AIRS 4th Annual Meeting Abstracts






** Early Song Singing Infants Discover a Rule-Based System **

Stefanie Stadler Elmer (University of Zurich) Daniel Muzzulini (Kantonsschule Alpenquai Luzern)


The phenomenon of early song singing allows studying the infants’ emerging productive musicality. Song singing consists in combining linguistic and musical elements. Both types of elements are vocal sounds differing in fundamental frequency, duration, intensity, and timbre. Here, we focus on children growing up with German as their native language. What does early song singing reveal about the young singer’s ability to adopt rule-based behaviour? The singing-before-speaking hypothesis expects musical features to prevail, whereas some music educators expect the linguistic elements to appear first. To address this question, the following steps are taken: We carry out microgenetic analyses of young children’s song singing using acoustical methods. We also analyze traditional German children’s songs in order to derive and formalize rules. Finally, a meta-analysis is carried out to match the theoretical rules with the children’s productions. Results show that musically stimulated children at the beginning of their second year are able to produce pitch patterns in structured time, to create songs that match well with culture-specific musico-linguistic rules. Melodic contour, phrase segmentation, metric and rhythmic patterns, their repetition and variation, as well as onomatopoeic syllable formation are major elements children use to create a stream of ordered sounds. Linguistic features such as word formation, however, are less prominent or even absent. Typical for emotional states of playfulness and wellbeing, musically stimulated young children’s vocalizations show more differentiations with respect to musical features than to linguistic ones. These children discover very early how to control pitch and intensity, which prepares them for pre-musical and singing-like vocalizations. Less musically stimulated children tend to focus primarily linguistic features. Altogether, results suggest that song timing rules provide a temporal framework for regular motor movements and for filling in linguistic elements that still may lack semantic meaning.




** The Development of Singing Perception and its Relationship to Cognitive Development in Three Cohorts of Children Aged 5 to 9 Years **

Amy Fancourt (Goldsmiths, University of London) Christine D. Tsang (Huron University College at Western)


Introduction: Berkowska and Dalla Bella (2009) have proposed a vocal-sensorimotor loop model of singing in which auditory pitch information is mapped onto vocal-motor movements during singing. This vocal sensorimotor loop model suggests that memory, motor skill, perception and feedback all contribute to singing ability. Many components of the vocal sensorimotor loop begin to develop during infancy, but take a long time to reach maturity (Tsang, Friendly & Trainor, 2011). When considering the development of the sensorimotor loop model of singing, it is important to consider how the ongoing maturation of cognitive abilities may interact with different components of the model. This pilot study focused on the role of perception in the development of singing and investigated the interplay between perception, language and cognitive ability in 3 groups of 5-9 year old children across 3 testing sites in the UK and Canada.

Method: Perception was measured using the ‘Vocal Auditory Motor Development Assessment’ (VAMDA). Perception was measured in two ways: 1. Ability to discriminate between two short melodies (synthesized ‘ba’ female voice). 2. Ability to detect a small pitch interval change (from 200 cents to 5 cents). The Digit Span subtest of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) was used to assess short term/working memory and The British Picture Vocabulary Scales (BPVS) were used to assess receptive vocabulary.

Results: In all groups, there was a significant correlation between raw score on the digit span task and performance on the melody discrimination task, r (22) = .449, p<.05 (UK sample), r (24) =.510, p<.05 (Canadian sample). There was a significant correlation between raw vocabulary scores and performance on the pitch interval discrimination task, r (22) = .530, p<.05 (UK), r (24) =. 318, p<0.05 (Canada).

Discussion: The findings support the predictions of the sensorimotor loop model (Berkowska & Dala Bella, 2009) and show that cognitive and language ability interact with the capacity to perceive and discriminate changes in pitch and melody. The next step is to investigate how cognitive, language and musical perceptual ability may relate to pitch accuracy in singing production.



** Does an Icelandic Woman Know When a Japanese Toddler Sings? **

Mayumi Adachi (Hokkaido University) Helga Rut Gudmundsdóttir (University of Iceland)


Adachi and Ando (2010) demonstrate that Japanese mothers can interpret a Japanese toddler’s linguistically ambiguous vocalizations as either talking or singing, depending on the context sampled. Similar interpretations have been confirmed with Japanese fathers (Adachi & Ding, 2011), Japanese college students (Adachi, 2010, 2011), Chinese college students (Ding & Adachi, 2011), and German mothers (Adachi & Falk, 2012). In the present study, we further explore this phenomenon with young Icelandic women, mothers and non-mothers. Twenty-one Icelandic women listened to the same 50 vocalizations used in the earlier studies and evaluated whether each vocalization sounded as talking or singing. Overall results indicated that Icelandic women interpreted the Japanese toddler’s vocalizations taken from infant-directed speech contexts more as though it were talking than as singing and those taken from infant-directed song contexts more as singing than as talking. We will report the vocal cues used by Icelandic women to differentiate two types of vocalizations in our presentation.




** The Effect of Restricted Facial Mimicry on the Perception of Emotional Song **

Lisa P. Chan (Department of Psychology, Ryerson University) Frank Russo (Department of Psychology, Ryerson University)


During vocal communication, faces continuously move and express linguistic, musical, and affective information (Munhall et al., 2004; Thompson, Russo & Livingstone, 2010). Subtle mirroring of visual aspects of singing performance has been shown through use of facial electromyography of observers (Livingstone, Thompson & Russo, 2009; Chan, 2010). According to the facial feedback hypothesis, producing a facial expression of emotion leads to the experience of that emotion. Thus, by unconsciously mimicking facial expressions, observers may have rapid access to the performer’s intentionality. However, it is not known whether mimicry is necessary to understand emotion in song. To better understand the role of facial mimicry in emotional understanding, we examined aspects of facial animation of the observer and the effect of constraining facial movements on emotional and non-emotional judgments. It was hypothesized that the lack of facial mimicry would only hinder emotion-based judgments. Participants were given two judgment tasks (emotional, non-emotional) while their facial movements were either restricted by a clay-based mask (Mask condition) or not (No Mask condition). In the emotional judgment task, participants were asked to identify the emotional intent (happiness, neutral, sadness) and intensity of a singer. In the non-emotional judgment task, participants were asked to identify non-isochronous rhythms. Both groups did not differ in their performance of emotion identification. Interestingly, though, there was an effect of condition on average emotional intensity scores; participants in the Mask condition rated the emotions as significantly less intense than those in the No Mask condition. It was also found that both groups did not differ in their performance of rhythmic judgment. These results suggest that while facial mimicry may not be necessary to identify simple emotions (e.g., happiness, sadness), lacking the ability to mimic may dampen the intensity of perceived emotions, which may have effects on an observer's experience of musical performances.




