• 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.


Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops    view all upcoming

AIRS News  

  • Low-stress and high-stress singing have contrasting effects on glucocorticoid response, Daisy Fancourt, Lisa Aufegger and Aaron Williamon, Front. Psychol., 04 September 2015.  LINK

Performing music in public is widely recognized as a potentially stress-inducing activity. However, despite the interest in music performance as an acute psychosocial stressor, there has been relatively little research on the effects of public performance on the endocrine system. This study examined the impact of singing in a low-stress performance situation and a high-stress live concert on levels of glucocorticoids (cortisol and cortisone) in 15 professional singers. The results showed a significant decrease in both cortisol and cortisone across the low-stress condition, suggesting that singing in itself is a stress-reducing (and possibly health-promoting) activity, but significant increases across the high-stress condition. This is the first study to demonstrate that singing affects cortisol as well as cortisone responses and that these responses are modulated by the conditions of performance.


Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops     view all upcoming

  • 33rd PsyArt International Conference to be held at the Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France, June 29-July 4, 2016.  LINK

  • New Directions for Performance and Music Teacher Education, A Symposium on University Music Education in China, November 2-5, 2016. The Arts College of Xiamen University, Xiamen City, Fujian Province, China.  LINK  


AIRS News  

  • Marju Raju  of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre successfully defended her doctoral dissertation December 7, 2015 entitled  "Some aspects of singing development, the song creating process and favorite songs of Estonian children"  under the supervision of  Professor Jaan Ross. LINK

The thesis consists of four research articles, one of which is a case study observation of vocal development from birth to 25 months, and the others are based on data acquired from the AIRS Test Battery of Singing Skills (ATBSS) from two waves of data, one of 26  Estonian children ages 4-12 years and another of 43 Estonian children age 2 to 8 years.  Together the studies reveal an inter-relation between language and singing development, a relative weighting on verbal over musical challenges in children's songmaking,  the early acquisition of the Western tonal musical canon (as early a 2 years of age), and the reflection of the Estonian musical culture in the favorite songs of Estonian children.  Congratulations Marju on your outstanding accomplishment in this pioneering work  which has greatly furthered the goals of AIRS, particularly in the Developmental theme.


Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops     view all upcoming

  • 33rd PsyArt International Conference to be held at the Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France, June 29-July 4, 2016.

  • 14th biennial International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (IMPC14) will be held in San Francisco July 5-9, 2016.  Abstract submissions due: January 22, 2016.  LINK



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