Dr Christopher Allan

Senior Lecturer

School of Creative Arts (Music)

Career Summary


Research Expertise

Much of my research has been performance based. I specialize in Baroque and Classical period performance and have been involved in many performances using period instruments at various baroque pitches and using a number of differing temperaments. As well as early music I have been involved in the presentation of new music including works by Australian composers. Some of the performances have been with The Song Company, some with Cantillation and also at the UoN.

My recently submitted PhD Thesis was an investigation of some aspects of vocal pedagogy centered around the developing singer (aged between 18 -21) and based on the work of voice scientists over the last 30 years. I have presented two papers on aspects of such pedagogy in the UK at the National Early Music Conference (July 2009) and at the Arts Health Symposium at the University of Newcastle in October, 2010.

My further interests are in the symmetrical nature of the body as applied to singing technique and the effect that asymmetry can have on the vocal apparatus and the resultant sound that the singer is able to produce.

Teaching Expertise

My area of expertise is in the teaching of the classical singing voice. The core business of the University of Newcastle Bachelor of Music course means that the majority of students are between the ages of 18 and 21. At this age the voice is under development and students are required to both develop their musical instrument and their musicality at the same time. I have developed a teaching philosophy which promotes a holistic approach to vocal technique that incorporates a number of technical pedagogies based on the need to offer students a variety of approaches due to the individual nature of the voice and the personality and physicality of each singer.

A further area of expertise is in the delivery of lectures on music history of the Western classical tradition.

Administrative Expertise

Since 2001 I have been course coordinator for MUSI subjects. From 2005 - 2008 I was Deputy Head of School for the School of Drama, Fine Art and Music (incorporating the Conservatorium). From 2004 - 2008 I served as the School Academic Conduct Officer (SACO) and from 2006 - 2008 as the School Complaints Officer.

I have had experience in the development of new courses for the School of Music and have served on the Faculty Board from 2005 - 2009.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Associate in Music Australia, Australian Music Examinations Board
  • Bachelor of Education (Music), University of Newcastle
  • Master of Music, University of Newcastle


  • Breath management of classical voice
  • Considerations of postural alignment for optimal vocal production
  • Developmental strategies for young singers
  • Holistic teaching methods
  • Musicology
  • Tuition in classical voice
  • Vocal pedagogies and breathing techniques

Fields of Research

190407Music Performance60
190499Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified20
199999Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2014 - Senior LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Creative Arts
23/06/2003 - 31/12/2003LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Drama Fine Art and Music


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (1 outputs)

2013Matthias (Nee Lannen) B, Worrall L, Alston M, Sweetapple A, Marley J, Allan C, 'From soundwaves to brainwaves: investigating the effects of choral singing on recovery from stroke and aphasia', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE, 8 49-49 (2013) [E3]
Author URL

Conference (6 outputs)

2013Matthias B, Worrall L, Alston M, Marley J, Allan C, 'From Soundwaves to BrainWaves: Investigating the effects of choral singing on recovery from stroke and aphasia', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STROKE (2013) [E3]
Author URL
2012Allan C, Carson SL, 'Finding the synergies: Adapting a curriculum to encompass classical and contemporary singing in a university vocal techniques class', Performer's Voice 2nd Symposium "Horizons Crossing Boundaries", Singapore (2012) [E3]
Co-authorsSusan Carson
2012White C, Cook IR, Allan C, 'My self, then my self: The ephemeral performer in 'the breathing space projects'', Performer's Voice' 2nd Symposium, Singapore (2012) [E3]
Co-authorsIan Cook
2012Allan C, 'Helping the young soprano bring emotional truth to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century recitative through the use of speech mode', Singing music from 1500 to 1900: Style, technique, knowledge, assertion, experiment. Proceedings of the National Early Music Association International Conference, in association with the University of, York, North Yorkshire (2012) [E1]
2012Lannen B, Worrall L, Alston M, Marley JE, Allan C, 'From Soundwaves to Brainwaves: Investigating the effects of choral singing on stroke and aphasia rehabilitation', International Journal of Stroke, Darling Harbour, Sydney (2012) [E3]
2010Allan C, 'The Singer's Dilemma: Perceptual problems facing the developing classical singer', ArtsHealth Symposium - Space and Wellbeing, Newcastle, NSW (2010) [E3]
Show 3 more conferences

Creative Work (13 outputs)