** Introducing RAVDESS: A New Database of Emotional Song and Speech **

Steven Livingstone (Ryerson University)Katlyn Peck (Ryerson University) Frank Russo (Ryerson University)


This paper introduces the Ryerson Audio-Visual Database of Emotional Speech and Song. Our purpose in creating this battery was to provide researchers with a high-quality, freely-available set of audio-visual recordings of emotional speech and song in North American English. The battery consists of 12 highly trained actors, speaking and singing short statements with 9 different emotions, each with two emotional intensities. We report on psychometric evaluations, facial motion, and acoustic properties. The battery will allow researchers to assess the relative contributions of audio and visual channels, and to draw comparisons between response to emotional speech and song. With a Ph. D. in Computer Science and Bachelors in Physics and Information Technology, Steven Livingston brings an interdisciplinary skill set to singing research. Since completing his Ph. D. in 2008, he has undertaken a program of research dedicated to understanding the role of facial expressions in singing performance. In 2009, he provided the first time-course analysis of facial expressions in emotional singing. The study, which was done in collaboration with Bill Thompson and Frank Russo, revealed that performers’ facial expressions differentiated their emotional intentions. This research was continued under the supervision of Caroline Palmer and Marcelo Wanderley at McGill University, where he acquired extensive analytical techniques for the study of motion and auditory data. Steven has been an AIRS postdoctoral fellow since 2011, working with Frank Russo at Ryerson University on the development of facial mimicry in emotional singing.




** Is This Novel or Familiar? Infants' Looking Responses to Infant-Directed Speaking and Singing **

Sara Murphy (St. Francis Xavier University) Charlene Parker (Dalhousie University) Petra Hauf (St. Francis Xavier University)

Abstract:      poster

Introduction: By 6 months of age, infants become increasingly interested in their environment (Legerstee et al., 1987). Thus, it is important to understand how social partners should interact with infants so that infants can benefit from attending to these interests. Recent research on infant-mother dyads suggests that infant-directed singing promotes engagement and attention, while infant-directed speaking facilitates heightened arousal and infant learning (Nakata & Trehub, 2004).

Method: To further investigate infants’; responsiveness to these two vocal styles, the present study investigated 24 6-month old infants’ responses to infant-directed singing and speaking from a non-maternal source. Infants watched audiovisual stimuli presenting an adult engaging in infant-directed-singing and speaking of both familiar and novel lyrics. During the presentation, infants’ looking behaviour was recorded with respect to overall looking time, and looking time to the mouth and the eye regions.

Results: Overall, looking time was significantly longer for episodes of infant-directed singing than for infant-directed speaking of familiar and novel lyrics, suggesting increased engagement in singing episodes. Analyzes of the proportional looking time for the mouth and the eye regions revealed that infants prefer attending to the mouth rather than the eyes when shown singing and speaking episodes of a familiar song. When the novel lyric was spoken, infants preferred attending to the mouth, however when the novel lyric was sung, infants attended to the mouth and the eyes equally long. This may indicate that infants are interested in emotional information when shown a novel song. Data from 12-month old infants is currently being collected to investigate developmental changes in relation to language onset.

Discussion: Findings could have implications for infant learning and adult-infant interaction, suggesting that infant-directed singing may promote emotional engagement, while infant-directed speaking may facilitate information processing.



** Regulating Infants' Emotions through Maternal Singing and Speech **

Niusha Ghazban (Ryerson University) Frank Russo (Ryerson University) Sandra Trehub (University of Toronto) Natalie Ein (Ryerson University) Sabrina Aimola (Ryerson University) Jean Paul Boudreau (Ryerson University)

Abstract:      poster

Background:The interaction between a mother and her infant has been described as an intricate ‘dance’ involving coordinated singing and movement. It is widely accepted that infant-directed (ID) speech, or motherese, is an effective means of communicating with infants and holding their attention. Infants similarly show a preference and respond to ID singing (Trainor, 1996). ID singing is a universally observed caregiving behaviour used by mothers to change and accommodate their infants’ emotional state (de l’Etoile, 2006; Trehub & Nakata, 2003). While both ID speech and singing appear to be equally successful in modulating infants’ attention and arousal (Nakata & Trehub, 2004), the consequences of maternal speech and singing to regulate stress are less clear. The current study examined infants’ behavioural and physiological responses to their mothers’ singing and speech following an acute stressor induced by mother’s still-neutral face.

Method: Forty-two, 10-month-old infants participated in this study. Using the Face-to-Face/Still-Face (FFSF) procedure (Tronick et al., 1978), the mothers and infants engaged in a three stage interaction: 1) Face-to Face playtime; 2) Mother’s display of neutral still-face; and 3) the Reunion phase. The Reunion phase was controlled such that mothers re-engaged with their infants by either singing or speaking. Infants were subjected to three repetitions each of singing and speech for a total of six trials over a 30-minute session. Behavioural responses such as visual fixation, motoric activity and emotional valence were coded. Skin conductance levels were monitored via a sensor attached to the infants’ right foot.

Results: Behavioural analyses revealed greater visual fixation on the mother during maternal singing (M = 11.50sec) than in maternal speech (M = 5.77sec), F (1,18) = 18.59, p<.001. During visual fixations on the mother, infants demonstrated significantly more “frozen” motoric activity during maternal singing (M = 7.02sec) than during maternal speech (M = 1.72sec), F (1,18) = 17.55, p<.01. Although the induction of stress as measured by skin conductance was comparable in singing and speaking conditions, F (1,8) = 1.08, p>.05, skin conductance level during the Reunion phase was lower during maternal singing (M=.160μΩ) than during maternal speech (M= .926μΩ])., F(4,60) = 2.87, p<.05.

Conclusion: This is the first study to directly examine the effects of maternal vocalizations in regulating infants’ stress, and our findings indicate that maternal singing provides a form of “homeostasis” in regulating infants’ stress more effectively than speech. The pronounced reduction in motoric activity while visually fixated on the mother during the singing condition is reflective of infants’ sustained attention as well as the relaxing outcomes of maternal singing, an observation consistent with Nakata & Trehub (2004). Ultimately these findings demonstrate the astounding effects of maternal singing and shed new light into the perplexing issues with socio-emotional development.



** A Novel Singing Therapy to Improve Communication of Facial and Vocal Emotion **

Frank Russo (Ryerson University) Steven Livingstone (Ryerson University)


Humans communicate by eye and by ear - via facial expressions, body postures and tone of voice. In Parkinson’s disease (PD) however this capacity is often blunted; patients exhibit deficits in the ability to produce and to respond to emotional facial expressions, emotional tone of voice and expressive movements. These deficits have been labeled the “masked face” syndrome of Parkinsonism, and have deleterious effects on patients’ ability to engage in interpersonal communication. In this talk, we describe a forthcoming pilot study that uses facial and vocal mimicry to retrain deficits in facial motor function and vocal expressiveness. By retraining expressive functionality, we aim to improve the smoothness of social interactions, quality of life and emotional wellbeing of PD patients. At a behavioral level, when neurotypical individuals are exposed to emotional facial expressions, even unconsciously, they spontaneously react with brief distinct facial movements. These spontaneous movements are regarded as a form of automatic mimicry, and have been shown to improve observers’ accuracy of emotional identification, to decrease emotional response time and to increase feelings of emotional empathy. In our lab, we have successfully used an emotional singing paradigm to reliably elicit spontaneous mimicry in neurotypical observers. The pilot study, funded by Parkinson’s Canada, represents a unique bridging across Themes 1.2 and 3.3. An imitative facial mimicry task will form the basis of the 13-week singing therapy. Twenty-four PD patients will be recruited and assigned to an experimental or control condition. In the experimental condition, patients’ facial motion and vocal output will be recorded while actively imitating audio-visual recordings of emotional singing. In the control condition, patients will be asked to observe the same recordings without any associated production task. Motion capture and acoustic analyses will be used to assess changes in facial motor expressive range and vocal capability. Pre- and post-assessments of facial and vocal recognition of emotion will be assessed using a standardized assessment battery for non-verbal emotion recognition that has been developed as part of research in Theme 1.2.



