AIRS News  

  • World Voice Day  Saturday April 16th, 2016.   Johan Sundberg, a member of AIRS,  encourages members of AIRS to organize and participate in events highlighting the voice on World Voice Day.  Please submit your event  to the website and represent AIRS in this global initiative.  Last year Frank Russo had a public concert of one of his research choirs.  This sets a great precedent. Its an opportunity to tell the community about your work and put your  vocal research or performance on the map  - literally, (check out the web-site) .   Timing of your event can be around  April 16th, just as long as World Voice Day is acknowledged.


  • Accolades!  AIRS Researchers have won extraordinary honours

    • Helga Gudmundsdottir (University of Iceland) AIRS Theme 2 Leader has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for 2016-2017 to continue her research on very young children with colleagues in the US

    • Frank Russo (Ryerson University) AIRS Theme 1 Leader, has been awarded the Early Career Award of the International Congress on Acoustics (ICA)

    • Stefanie Stadler Elmer  (University of  Zurich, and Teacher Education University in Swizerland)  AIRS Theme 1,  will receive an Honorary Doctorat from the Latvian University Daugavpils.

    • Laurel Trainer (McMaster University) Theme 1, has been inducted in 2015 into the Royal Society of Canada - Canada's most esteemed scholarly organization.

  • New paper by Beatriz Ilari: The Development of Musical Skills of Underprivileged Children Over the Course of 1 Year: A Study in the Context of an El Sistema-Inspired Program, Ilari, B. S., Keller, P., Damasio, H., & Habibi, A., Front. Psychol., 02 February 2016.   LINK

Developmental research in music has typically centered on the study of single musical skills (e.g., singing, listening) and has been conducted with middle class children who learn music in schools and conservatories. Information on the musical development of children from different social strata, who are enrolled in community-based music programs, remains elusive. This study examined the development of musical skills in underprivileged children who were attending an El Sistema-inspired program in Los Angeles. We investigated how children, predominantly of Latino ethnicity, developed musically with respect to the following musical skills – pitch and rhythmic discrimination, pitch matching, singing a song from memory, and rhythmic entrainment – over the course of 1 year. Results suggested that participation in an El Sistema-inspired program affects children’s musical development in distinct ways; with pitch perception and production skills developing faster than rhythmic skills. Furthermore, children from the same ethnic and social background, who did not participate in the El Sistema-inspired music program, showed a decline in singing and pitch discrimination skills over the course of 1 year. Taken together, these results are consistent with the idea of musical development as a complex, spiraling and recursive process that is influenced by several factors including type of musical training. Implications for future research are outlined.


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