
    Andrew Davidson (2021) "‘The cycle of creativity’: a case study of the working relationship between a dance teacher and a dance musician in a ballet class", Research in Dance Education
    Research on the role of the ballet pianist is limited. A gap in the literature concerns the ways in which dance instructors and accompanists ‘make sense’ of their collaboration. The working relationship between a dance teacher and a dance musician in a ballet class was investigated. The researcher, a ballet pianist, conducted a semi-structured, in-depth interview with a ballet-teacher colleague who is also a musician and composer. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), a methodology which takes into account the interpretations of the participant (dance teacher) and the researcher (dance musician). This single case study presents three higher-order themes: ‘the cycle of creativity’ between the teacher, musician, and students; ‘a tonic sense in the body’ facilitated by the musician’s playing; and ‘the ideal situation’ regarding the musician’s sensory awareness during the class. It also reveals two subordinate themes that challenge effective relationships: the students’ perceived response to percussion; and the teacher’s use of recorded music. The results offer insight into specific perceptions and understandings that are transferable to dance teachers and dance musicians engaged in continuing professional development.
    Andrew Davidson (2023) "The listening actor: intersections between the musicality of Meisner Technique and ear training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics", Theatre, Dance and Performance Training
    Discussion on the role of listening in actor training is limited. Compared with studies on ear training for conservatoire music students, there is a gap in the literature regarding the ways in which student actors acquire and improve listening skills. This paper investigates the musicality inherent in Meisner Technique, an approach to actor training, and points to intersections with ear training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, an approach to music education. It analyses the common ground between these pedagogical practices, drawing on sources from a variety of domains in which listening is foregrounded. It asserts that Meisner Technique and Dalcroze Eurhythmics promote similar forms of responsive, interpretative, and collaborative listening skills. This paper is written from the author’s interdisciplinary perspective as a teacher of acting and music at a university conservatoire. It offers insight into practical training through a personal, philosophical lens. Its themes are transferable to actor trainers and music educators engaged in continuing professional development.
    Andrew Davidson (2021) "Identifying Eurhythmics in Actor Training: The Viewpoints of Time & Space", Le Rythme: The Artistic Identity of Eurhythmics
    The influence of eurhythmics on Actor Training can be viewed as an elaborate and variegated family tree. In this article, I focus on a single branch of that tree. I identify and describe the artistic and pedagogical DNA of eurhythmics within Viewpoints: an approach to Actor Training developed by Anne Bogart in the USA over the past four decades. I begin with a brief outline of the historical and philosophical contexts for eurhythmics and Viewpoints. I illustrate the parallels and intersections between eurhythmics and Viewpoints as I have experienced them as an acting teacher at university and conservatory drama schools. I describe the Viewpoints of Time and Space in practice, and provide examples of complements to be found in eurhythmics. The article offers insight into my perception of a Dalcroze identity within Viewpoints Training that is transferable to eurhythmics teachers engaged in continuing professional development.
    Andrew Davidson, Ian Maxwell, and Parvinder Shergill (2022) "Resilience and Wellbeing in Actor Training", Be the Change: Learning and Teaching for the Creative Industries
    Across the conservatoire sector, resilience and wellbeing have come into sharp focus during the global pandemic. Until recently, research has paid only limited attention to the field of actor training in this regard. This chapter presents Andrew Davidson, director, musician, teacher, and Wellbeing Champion for Guildford School of Acting (GSA) in conversation with Associate Professor Ian Maxwell, lecturer and researcher at the University of Sydney, and co-author of the Australian Actors’ Wellbeing Study; and Dr Parvinder Shergill, award-winning doctor in mental health for the National Health Service (NHS), writer, actress, and filmmaker. The conversation considers current challenges for acting students and teachers, and the lived experiences of graduates and professionals in the industry. Two viewpoints emerge from the discussion: an individual perspective on the development of self during actor training; and an industrial perspective on the transition into and through the acting profession. The individual perspective gives a snapshot of wellbeing in actor training and offers a creative vision of resilience. The industrial perspective takes an anthropological and phenomenological view of the acting profession and recommends radical cultural change.