** Application of the AIRS Test Battery with Icelandic Preschool Children **

Helga Rut Gudmundsdóttir (University of Iceland) Bryndis Baldvinsdottir (University of Iceland)


The AIRS test battery of singing was administered to 5- and 6-year-old children (N = 42) in three Icelandic preschools. In this presentation the challenges and successes of administering the test to children of this age will be presented. Issues concerning the adaptation of the test to young Icelandic speaking children will be discussed. In this presentation the children’s performances will be reported on test item 6 which included singing back musical patterns. In order to ensure the consistency of the stimulus the musical patterns were pre-recorded using a child singer with a stable pitch production. The performances were analyzed using a descriptive method of classifying singing performances into categories: 1) Very secure singing, 2) Fairly good singing and 3) Imprecise singing. The criteria for the three categories used will be explained in detail and actual examples from recordings provided. Half of the children tested were in a preschool with a special music teacher (n = 22) and the other half without a music teacher (n = 22). Comparisons between the two groups on test item 6 indicated that there were equal numbers of insecure singers in both groups. However, there were more very secure singers in the group with a music teacher than in the group without a music teacher.




** Pre-school Children's Skills with the AIRS Test Battery **

Mike Forrester (University of Kent) Emma Borthwick-Hunter (University of Kent)


Introduction: This study looks in detail at the early singing skills of pre-school children using the AIRS test battery. Given the possible constraints of the AIRS singing tasks, we examined various factors that may influence very young children’s confidence when singing. These included the setting of the testing, the presence of parents, using toys and puppets, and procedures for encouraging participation.

Method: 30 children aged 3-4 years were video and audio-recorded using the AIRS battery either in a school setting or in a child-development lab by four different testers. To examine the factors described above, alterations were made during the lab recordings with respect to the procedure and context of testing. Following recordings, audio and video analyses were conducted so as to establish the manner in which the setting, context and procedures influenced children’s singing.

Results: Preliminary analysis indicates that (a) the presence of parents with 3 year-old children may hinder children’s performance; (b) participation by children is enhanced where the tester is more interactive; (c) the use of puppets can aid engagement; and (d) producing an informal setting further encourages children’s participation.

Discussion: The results highlight the importance of flexibility when testing very young children using the AIRS battery. A number of factors appear to impede or encourage children’s confidence when singing with these tasks. Establishing precisely children’s very early singing skills depends in part in providing a supportive environment for the display of their competencies. The nature of pre-school children’s individual differences calls for considerable flexibility on the part of testers. Future analysis of this data set will establish the details of their singing skills across the informal and formal settings realized in this work.



** Automated AIRS Test Battery: A New Methodology and Preliminary Data **

Bing-Yi Pan (University of Prince Edward Island) Annabel J. Cohen (University of Prince Edward Island)


To standardize the delivery of the AIRS Test Battery of Singing Skills, an automated online system has been developed. It delivers the singing tasks of AIRS Test Battery through a browser with an interactive audiovisual interface, and records the participants’ audiovideo response for each task. An authority module is associated with collected data to control user’s right of retrieval, considering both confidentiality and collaborative sharing. Nearly 100 people across a wide age range (4 to 87 years) have been tested in PEI, and a protocol has been created for analysis of these preliminary data. The entire test will be translated to numerous languages and dialects (some of the translations and transplants are already underway – French, German, Cantonese, Mandarin) and so as to conduct testing worldwide over the Internet. The primary goal of AIRS is to determine the cultural, universal, and individual factors that influence the development of singing. The new automated AIRS Test Battery makes an important stride in this direction. In addition, the system can potentially support other experiments requiring on-line audio or audiovisual recording.




** Musical and Non-Musical Content in Children's Favourite Tunes **

Beatriz Ilari (University of Southern California) Vivian Agnolo Barbosa (Federal University of Parana and Alecrim Dourado Formacao Musical, Brazil) Tiago Madalozzo (Federal University of Parana and Alecrim Dourado Formacao Musical, Brazil)

Abstract:      poster

The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine musical and non-musical contents in children’s favorite song renditions (AIRS Test Battery Component 6). Renditions of favorite songs sung by 23 middle-class Brazilian children aged 5-9, who completed the AIRS test battery, were assessed. Children’s songs were analyzed in two ways. First, they were examined in light of their musical contents (i.e., singing ranges, melodic accuracy, rhythmic accuracy, and use of expressive features) using 5-point Likert type scales. Second, song lyrics were categorized according to emergent themes. Two independent judges checked 50% of both musical and content analyses. Results suggest that most renditions could be placed between Welch’s (2005) phases 2 and 3 of singing development, with musically trained and older children scoring higher than their peers. In regards to contents, children’s song selections were quite similar to those found in previous studies (e.g., Campbell, 2010; Young, in press). These ranged enormously from traditional children’s songs to pop music, in both Portuguese and English. Interestingly, lyrics were based on typical children’s themes (i.e., animals, routines, acceptable manners), TV and film characters (i.e., Shrek), and ‘adult’ themes like love, sex and sorrow. This last theme was present particularly in songs sung by older children (mainly girls), with younger children singing more traditional children’s songs. Taken together, these results suggest both global and local aspects in children’s sung performances. While there might be similarities in children’s voices and song choices across cultures, local aspects pervade the repertoire that children choose to sing. These repertoires reveal multiple conceptions of children, childhood, and musical childhoods (Young, in press). Implications for music education are discussed.








** Children's Informal Musicking **

June Countryman (University of Prince Edward Island) Martha Gabriel (University of Prince Edward Island) Kate Thompson (University of Prince Edward Island) Melissa MacRae (University of Prince Edward Island)


This session focuses on children’s informal musicking. We will share findings from two in-progress research projects, one observing spontaneous musical behaviours of children in three day care centres (ages 2-4), and the other observing instances of spontaneous musicking on school playgrounds (ages 5-12). In both studies the researchers are documenting fragmentary vocal and rhythmic play as well as more sustained instances of musicking. We will use audio and video excerpts to illustrate various categories of this music-making. Several lines of theoretical inquiry hold analytic promise: 1) multimodal learning/ multiliteracies: we are interested in the idea that musicking is a literacy - a notion that the New Literacy Studies literature does not take up - and we want to chase the educational implications of that idea, aided by cognitive sciences research that confirms the importance of musical (particularly rhythmic) skills in language/literacy attainment; 2) play theories that consider the relationships between play and art (G. Bateson’s notion of ‘aesthetic engagement’) and play and sociocultural learning (Vygotsky ) and 3) notions of children’s identity construction.