2015Allan C, Walker S, Modern Masterpieces, University of Newcastle Great Hall (2015)
Co-authorsSally Walker
2015Walker SKA, Allan C, Performance of Sally Walker's amalgamation of the orchestral flute and violin/piano version violin part of Bartok's "Rumanian Dances" for flute/piccolo (Sally Walker) and piano (Christopher Allan)., Great Hall, University of Newcastle, Newcastle (2015)
Co-authorsSally Walker
2013Halton R, Allan C, Hoadley B, Walker S, Concert for a New Era: Monody by Claudio Saracini (1624); Vivaldi, Sonata for flute, bassoon, and basso continuo Christopher Allan (baritone); Sally Walker (flute); Ben Hoadley (bassoon); Rosalind Halton (harpsichord, editor of Saracini pieces), Harold Lobb Concert Hall, Newcastle, Newcastle (2013) [J2]
Co-authorsR Halton, Sally Walker
2013Walker SKA, Allan C, Coco Nelgatti "El Cronopio" performed by Sally Walker, flute and Christopher Allan, piano, Harold Lobb Concert Hall, Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2013) [J2]
Co-authorsSally Walker
2013Allan C, Encore: Selected works for mixed voice choir, ChristChurch Cathedral, Newcastle, Sydney (2013) [J1]
2013Allan C, XII Festival Internationale Di Music E Arte Sacra, Basilica of St Ignatious Loyola, Rome, Italy, Rome, Italy (2013) [J2]
2012Walker S, Allan C, Matthias P, At lunch Soul Food. Sally Walker - flute, Christopher Allan - baritone, Philip Matthias - organ. Works by J.S. Bach, Gluck, Mozart., Harold Lobb Concert Hall, Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2012)
Co-authorsPhilip Matthias, Sally Walker
2012Allan C, Serenade for Strings. Includes 'Let Us Garlands Bring' a cycle of songs for Baritone and String Orchestra., ChristChurch Cathedral, Newcastle (2012)
2012Allan C, Rhythms of One World - Festival of Voice, United Nations Friendship Ambassadors, Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufmann Centre, New York. USA (2012)
2011Walker SKA, Scott-Mitchell, Cook I, Ricci G, Allan C, A recital of the music and reading of letters of Ludwig van Beethoven, celebrating the installation of Beethoven¿s Death Mask, generously donated to the Conservatorium by Sir William Bowmore MBE AO, Harold Lobb Concert Hall, Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, Newcastle, NSW (2011)
Co-authorsAnthea Scott-Mitchell, Gianfranco Ricci, Sally Walker, Ian Cook
2011Allan C, Dicolesian Opera/Stage work by Henry Purcell, Verbruggen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2011)
2011Allan C, L'Anima Del Filosofo, Angel Place Recital Centre, Sydney (2011)
2002Spiers CJ, Smith GM, Allan C, Concert September 16th Colin Spiers (Piano) Greg Smith (Piano) Christopher Allan (Baritone), Ellicott - Variations on a Bach Chorale (Spiers/Smith), Woods - Satin Sounds (Spiers/Allan), Newcastle Conservatorium, Newcastle Conservatorium (2002) [J2]
Co-authorsColin Spiers
Show 10 more creative works

Grants and Funding


Number of grants1
Total funding$12,551

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20131 grants / $12,551

Brainwaves: The impact of choral singing on community dwelling stroke survivors$12,551

Funding body: National Stroke Foundation

Funding bodyNational Stroke Foundation
Project TeamConjoint Professor John Marley, Mrs Bernadette Matthias, Doctor Christopher Allan, Professor Linda Worrall
SchemeResearch Grant
Funding Start2013
Funding Finish2013
Type Of FundingGrant - Aust Non Government

Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015What Sweeter Music Can We Bring? The Formation, Importance and Preservation of Community Choral Groups and the Strive for Musical Excellence.
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2015Sing You Up My Country: Developing and Defining Synergies Between Australian Compositions and the Voices and Skills of High School Choirs
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts
2015Extreme Vocal Techniques in Contemporary Heavy Music
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2014Teaching Multiple Genres of Voice: An Investigation of Current Practice in Australian Tertiary Music Education
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts
2013Classical Voice and the Microphone
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2010The effect of choral singing on the health and quality of life of community-dwelling stroke survivors and their carers
General Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Past Supervision

YearResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2013Performance Fitness: Physiological Benefits of Aerobic Exercise for Performing Singers
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts

Dr Christopher Allan


Senior Lecturer
School of Creative Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area


Contact Details

Phone(02) 4921 8920
Fax(02) 4921 8958


BuildingThe Conservatorium of Music
LocationThe Conservatorium
Cnr Laman and Auckland Street
Newcastle, NSW 2300