Dr Christopher Allan

Dr Christopher Allan

Conjoint Senior Lecturer

Faculty of Education and 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. Further research has been undertaken in the area of cross-genre vocal teaching and in the usefulness of a common language to describe the action of singing across multiple genres of music.

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. I have also taught into areas of historical studies of western music including those of the Baroque, the Classical and Romantic Periods and Twentieth Century Music. 

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. From July 2011 - December 2015 I served as Program Convenor for the Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Arts.  During 2016 I served as Deputy Head of School, Teaching and Learning for the School of Creative Arts.


  • 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

Code Description Percentage
190407 Music Performance 60
190499 Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified 20
199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified 20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Creative Arts


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Carfoot G, Millard B, Bennett S, Allan C, 'Parallel, series and integrated - modes of tertiary popular music education.', The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Music Education, Routledge, Oxford (2017)

Journal article (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Matthias (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]

Conference (8 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Van Gend M, Matthias P, Allan C, Scott NB, 'Australian Adolescent Voices: Rethinking the Choir', ASME XXI National Conference Proceedings (2017)
Co-authors Nathan Scott, Philip Matthias
2015 Allan C, Carson S, 'Finding the synergies: Adapting a curriculum to encompass classical and contemporary singing in a university vocal techniques class', ANATS National Conference 2015 - Singing Futures: Pedagogies, Practices and the Digital Age. (2015)
Co-authors Susan Carson
2013 Matthias 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]
2012 Allan 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" (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Susan Carson
2012 White C, Cook IR, Allan C, 'My self, then my self: The ephemeral performer in 'the breathing space projects'', Performer's Voice' 2nd Symposium (2012) [E3]
2012 Allan 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 (2012) [E1]
2012 Lannen 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 (2012) [E3]
2010 Allan C, 'The Singer's Dilemma: Perceptual problems facing the developing classical singer', ArtsHealth Symposium - Space and Wellbeing (2010) [E3]
Show 5 more conferences

Creative Work (18 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Allan C, Atmospheres - Music for the Soul Newcastle University Choir (2017)
2017 Walker SKA, Halton R, De Dona J, Allan C, Crosby R, Crosby B, Manning A, Baroque and Beyond #2 - Sally Walker, Rosalind Halton and the Nova Praetorians., Newcastle, Australia (2017)
Co-authors Jose Dedona, Sally Walker
2016 Allan C, Pomp and Circumstance: English Art Music of the Early Twentieth Century (2016)
2016 Allan C, The St Matthew Passion Johann Sebastian Bach (2016)
2016 Walker SKA, Allan C, J.S. Bach: St Matthew Passion, Newcastle University Choir, Newcastle NSW (2016)
Co-authors Sally Walker
2015 Allan C, Walker S, Modern Masterpieces (2015) [J2]
Co-authors Sally Walker
2015 Walker 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)., Newcastle (2015) [O1]
Co-authors Sally Walker
2013 Halton 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), Newcastle (2013) [J2]
Co-authors Sally Walker, R Halton
2013 Walker SKA, Allan C, Coco Nelgatti "El Cronopio" performed by Sally Walker, flute and Christopher Allan, piano, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2013) [J2]
Co-authors Sally Walker
2013 Allan C, Encore: Selected works for mixed voice choir, Sydney (2013) [J1]
2013 Allan C, XII Festival Internationale Di Music E Arte Sacra, Rome, Italy (2013) [J2]
2012 Walker 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., Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2012)
Co-authors Philip Matthias, Sally Walker
2012 Allan C, Serenade for Strings. Includes 'Let Us Garlands Bring' a cycle of songs for Baritone and String Orchestra. (2012)
2012 Allan C, Rhythms of One World - Festival of Voice, United Nations Friendship Ambassadors (2012)
2011 Walker 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, Newcastle, NSW (2011)
Co-authors Sally Walker, Anthea Scott-Mitchell
2011 Allan C, Dicolesian Opera/Stage work by Henry Purcell (2011)
2011 Allan C, L'Anima Del Filosofo (2011)
2002 Spiers 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 (2002) [J2]
Co-authors Colin Spiers
Show 15 more creative works

Grants and Funding


Number of grants 1
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 body National Stroke Foundation
Project Team Conjoint Professor John Marley, Mrs Bernadette Matthias, Doctor Christopher Allan, Professor Linda Worrall
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1201078
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG

Research Supervision

Number of supervisions


Total current UON EFTSL


Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2017 PhD Science sensation and synthesis: An investigation into the art of female singer's performance and teaching of multiple genres of voice. PhD (Music), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2017 PhD Mixed voice high school choirs: creating a model for changing instruments PhD (Music), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2015 Masters Extreme Vocal Techniques in Contemporary Heavy Music M Philosophy (Music), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2013 PhD Classical Voice and the Microphone PhD (Music), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2010 PhD The effect of choral singing on the health and quality of life of community-dwelling stroke survivors and their carers PhD (Medicine), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2013 Masters Performance Fitness: Physiological Benefits of Aerobic Exercise for Performing Singers M Philosophy (Music), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor

Dr Christopher Allan


Conjoint Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area


Contact Details

Email christopher.allan@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 8920
Fax (02) 4921 8958


Room CON.311
Building The Conservatorium of Music
Location The Conservatorium
Cnr Laman and Auckland Street
Newcastle, NSW 2300