** "People of the Cloud" in the Evergreen State **

Maren Haynes (University of Washington)


For the 2011-2012 academic year, I received a fellowship from AIRS to explore sung music performed by Mixtec people indigenous to Oaxaca, Mexico, who have immigrated to the Skagit Valley of Washington State, the majority as undocumented migrant laborers. My paper offers perspectives on Mixtec musical culture through the lens of this year-long field project and incorporates interdisciplinary theoretical approaches from Mixtec history (Ortiz, Stephens), linguistics (Flannery), anthropology (Nicholas), and children’s musical cultures (Campbell, Lum and Marsh). The resultant project offers comprehensive information detailing both musical and extramusical issues impacting the underserved and underrepresented Mixtec-speaking population in Washington State. My research highlights the fluidity with which Mixtec children navigate their binational musical and cultural identities. Through the lens of children’s music, I focused on music production and performance, use of technologies, and multigenerational informal music education in church and home settings. Attention to the church community provides a thorough overview of musical and sacred culture for Mixtecs in the Skagit Valley, illuminating community-based approaches to music acquisition and transmission. Through the lens of interdisciplinary research in singing, my paper attends to the identity and autonomy of the vibrant community historically, religiously and musically while simultaneously revealing unmet needs unique to multigenerational Mixtecs in northwestern Washington which hinder the community’s ability to prosper.




** How Singing is Learned by Brazilian Girls ages 5-11 **

Daniella Gramani (Federal University of Paraiba) Caroline Pacheco (Federal University of Paraiba)


Different manifestations of popular culture grant many possibilities for one to be involved with Brazilian art forms. In order to understand singing development of children involved in the Maracatu de Baque Virado, we interviewed 4 girls aged 5-11, who were members of different groups situated within the Pina shantytown in Recife. The Nações (nations) de Maracatu de Baque Virado are musical and artistic groups that are normally connected to terreiros de candomble (Afro-Brazilian religion), especially in the city of Recife (circa 1.5 million inhabitants). These cultural manifestations are both dramatic and musical: the dramatic part is presented by the corte (court), and the batuque (musical ensemble) is responsible for the music. The latter is performed through songs (canto das loas) accompanied by percussion instruments. The master leads with the voice, and also directs the batuque. During the time of Carnaval, there is a dispute between the nations, and each year, one of them is the winner. Nações de Maracatu are normally composed by adults, yet some children may also participate as it happened here. All four participating children took part in the corte or batuque, played apercussion instrument called abê, and had a relative who is a member of the group. Interviews took place in the children’s homes, where we also interviewed parents and relatives. Thirteen sung renditions were recorded in both audio and video formats. Data are being analyzed with attention to previous work on music learning in Brazilian popular culture (Prass, 1998; Arroyo, 1998; Queiroz, 2005; Braga, 2005; Náder, 2006; Abib, 2006; Gramani, 2009). A musicological analysis is also being carried out, as a starting point to discuss how singing is learned and how children develop musically in these contexts.




** Children's Songs Fieldwork Project: Bahian Children Sing their Favourite Songs **

Angelita Broock (Federal University of Bahia) Beatriz Ilari (University of Southern California)

Abstract:     poster

Children sing in many contexts of their everyday lives. They learn songs and musical games as they interact with teachers, family members and friends, whether in moments of leisure or formal learning (Campbell, 2002). Songs play important roles in many aspects of their lives. But, to this date, little is known about the songs that children choose to sing well as their functions and meanings. Furthermore, how these songs shape early musical preferences remains unknown. This is especially true in the case of Brazil, where research concerning music and children is in its early stages. The present study was conducted in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil with six 4- to 6-year–olds. Although five children participated in the Outreach Project "Musicalização Infantil" of the Federal University of Bahia, they did not know each other. Children were invited to meet with the researcher as in a focus group, and talk about music and sing. Eleven songs were collected: nine traditional folksongs and two pop songs (e.g., Xuxa, Skank). Sung performances included both individual and collective renditions. These musical selections are probably a result of what children learn at home or at school. However, it was also interesting that children chose to sing traditional songs over invented or pop ones. The fact that children were singing in groups and that the researcher was the music teacher of many, possibly influenced their selection. Likewise, it is also possible that this repertoire represents the stereotypical view of music teaching in the early years. As Campbell (2002) suggested, it is generally accepted that teachers, have a very similar repertoire, despite their own particularities. In Brazil, this also happens, with and usually this "common repertoire" contains songs of the folk repertoire. A full musicological analysis of songs, lyrics, contents, singing ranges and meanings attributed to selections will be presented at the meeting. Implications for music education will also be provided.




** Children's Songs Fieldwork Project: The Case of "Folia de Reis Estrela do Oriente" in Montes Carlos, Minas Gerais, Brazil **

Angelita Broock (Federal University of Bahia) Tiago Carvalho (Federal University of Bahia)

Abstract:      poster

Children's universe is highlighted by songs that play reflexive roles and are generative of cultural patterns, expressed socially (Blacking, 1995). Songs sung by children, in turn, have socializing aspects, allowing them to learn new things, negotiate and create modes of belonging. These songs can be derived from children's relationship with a group of experiences in contexts such as the family and the school or through the media. This paper presents the context of "Folia de Reis Estrela do Oriente", a traditional popular Catholic group that is associated with the "festa de Reis" (feasts of the Magi) in the Montes Claros city, Minas Gerais, Brazil. This group is composed by 50-to 60-year-olds, who include children and teenagers in the group, teaching them songs, dances and how to play musical instruments. This is a way to insert younger generation into the dynamics of "Folia de Reis" and to preserve the practice. The present study was conducted during a rehearsal of this group and the data collection was made through video and audio recordings, photographs and interviews with the group leader and participating children. Through observations, it was possible to identify some standards by which the repertoire is transmitted. At the same time, the interviews, as well as the body gestures of some children during the performance, showed an influence of common repertoires to particular musical universe, from genres such as "pagode", "sertanejo" and hip hop. Finally, it was noted that the transmission of songs in the "Folia de Reis Estrela do Oriente" was marked by intergenerational relationships in a group created and controlled by adults (Groppo, 2000), which emphasizes children. It is clear, therefore, that learning music in this context is not simply a transfer of songs, but also a negotiation with the musical universe peculiar to children participating in the group.




** Formal Musicking in a Children's Choir: A Case Study **

June Countryman (University of Prince Edward Island) Natalie Sullivan (University of Prince Edward Island)


This in-progress case study of a children’s choir seeks to uncover pedagogical moves that account for the great sound in this particular choir of children (N=21), ages 8 -13. We will share our initial observations about those pedagogical practices that are effective with children, as determined by the resulting choral sound, the children’s reactions, the comments by individual children and the opinions of the director. We will illustrate aspects of the conductor’s pedagogy through rehearsal video clips. We also analyze the singers’ experience of being a part of the choir, in terms of self-efficacy, skill development, aesthetic experience, belonging and communal identity. These insights are gleaned from semi-structured interviews with pairs of singers. We also examine several parents’ opinions of their child’s experience with the choir.




** Children's Song: Contemporary vs. Historical Versions**

Christopher Roberts (University of Washington)


In 2011, I presented my AIRS-sponsored research, which identified and described five different websites that held historical field recordings of children singing from a variety of cultures, transcribed 34 songs, and provided a classification system for the musical material. This follow-up study focused on three recordings from one website (Alan Lomax’s Association for Cultural Equity), tracing the ways in which the three songs have been used by adults interested in bringing music to children. The field recordings of children were compared with similar field recordings made of adults, as well as modern versions, both commercial recordings available for purchase and the “series textbooks” that are commonly used in K-5 music classrooms in the United States and Canada. Similarities and differences regarding instrumentation, performance style, and melodic and rhythmic nuance were noted. In addition, the opinions of children in one fifth grade class were solicited, in order to gain a perspective on the affective responses of contemporary youth to the sets of recordings. Findings included the following: (1) The children on the historical recordings were more likely to switch between singing and speaking within the same song, while adults tended to remain in either a spoken or sung modality; (2) The children on the field recordings incorporated more rhythmic syncopation than adults of the same time period; (3) Instrumentation on the contemporary recordings utilized technological options (e.g. computerized musical sound effects), critically altering the sonic experience of the songs; (4) Recordings intended for use in schools simplified the rhythmic complexities found on field recordings; and (5) The vocal quality of the child performers in the series textbooks maintained a purity of tone quality that was not found on the earlier recordings. The modern-day children had a variety of opinions concerning the recordings, with some young students preferring the historical recordings, while others favored the contemporary versions. In this presentation, sample recordings will be played in order to highlight the similarities and differences between the song versions and the contemporary children’s comments on the recordings will be provided.




