Ms Janet Davies
C41 - Sydney Conservatorium of Music
The University of Sydney
Janet Davies studied violin, piano and harpsichord at Sydney Conservatorium. For violin and violin pedagogy her teachers were Robert Pikler, Dorel Tincu and Alice Waten. As a professional violinist she was a core member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and a freelance player with Sydney’s other major orchestras.
Janet has been teaching at Sydney Conservatorium for more than 25 years and has had numerous roles during this time, including teaching violin, chamber music and orchestral studies and Head of the Preparatory Division (now Rising Stars). She has also been very actively involved in violin pedagogy through curriculum design, lecturing and research supervision at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels and through conducting professional development courses for violin teachers through the Open Academy.
Her students have had numerous successes in competitions as well as achieving prominent positions in Australian and international orchestras and universities. Many have had Fellowships with the Sydney Symphony and Australian Chamber Orchestras and have been principal players in both the Australian and Sydney Youth Orchestras.
In 1985 Janet completed a three-year Alexander Technique (AT) teacher training, and has since specialised in the application of the Technique to musical performance at an elite level. As a result of this extensive experience she has developed her own innovative method, The Resonant Body®,, enabling the AT to become readily accessible to musicians for immediate improvements in playing and performance. Currently she conducts AT classes for players in the Sydney Symphony and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestras, as well as for secondary and tertiary students at Sydney Conservatorium.
In the fields of both violin pedagogy and Alexander Technique Janet has lectured extensively for such organisations as Australian String Teachers, Suzuki Association, Australian Society of Performing Arts Health and Australian Society of Alexander Technique Teachers, as well as for various universities including Melbourne and Monash. In her private practice, she teaches violin students of all ages and works with professional players on concert and audition preparation, technique modification and injury rehabilitation.
She is the recipient of several awards, including a Conservatorium Travel Grant in 1990 and a Churchill Fellowship in 2008, both of which facilitated working with leading international violin and Alexander teachers. The violin teachers whose work she has had the opportunity to observe intensively include Dorothy Delay, Igor Ozim, Natasha Boyarsky, Simon Fischer, Boris Kuschnir, Ana Chumachenco, and Yair and Eyal Kless.
In 1993, with the help of a Conservatorium Research Grant, she attended the International Symposium on Performing Arts Medicine in Aspen in 1993 and in 2002 published research on predictors of musculoskeletal injuries in professional instrumental musicians (listed in publications). In 2011 as a consultant to Sydney University’s Sound Practice Posture Trial she designed a series of classes in Alexander Technique specifically for players in Australia’s major orchestras.
Awards and honours
Dr Iain C. Medgett Churchill Fellowship to study with leading practitioners of both violin pedagogy and Alexander Technique in USA, Germany, UK, Israel (August 2009).
Janet's report for the Churchill Fellowship can be accessed here.