Acting Instructor Teaches Skills that Build Confidence and Apply to Any Situation

Posted Jan 20, 2023

Each year, Otterbein honors outstanding full- and part-time faculty who contribute so much to the Otterbein community both in and outside the classroom.  

Melinda Murphy teaches acting classes and coaches stage productions in the Otterbein Department of Theatre and Dance. She specializes in somatic techniques as applied to movement, voice, characterization, singing and dance.  

We reached out to Murphy to learn more about what motivates her in the classroom. 

How would you describe your teaching style? 

I teach by example and set up an environment where students feel safe to explore, make mistakes, and make their own discoveries. I present material in multiple contexts and in a variety of ways, including visual, verbal, and hands-on guidance, in order to reach each student where they are in their understanding. Most importantly, I listen and observe to be sure they are grasping the concepts. 

What inspires you to teach? 

Watching my students grow in their understanding of themselves and gaining confidence in their ability to tackle new challenges. 

What do you hope your student take from your classes? 

The understanding that are uniquely capable individuals. 

Why are you passionate about the subjects you teach? 

I love that I can apply my work to almost any situation, enabling me to help folks improve athletic or artistic performance, avoid or overcome injury, improve focus, and elevate self-esteem.  

What is your favorite class to teach? 

I think I’d have to say my theatre voice/movement class, only because it allows me to teach The Alexander Technique, The Feldenkrais Method® ,and Fitzmaurice Voicework all in the same class. 

What do you think students get from Otterbein faculty that they can’t get anywhere else? 

The faculty that I work alongside are passionate about teaching and go out of their way to help students succeed. They each have their own unique abilities and, at the same time, are incredible collaborators.  

What is one lesson you want students to carry with them not related to the subject matter? 

I want students to find their passion, be their best self, be compassionate of others, and be kind to themselves.