** Using Multimedia Technology to Teach North Indian Vocal Music **

Utpola Borah (Ohio State University)


Introduction: The tradition of music education in Hindustani (North Indian) classical music known as the “guru-sishya parampara,” is a unique system of transmitting musical knowledge, which can be trace back to the Vedic period (1st-6th centuries BCE). The terms guru (mentor/master), sishya (pupil/disciple) and parampara (tradition) collectively refer to an oral tradition that transmits the art/music through a preceptor. In India it is the basis of transmission for all art forms and embodies the living and learning relationship between master and disciple in both formal and informal learning settings. Although the guru-sishya parampara is being supported by variety of institutional setting in India and abroad, currently many gurus (instructors) are employing multimedia technologies for teaching music.

Method: I will examine the progress of three students through recordings of video conferencing lessons and interviews with students and parents.

Results: Indian classical music requires face-to-face interaction between pupil and student. The use of Skype facilitates learning in diverse geographical locations, as it is often difficult for students to find competent gurus outside (and even within) India. However, skype lessons require greater use of written materials and fixed lesson plans.

Discussion: Multimedia technologies do not replace traditional learning systems, but have great potential for the teaching and learning of many styles of music throughout the world.



** From Learning to Performing: A Case Study of Indian Vocal Music **

Hans Utter (Ohio State University)


Introduction: The tradition of music education in India (guru-sisya parampara) is currently being supported in a variety of institutional settings. My presentation examines the training methods of the Sangeet Research Academy in Calcutta, focusing on a single student. I will compare the student in class and in a performance setting, focusing on the non-verbal communication of physical cues such as gestures, head movements, and other facial expressions.

Method: The methods employed consists of collecting ethnographic data through interviews and audio/video recordings, participation in learning situations, and examinations of this data to assess the success of teaching/learning and performance through audience reactions and the self- assessment of the instructors and the artist.

Results: Certain institutions are more suited than others in the production of highly qualified artists and performers. It was found that the preservation of individualized instruction and reliance on oral transmission at the Sangeet Research Academy was superior to a standardized curriculum. The emphasis on active learning and instruction modeled on performance contexts is conducive for the production of vocalists capable of artistic excellence.

Discussion: For North Indian classical vocal music, the system of oral transmission and individualized training appears to be necessary for the requirements of this art form. The ability to elicit emotional responses in audiences is increased.



** The Verbo-tonal Method and the use of Music to Enhance French Phonetics **

Sandra Cornaz (Université Stendhal- GIPSA-Lab) Lionel Granjon Nathalie Henrich (CR1-CNRS) Sonia Kandel Christophe Savariaux Nathalie Vallée (CR1-CNRS)


Introduction: Applied linguistic of foreign languages uses various methods to enhance the ability to perceive new phonemes. In Europe, the verbo-tonal method is commonly used. In order to improve the perception skills, the VTM suggests to underline acoustical characteristics of the second language sound which aren't perceived by the non native learner, but which are significant in the target one. To improve segmental correction, the VTM offers many tools. In this experiment, we tested the impact of two of them on auditory abilities. Firstly, the use of a facilitating sound context (i.e. a sound combination process). Then, the use of the frequency modification (i.e. the tone of the sound is inflected). The experiment was conducted in Italy in order to learn more about the verbo-tonal efficiency in the discrimination of the French phoneme /y/, which lacks in Italian. Three main hypotheses were tested. The first hypothesis assumed that /y/ is well differentiated from /i/ but not from /u/ because Italian native speakers perceived /y/ too low. The perceptual distance would be bigger between /y/ and /i/. Both the following assumptions result from this prediction. The second hypothesis assumed that there is a positive impact of a high class consonant on the front rounded vowel discrimination. The third hypothesis supposed that there is a positive correlation between high tones and unknown vowel /y/ perception.

Method: 35 participants were involved. Most of them studied Language and Literature at the University of Padova, and they had different academic qualifications. They didn’t have any musical aptitude. 23 participants had never been in contact with French and 12 were at a beginner or intermediate level. They completed a music and speech perception test in which they had to perform a two alternative forced choice paradigm task. They had to listen to six realizations of the referent phoneme (/i/ or /u/) used in both French and Italian vocalic system. Each of them was included in a syllable CV-type, the consonant being either /t/ or /p/. Subsequently, they heard a list of 324 items to compare, including the referent phoneme, the unknown phoneme /y/ and a common phoneme in both languages. In this task, /a/ was used as a distractor. Each item could have been produced on three tones: A2, C3, E3.

Results: As results of this experiment, we ascertained that non native vowel discrimination ability is linked to (1) contrast, (2) co-articulation, (3) and tone. Sometimes the correlation works only when some of these conditions are correlated or, even the opposite, when the conditions aren't correlated. Globally, the experimentation leads us to the conclusion that the first and the second assumptions received support, pointed out that comparing /y/ to the contrast /i/ may have a positive effect on the discrimination ability of the non native vowel among Italian learners of French. We observe the same positive effect when /y/ is co-articulated with /t/. At the end, we noticed that a correlation between music and discrimination ability exists, but a highest vowel doesn't help to improve the discrimination of /y/. Music may be used to reinforce a perceptual distance between two sound-types already recognized as different by the learners.



** Can Singing Aid Language Acquisition in Post-Puberty Learners? **

Henrietta Lempert (University of Toronto) Assunta Ferrant (University of Toronto) Ju Hee Lim (University of Toronto) Rachel Williams (University of Toronto) Natalie Kwok (University of Toronto)

Abstract:     poster

Introduction: Children seem to absorb new languages with ease, whereas learning a foreign language is a major struggle for most adults. However, although adults perform at chance level when required to extract novel words from a continuous stream of spoken syllables, they evidence learning when exposed to sung syllables. But can singing facilitate language-learning in adults beyond aiding their perception of statistical regularities in the speech stream? If so, which aspects of language does it aid and how?

Method: We examine these issues with a novel language comprised of 14 words divided into three classes. The language comes in two versions, a suffix dialect (hifto wadim vabie) and a prefix dialect (ohift wadim ievab). In one learning condition, the study sentences are sung and in the other condition, spoken. Participants (Introductory Psychology students) repeat 24 study sentences according to condition and are tested for rule learning with 32 spoken sentences (16 legal sentences that did not occur during study trials and 16 illegal instances that violate one of the rules).

