Student Researchers

Anneli Loepp Thiessen

Anneli Loepp Thiessen is a classical pianist, music educator, arts administrator, music researcher, and worship leader. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Canadian Mennonite University, her ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from Queens University. She is currently completing her Masters of Music at the University of Ottawa, studying with David Jalbert. She enjoys teaching piano, presenting her research to a variety of audiences, adjudicating festivals, composing congregational music, and leading worship at gatherings across Canada and the United States. 

In 2019, Anneli was awarded a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship for a research project evaluating the role of women in Contemporary Worship Music, which she pursued under Dr. Jada Watson. Anneli is continuing this research in her dissertation work in the University of Ottawa’s new Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Research in Music program.

Doctoral research project:

As an extension of her academic work on gender and music and her experience as a composer and song leader for worship music, Anneli’s research examines the role of women in the contemporary worship movement. Drawing on SongData’s methodology, her work considers trends in how women have been represented as songwriters of worship music, whether publicly or behind the scenes. Her research also analyses how the patriarchal systems of the church have suppressed the creativity and leadership of women, and how the language of the church’s worship has limited the potential of women. Her first project to emerge from her work was presented at the 2019 meeting of the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music.