Primary research interests include:

  • Listener’s connection to music
  • Implications of interactive music performances
  • Flute pedagogy and developing skill sets (beginner-professional)
  • Jazz flute doubling pedagogy
  • University music student sense of belonging


I’d love to hear from you if you are interested in learning more about my research or collaborating.

Headshot of James Brinkamann

TEDx Talk
Collaborative Listening:
Rethinking Your Connection to Music

TEDx Talk:
Collaborative Listening: Rethinking Your Connection to Music

Participatory Classical Music:
Fostering Musical Awareness and Social Connection

Presented at the University of Toronto Graduate Music Conference in March 2020

Consider the last time you attended a classical music concert. What was your role as a listener? What was your experience of the music? Listeners often say, “that was beautiful!” If asked, “What did you find beautiful about it,” they often respond, “Oh… I’m not a musician. I don’t know. I just liked it.”

In this paper, I discuss the evolution of the audience’s role in classical music as the genre has changed to focus on valuing high-quality performance. In the 21st-century, the traditional audience experience is being reconsidered in order to dissolve the invisible wall between listeners, performers, and music. Classical musicians are considering how to blend presentational and participatory mindsets to strengthen audiences’ musical connection while maintaining high-quality performance. I explore the implications of incorporating art, writing, and conversational activities into a classical concert. I use data collected from my public interactive performances, which includes the audience’s artwork, interviews, and field notes. Participatory activities enhance listeners’ musical awareness and ability to express it creatively. This gives listeners a means to connect with others by discussing musical experiences. This participatory classical mindset may be beneficial in guiding audiences to develop their musical awareness and use it to build social connections.

Left Hand Flute Project

A 30-day challenge to practice the left-handed flute to explore the perspective of a beginner flutist in order to become a better teacher, by practicing 15-20 minutes daily.

You can view my 30 sessions, pitfalls and progress, in a Youtube video series. It has my educational insights, amusing moments, pitfalls, and growth. View the whole series here. I presented this project at the Chicago Flute Club Showcase in 2017, assisted by flutist Steve Yepez. An article about my experiences and insights was published in the May/June 2018 issue of Flute Talk Magazine.

Special thanks to Mary Stolper for lending her left-hand flute for this project.
Viento Flutes (makers of the left-handed flute)

Play Video about James Brinkmann holding both left-hand and right-hand flutes