Results: Currently available results for first language English females (n = 33) indicate a comparable number of false negative responses in the speaking and singing conditions (false negative = incorrectly rejecting a legal sentence). In the prefix dialect, correct rejection of illicit sentences did not differ on Trial 1 in the singing and speaking conditions (Ms = 8.9 and 8.4) but on Trial 3, performance was reliably superior in the singing than speaking condition (Ms = 11.0 and 8.9). In the suffix dialect, speaking was more likely than speaking to elicit correct rejections on Trial 1 (Ms = 9.1 and 7.4) but by Trial 3, performance in the two conditions did not differ (Ms = 9.2 and 9.1). The results suggest that perception of linguistic features differs in sung and spoken sentences and that the complementary use of both approaches is important for second language acquisition in adult learners.



** Ditty as Didactic Tool for the Teaching of French Phonetics **

Sandra Cornaz (GIPSA-Lab) Chrystèle Chovelon (Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional, Grenoble) Nadia Jauneau-Cury (Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional, Grenoble)


Applied Linguistics and speech therapy use musical texts in order to help learners being more familiar with phonetic aspects. Ditties seem an excellent basis because they are little songs - generally used for children – easy to memorize and to produce. First, rhythms, intervals and pitches are simple. Second, texts are short, rhymed and repetitive. Eventually, sounds and games play a bigger part than textual meaning. The problem is that teachers often simplify the form and/or the content, and mainly focus on the text. Thus, they pay little attention to music features, whereas they may reinforce segmental and supra-segmental aspects. Therefore, we suggest the use of a ditty especially formulated for the teaching and the learning of French phonetics. Our research leads to the conclusion that a close collaborative work between teacher and composer is required. In addition, our study showed that the composition of the ditty should follow a specific order of activities. (1) To begin with, the teacher (sometimes associated with the composer) writes the lyrics. In this goal, the choice of vocabulary will depend on the particular phonemes the teacher decides to teach. Also, the consonants should be selected in order to make the perception or the production of a given vowel easier, and vice versa. The teacher explains to the composer where are the stressed syllables. (2) Afterwards, the composer creates the rhythm, which shall faithfully result from the recitation or reading of the text. Then, he composes the music according to the textual meaning, if any, while taking into account supra-segmental and segmental constraints. Furthermore, the musical creation will depend on the learners’ competences in singing and music theory. Generally, we recommend the writing to be based on a limited vocal pitch range and on a simple rhythmic pattern, in such a way that every learner could sing it. The resulting ditty with a didactic purpose should retain all the characteristics of the genre, and at the same time, perfectly adapt to a phonetic teaching and learning situation. Consequently, the teacher may use the material without distorting an authentic genre, and overall, using music and singing to enhance skills in French phonetics.







** The Impact of a Culture-Bearer on Inter-cultural Understanding **

Benjamin Bolden (Queen's University) Larry O'Farrell (Queen's University)


Introduction: Global music experts such as Campbell (2004) suggest a ‘culture-bearer’ may be helpful in negotiating the challenges associated with learning and engaging with music from unfamiliar musical cultures and traditions. Burton (2002) describes a culture-bearer as “one raised within the culture who is a recognized practitioner of the culture’s music” (p. 178). The culture-bearer approach makes sense, but also raises concerns (Vaugeois, 2009). Will the culture-bearer be able to effectively communicate with the musicians, and enable them to gain meaningful understanding of the music? Is it possible for one person, in a protracted period of time, to reasonably provide adequate knowledge of an entire musical tradition, let alone adequate knowledge of the entire culture in which the musical tradition developed? An Ontario adult community choir was recently visited by a guest conductor who taught and conducted music from the African American Gospel tradition. This qualitative case study serves to examine the impact on choir members of working with a culture-bearer (the guest conductor) on repertoire from a particular musical tradition. Of primary interest is any inter-cultural understanding that choir members develop through their music making and learning in this context. The research is guided by the following questions: 1. How does working with an expert from a particular musical tradition impact choir members’ understandings of, a) that particular musical tradition, b) that particular culture in general. 2. How were such understandings communicated to the singers?

Method: Qualitative data will be collected through a focus group discussion and interviews with the choristers, and interviews with the guest conductor and regular conductor. Data analysis will involve open coding followed by axial coding of emergent themes (Strauss & Corbin 1990).

Results: We have just begun data collection. Preliminary results will be reported at the AIRS conference in August.



** Sustainable New Practices for an Endangered Species of Song **

Rena Sharon (University of British Columbia) Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson (University of British Columbia) Gayle Shay (Vanderbilt University) Laurel Fais (University of British Columbia)


A massive trove of global Song is at risk of extinction as a performative modality. Art Song – the fusion of poetry and music – is a genre comprising over 100,000 songs, with contributions by upwards of 10,000 poets in over 100 languages in musical settings by 12,000+ composers. Much of the vast international repertoire is completely unknown. Though it is in continual growth as a compositional medium, its performance is increasingly confined to a shrinking “boutique” listener contingent who are comfortable in the relatively austere practices of the recital modality. In the emergent century of Opera, the Art Song genre may become relegated to an archival digital existence, disappearing from live performance venues within the coming decades. It would be a forfeiture of a collection that offers a tremendous delivery system for millennia of global poetry within a fascinating hybrid communication mode. This project studies the causes of audience attrition and the systemic cascade of consequences to the education and performance options for its artists. The Vancouver International Song Institute is a leading international nexus of innovation whose mandate addresses the erosion of Art Song receptivity with new strategies for training and accessible multi-media performance. A series of research studies from its experimental performance laboratories gather empirical data relating to cognitive shifts for performers and audiences when new elements are introduced to the traditional practices of the art form. The presentation includes video capture of comparative performance modalities, with measurement of changes in vocal production (e.g. vibrato, pitch, breathing) and artistic decision-making (e.g. note lengths, diction, dynamics). The discussion focuses on the impact to performance expressivity and audience cognition in performance options with diverse gestural and spatial parameters, as well as the philosophical implications of deviating from traditional recital formats.




** Children's Voices on Singing in an Elementary Choral Music Program: A Two-Year Survey **

Lisa Crawford (University of Southern California) Lily Chen Hafteck (Kean University)

Abstract:      poster

Introduction: Singing is an important means of human communication (Welch, 2005), accessible to most human beings, and has been prevalent in music education. Through singing, students are able to develop self-expression and may be in closer touch with their feelings. Attitudes of children toward singing and choral participation have been studied by some researchers (Mizener, 1993; Rao, 1993) as well as topics concerning well-being through music education (Gick, 2010; Boyce-Tillman, 2000). The purpose of this study was to examine feelings children have about singing in their choral music program.

Method:In a school district in a large urban center of California, data were obtained via a non-gender-related survey questionnaire (N=749) from elementary students over a two-year period. Through open-ended questions, students were invited to express how they felt about singing in their spring concert and what they liked most about music activities. Additional fill-in-the-blank questions asked students about their music experience.

Results:Results of the two open-ended questions revealed the highest percentage of elementary students focused on their feelings of happiness about singing as a group and sadness when family were unable to attend the concert across all grade levels. In this survey, one fourth grade student communicated her feelings this way: "I felt like I was being lifted into the musical world of heaven and all the angels cheered as I rised. Then when I rose back up on the riser, I fell back into earth but I felt happier than I was when I went." 80% of students did not receive formal music training outside of the public school classroom and did not report participation in other formal or informal musical experiences.

