December 2013 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops     view all upcoming

  • Sciences and Voice Workshop" [Atelier Sciences et Voix]  (ASV), December 4, GIPSA-Lab - Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France. Workshop organized by the team AIRS collaborator Nathalie Henrich. See website



  • Dr. Karen Ludke joins AIRS as a postdoctoral fellow

Working with Tom Germaine on the AIRS Digital Library, along with the AIRS Digital Library Team,  Dr. Karen Ludke has taken a postdoctoral position for the year at UPEI.  Karen has recently been supporting the European Music Portfolio - A Creative Way into Languages collaboration, funded by the European Commission, at the University of Edinburgh under the direction of Dr. Katie Overy.  Prior to this, Karen completed her doctoral thesis at Edinburgh showing experimentally that singing based training as compared to equivalent oral training significantly increased learning of material in a new language. Some of the results of one study in her thesis have been reported in Memory and Cognition ( Karen will be working with Tom in the development of protocols for data ingestion, and once prototypes exist, the plan is to offer training sessions for graduate students and  to build the digital library in each of the sub-themes of AIRS, building on earlier versions of 2.0 that had been led by Nyssim Lefford.  Welcome  to AIRS Karen!


New paper by AIRS collaborator Laurel Trainor,  Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University, Canada

Children learn the structure of the music of their culture similarly to how they learn the language to which they are exposed in their daily environment. Furthermore, as with language, children acquire this musical knowledge without formal instruction. Two critical aspects of musical pitch structure in Western tonal music are key membership (understanding which notes belong in a key and which do not) and harmony (understanding which notes combine to form chords and which notes and chords tend to follow others). The early developmental trajectory of the acquisition of this knowledge remains unclear, in part because of the difficulty of testing young children. In two experiments, we investigated 4- and 5-year-olds' enculturation to Western musical pitch using a novel age-appropriate and engaging behavioral task (Experiment 1) and electroencephalography (EEG; Experiment 2). In Experiment 1 we found behavioral evidence that 5-year-olds were sensitive to key membership but not to harmony, and no evidence that 4-year-olds were sensitive to either. However, in Experiment 2 we found neurophysiological evidence that 4-year-olds were sensitive to both key membership and harmony. Our results suggest that musical enculturation has a long developmental trajectory, and that children may have some knowledge of key membership and harmony before that knowledge can be expressed through explicit behavioral judgments


Sandra Trehub and her team discover sensitivities of infants and adults to cross-modal signatures in singing and speech with a novel research paradigm. Sandra is a key contribution to the sub-theme 1.2, and is the sub-theme co-leader with Frank Russo. She works in the Music Development Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, ON, Canada



Other News

  • Interstitial Lung Disease singing group in Edmonton moves ahead

November 2013 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops

October 2013 - News!

For more information, please see the video or contact: Thérèse De Groote, Senior Policy Advisor, SSHRC,


2014 will see a plethora of relevant bi- or tri-annual international meetings (ICMPC, ISME, Music and Neuromusic V, International Association of Music and Medicine),  as well as annually held meetings (MIMM Neuromusic, Congress, CAMT, CPA, CSBBCS, OR and more). Members of AIRS are encouraged to take these opportunities to disseminate their work. Deadlines are as early as October 15th.


  • Ludke, K. M., Ferreira, F., & Overy, K. (2013). Singing can facilitate foreign language learningMemory & Cognition, 2013 .

    This study presents the first experimental evidence that singing can facilitate short-term paired-associate phrase learning in an unfamiliar language (Hungarian). Sixty adult participants were randomly assigned to one of three “listen-and-repeat” learning conditions: speaking, rhythmic speaking, or singing. Participants in the singing condition showed superior overall performance on a collection of Hungarian language tests after a 15-min learning period, as compared with participants in the speaking and rhythmic speaking conditions. This superior performance was statistically significant (p < .05) for the two tests that required participants to recall and produce spoken Hungarian phrases. The differences in performance were not explained by potentially influencing factors such as age, gender, mood, phonological working memory ability, or musical ability and training. These results suggest that a “listen-and-sing” learning method can facilitate verbatim memory for spoken foreign language phrases.
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