School of Creative

De Souza Boniface Marcellinus

De Souza Boniface Marcellinus

MA Arts Pedagogy and Practice
2021 — 2022

Boni's music career spans four decades. Striking out in 1976 as a young pianist in hotels like Sheraton, Hilton, Shangri-la, Intercontinental, Four Seasons and more. He also recorded extensively as a studio musician and later produced music. He entertained Singaporean and foreign dignitaries regularly at the Istana from 1980 – 2000.

Since 2004, Boni has produced 17 AEP programmes endorsed by the NAC, covering the genres of classical, jazz, blues and rock music. His first programme 'Jazz for All' is still popular amongst schools today. Presently, Boni conducts improvisation and composition workshops and runs his own private teaching practice. He also composes and arranges music for a variety of clients who commission him.


Teaching philosophy and research interests

Boni’s teaching philosophy reflects his own philosophy of learning, which is based on experiential processes. Like David Kolb, Boni believes in the dual dialectics of action and reflection as well as experience and abstraction. Through these two dimensions, a holistic learning space evolves in which learning takes place between individuals and the environment they choose, or are in. (Kolb, 1976)

His research is based on his own identity and development as a musician and lifelong learner. His interests include arts, poetry and cooking as well as interdisciplinary learning. In his research paper 'Releasing the musical ID' his aim is to enable students of music to become more expressive when interpreting written scores. This methodology uses the interpretation of visuals in relation to the music. The hypothesis for this study is that the stimulus used would trigger the imagination, which in turn would enable the performer to express the music more fluidly.

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Thesis abstract

Releasing the musical ID

The aim of this research is to enable music students to become more expressive when interpreting written scores. The research encourages students to create personalised interpretations of their music performance by annotating the score with a variety of images, icons or symbols that hold personal significance. In addition, the methodology uses the interpretation of chosen art and visuals, be they still images or videos, to influence music performance.

Participants first personalise the given annotations on the score to enable an intuitive interpretation of the expressions within. Next, they select images or visuals that they feel relate to the music so they can interpret the music in a personal way. The hypothesis for this research is that the visual stimulus will trigger the imagination, which in turn would enable individuals to perform the music expressively and have agency in their work.

Work experience

1987 – present
De Souza et Cie Pte Ltd

2004 – present
Arts educator, producer-presenter, director

2004 – 2020
Yamaha Music Asia
Senior music teacher