Discussion: While these findings contradict some previous findings, this may be a result of socioeconomic concerns or methodological limitations of the survey instrument. An analysis of the survey and implications for music education will be presented.



** Using Songs From Different Cultures for the Development of Voice **

Alda de Jesus Oliveira (Federal University of Bahia)


The author´s experiences with teaching and investigation in music pedagogy related to socio-cultural contexts, especially in Bahia, Brazil, are critically reflected in relationship to the preliminary data and field observations of the AIRS international study on cultural understanding applied since February 2012, with children from Brazil, Canada, China and Kenya. The author has participated in the AIRS International Project on Cultural Understanding, coordinated by Dr. Lily Hafteck, over a span of 12 weeks. Students of the Educational Center Santo Antonio (CESA) and “Dois de Julho” School (from the State of Bahia) have learned six traditional songs from each country, a total of 24 songs, together with background information about the songs and cultures. Teaching materials (songbook, CD, DVD and PowerPoint slides) provided the songs and information on cultural backgrounds in student´s native languages (English, Chinese and Portuguese). The song repertoire chosen included music that could represent the Brazilian essence and the traditional spirit of children´s play. Two classes of children from each school ages 10 and 11, are participating. The experimental class learned both the cultural information and songs while the control class only learned the cultural information. During the period of 12 weeks, the CESA students learned to sing all Brazilian and Kenyan songs, one Chinese song, and two Canadian songs. They have responded to a questionnaire before and after the study to assess their attitude towards the people from the four countries. A questionnaire on the opinion on the songs of each country was also administered after the unit. Interviews were conducted with both teachers and children. The research study is still in process at the “Dois de Julho” school. In addition to develop creative and performance based music skills, the study applied at CESA school have contributed to develop student and teacher´s capacities to deal with ambiguity, to explore new possibilities of singing and dancing, to express their own thoughts and feelings and understand the perspectives of others. In my opinion the students are becoming to more globally aware, collaborative, and responsible citizens. Through the use of effective and well organized communications devices (CD, DCD, book, scores, power point) the AIRS study connected students and teachers in today’s interconnected world. The native musical examples provided excellent models for the development of the voice, since the participating children could watch the native children, of their own age, singing and dancing, playing the original games themselves. At the final presentation the experimental classroom teacher said “I wish all the disciplines were as effective as this project was for the promotion of collaborative, concentrated, creative and positive emotions processes at CESA school.” Both teacher and students were able to learn and to critically interpret the media messages, and to convey their own ideas through the medium of artistic form, using well the artistic media and tools by incorporating the technology proposed by the AIRS project. Singing the selected songs learned by listening to the CDs and seeing the videos promoted the development of curiosity, imagination and creativity. For our satisfaction, they also developed their evaluation skills, since they were frequently comparing their own performances with the original recorded models of songs from each participating country. Through the use of songs from different cultures for the development of voice and for cultural understanding we could promote at the CESA school the collaboration among researchers, students, teachers (music and classroom), school principal and pedagogic supervisors, and above all, promote the use of media, both traditional and new, as a powerful opportunity to cultivate 21st century skills by articulating human expression through the development of the voice.



** Can Music Change National and Racial Attitudes **

Felix Neto (University of Porto)


This study assessed the effectiveness of a musical program at changing national and racial attitudes. The sample consisted of 268 participants who were attending public schools near Lisbon (Cascais and Setúbal), Portugal. Ten intact classes from sixth-grade took part in the study. Eighty five percent had the Portuguese nationality and 15% had a foreign nationality. In the current study we will consider only those participants with the Portuguese nationality, that is, 229 participants. Their mean age was 142.50 months (SD = 10.20, range = 129-182). For the purposes of the research national and racial attitudes measures were used. Three national attitudes measures were used: number of positive trait terms applied to Cape Verdean national group; number of negative trait terms applied to Cape Verdean national group; and overall evaluation of Cape Verdean national group. National attitudes towards the ingroup (Portugal) and another outgroup (Brazil) were also assessed. Two racial attitudes were used: explicit and implicit racial attitudes. Implicit racial attitudes were measured using racial prejudice Implicit Association test (IAT). The program consisted in introducing in the series of songs to be studied and learnt by the pupils during music courses at school a sub-series of Cape Verdean songs together with the regular Portuguese songs. The findings suggest that the cross-cultural musical program has not changed national attitudes toward Portugal (in-group) and Brazil (another out-group). However, in agreement with our hypotheses, participants exposed to the program have improved positive trait terms and affective evaluation attributed to Cape Verdean national group, and reduced negative traits attributed to Cape Verdean national group. Similarly, concerning the racial attitudes the results suggest that the cross-cultural musical program has improved both explicit racial attitudes and implicit racial attitudes. The change seems even higher for implicit racial attitudes than for explicit racial attitudes. The findings are discussed stressing their importance for future research.




** The International Project on Cultural Understanding: An Overview **

Lily Chen-Hafteck (Music Education, Kean University, Union, NJ USA)


Since February 2012, some children from Brazil, Canada, China and Kenya have participated in the AIRS International Project on Cultural Understanding over a span of 12 weeks. They have learned six traditional songs from each country, a total of 24 songs, together with background information about the songs and cultures. The teaching materials included a songbook and PowerPoint slides that provide the songs and information on their cultural backgrounds in English, Chinese and Portuguese, and demonstration video and audio-recordings that were developed during more than one year by a team of AIRS researchers. Two schools in each country and two classes of children from each school, ages 10 and 11, participated. One class learned both the cultural information and songs while the other class only learned the cultural information. Children responded to a questionnaire before and after the study to assess their attitude towards the people from the four countries. A questionnaire on the opinion on the songs of each country was also administered after the unit on each country. Interviews were conducted with both teachers and children at the end of the research. Reports from teachers and researchers were also collected. Currently, the team is working on data analyses.





** I Ain't No Damn Singer! Exploring the Musical Perceptions of Older Adults Involved in an Intergenerational Singing Program **

Jennifer Hutchison (Western University) Carol Beynon (Western University) Rachel Heydon (Western University) Dr. Susan O'Neill (Simon Fraser University)


The nature of this study is aimed at identifying and exploring the learning outcomes of an intergenerational, multimodal curriculum that focuses on interactive singing. The program involved 20 residents from a retirement home and a Grade 2 class of 18 students from the local public school. The sessions explored songs across various themes that acted as links in fostering dialogue, musical discourse and shared learnings among the participants. After the program ended, interviews with children, residents, teachers, the school principal and retirement home staff were conducted through which participants were encouraged to share their experiences of the program as well as their personal musical experience and background. While extensive research details the mental and physical health benefits of intergenerational musicking, observational and narrative data from this study revealed a prevalent theme pertaining to seniors' perception of lack of confidence and musical inadequacy.



