Jessica Anne Sommer (she/her)

The image is of benignly smiling face. She is wearing a colorful scarf. A truck window is visible over the right shoulder.
Campus Address
Brokaw Hall
Room 104
Conservatory of Music
Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

Jessica Sommer is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Lawrence University. She completed her PhD in music theory at Indiana University in December 2018. She has a M.M. in music theory from the University of Cincinnati, a M.M. in oboe performance from Florida State University, and a B.A. in music from Truman State University.

She has taught music theory for many years; prior to Lawrence, she taught at Ball State University, Grand Valley State University, Indiana University, and University of Cincinnati; at Indiana, she was presented with the Mary Wennerstrom Associate Instructor Fellowship for excellence in the classroom.

Her dissertation, Embodiment, Enaction, and Signification in Analyzing Opera, uses theories of embodied cognition and enaction to look at—and listen to—operatic performances and apply that embodied attitude to analysis. She is using her dissertation for her next stage of research, with a continued focus on the analysis of opera, including a published article in The Opera Journal, "Britten's Singing Ghosts: Embodied Narrative in The Turn of the Screw." She has presented her research at several conferences, including the the Dialogues: Performance and Analysis conference in Toronto, ON; Society for Musicology Ireland; AMS Midwest; and the Music and Spatiality conference in Belgrade, Serbia. She also has a background in music-based empirical work; she has a paper published in Musicae Scientiae (with Kimberly Simmons and Daphne Tan) entitled “Effects of Metrical Dissonance and Expertise on Perceived Emotion in Schumann’s Carnaval.” She is also interested in philosophical research on the nature of embodied musical motion/movement, time, and human interaction.

In addition, she performs on oboe, voice, and piano.

Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music, Bloomington, Indiana. Doctor of Philosophy in Music Theory, December 15, 2018.

University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati, Ohio. Master of Music; Music Theory, April 26, 2014.

Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. Master of Music; Music Performance, Oboe, December 11, 2010.

Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri. Bachelor of Arts; Music, General Concentration in Oboe, May 9, 2009; Summa cum Laude.
Years at Lawrence