** Sing Me to Sleep: Aboriginal Resilience and Music **

Jean Emmerson (University of Saskatchewan) Jennifer Nicol (University of Saskatchewan)


There have been calls from both Aboriginal (Lafrance, Bodor, & Bastien, 2008) and non-Aboriginal communities (Kelly, 2011) for greater support for parents experiencing vulnerability due to economic and social circumstances by “establishing programs that educate families on how to reconnect with one another and how to love one another again” (Lafrance et al, 2008, p. 314). Most parenting programs are not well-attended by families who are disadvantaged and marginalized (Nicholson et al., 2008). However, parent-child music programs have been found to be better attended, encourage positive interactions, develop children’s skills, and promote inter-family relationships with people in these circumstances (Ledger, 2011; Nicholson, Berthelsen, Abad, Williams, & Bradley, 2008). There is limited research on parent-child music programs with Aboriginal mothers (Williams & Abad, 2005). Parent-child music programs have been found to improve the quality of relationships and attachment between caregivers and children (e.g., Cunningham, 2011) and promote self-regulation (Creighton, 2011; Dissanayake, 2000; Longhi, 2009; Mackenzie & Hamlett, 2005; Nakata & Trehub, 2004; Papousek, 1996; Trainor, 1996), which is a precursor to resilience (Masten, Cutuli, Herbers, & Reed, 2009). Parent-child music programs have also been found to enhance language, cognitive, and social skills (e.g., Edwards, 2011). I am working with a local parent-child music educator to develop and implement a music program in an alternative high school. I am also seeking guidance from a Cree elder since there will likely be Aboriginal research participants; many young Saskatoon mothers are of Aboriginal heritage. In preparing for this study I have researched Aboriginal history, ethics, and issues, and AIRS presents an opportunity to share this work with others. Singing and physical contact with infants are primary in Aboriginal childrearing traditions (Whidden, 2007). This presentation explores how singing can support Aboriginal resilience and references ethical research with Aboriginal peoples.



** Vocal Strengthening Group Treatment **

Merrill Tanner (University of Alberta/Glenrose Rehabilitation Hosptial)


Introduction:A successful group vocalization program for people with Parkinson’s disease was studied and the method is now being utilized in the community and at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital for a variety of diagnoses. Presentation of the research results of the Ph.D. project will be followed by a group voice lesson with audience participation

Method:A group vocalization program for people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD) consisting of vocal exercises and choral singing was studied using a single group pretest-posttest research design. A total of 28 people with IPD participated in the study. The intervention program was twice a week for six weeks. The program included vocal warm-up, vocal exercises, singing exercises, choral speech, and choral singing with piano accompaniment. No individual treatment was offered, only group sessions.

Results:Rigorous statistical analysis was used to correct for the 13 variables measured in this exploratory study. Statistically significant improvement (p< .001) was found in two of the eleven measures of “vocal ability” (average frequency during an oral reading task and maximum intensity range) and on the Speech Intelligibility Inventory: Self Assessment Form (p< .001 and effect size of .93), one of the two self-assessment questionnaire measures of “vocal quality of life”. Clinically relevant results were found for both “vocal quality of life” questionnaires and on three (maximum intensity range, maximum frequency range, and fundamental frequency variation during oral reading) measures of vocal ability.

Discussion:These results indicate that participants with a progressive neurological disease experienced some improvement in their vocal skills and improved vocal quality of life following participation in a short-term group voice program. Group interventions similar to this study are now offered in the Edmonton community and at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. The Glenrose offers a “vocal strengthening group” for people with voice problems due to Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain injury, deconditioning, and other diseases.



** Buddy's Glee Club: Singing for Health and Wellness **

Amy Clements-Cortes (Baycrest Centre, Toronto, ON)


Introduction:The purpose of this study was to examine the benefits of participating in a choir facilitated by a music therapist on the health, wellness and successful aging of older adults. This study focused on older adults who were cognitively intact and/or diagnosed with dementia.

Questions: What if any are the benefits of the lived experience of singing in a glee club facilitated by a music therapist and music therapy accompanist as expressed by older adults attending day care programs? How can a glee club program best be implemented with older adults attending adult day care programs? What is the impact of singing on the physical and emotional dimensions of health?

Method:Participants completed an intake questionnaire on general health and wellness and a battery of pre and post test assessments on mood, self-esteem etc. Interviews were conducted with participants at the completion of the choral sessions. Choral sessions took place one time per week for one hour for a total of 16 weeks.

Results:There were five large themes that emerged from the analysis of the interview and the researcher’s field notes including: friendship and companionship; simplicity; happiness, uplifting and positive feelings; relaxing and reduced anxiety; and fun. Below is a discussion with respect to each theme and direct quotes in italic font from participants.

Discussion: The majority of participants in this study benefited from attending the choir and thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of singing in a medium to large size group. Several participants commented that even if physical limitations such as throat pain or physical inability to sing inhibited them from singing all of the songs or words, the facilitators were very helpful in adjusting what was required and they enjoyed going to choir. The plans for Phase Two of the study will also be shared.



** Asthma in a Sample of Carleton University Students **

Carina Daugherty (Carleton University) Mary Gick (Carleton University)

Abstract:      poster

Asthma is caused by interference in airways due to muscle spasms, secretion of mucus, and inflamed tissues contributing to discomfort when breathing (Wade, 2002). Asthma is irreversible but can be managed, commonly with bronchodilators (Lord et al., 2010). Research on benefits of singing in asthma (e.g., due to controlled breathing) is inconclusive and lacking in adults (Gick, 2011). The present pilot study examined frequency and perceptions of singing in students with asthma. Participants (n = 93) from Carleton University, all diagnosed with asthma, completed an online questionnaire consisting of self-reported measures of well-being, and asthma history, severity, and control. Participants were also asked about activities (including singing) engaged in, or avoided due to asthma, and perceptions of these activities for asthma control. 65% of participants reported that they sing, and most (98%) exercised or played sports. Most (78.5%) participants reported that exercise or sports helped control their asthma, while only 21.5% of participants reported that singing helps control their asthma. Approximately 50% of participants reported at least sometimes avoiding exercise or sports due to asthma, while 19 % of participants reported avoiding singing due to asthma. Although singing and exercise/sports participation was not associated with asthma severity, participants reporting avoiding singing or exercise/sports due to asthma had significantly poorer asthma control (both ps < .01). Students avoiding exercise/sports scored lower on the vitality measure of well-being (p = .018); participants avoiding singing tended to have lower vitality (p = .110). Taken together, students with asthma sing less than they exercise and perceive it to be less beneficial for their asthma. Future research comparing students with asthma to those with other (or no) illnesses may determine whether the pattern of singing and exercise frequency and perceptions is common to all students. Singing interventions may help uncover the relationship between singing avoidance, and asthma control and vitality.



** Choir Singing as a Health Promoting Behaviour **

Jennifer Nicol (University of Saskatchewan) Marya Stonehouse (University of Saskatchewan) Katie McCaw (University of Saskatchewan)

Abstract:     poster

Grounded theory is an established research method used to generate mid-range theory that explains a social process, in this case, choir singing as a health process. The current study's purpose is to inductively generate an explanatory model that describes (a) the processes by which singing is experienced by choir members as a health promoting activity and (b) factors that might account for variations. In-depth semi-structured interviews with eight participants have been completed, fully transcribed, entered in NVIVO (a qualitative data management program) and analyzed. The findings of this first round of analysis informed successive interviews with additional participants. The proposed poster will present the emerging grounded theory in it successive stages of coding and analysis with the intent of both reporting findings and illustrating the research method.



** Singing and Health: A Research Initiative at the Centre for Arts in Human Development (CAHD) at Concordia University **

Laurel Young (Concordia University) Tiana Malone (Concorida University)

Abstract:     poster

Although previous research has indicated that singing can have positive health outcomes for the general population (i.e., improved mood, increased self-esteem/confidence, increased feelings of well being, improved respiration, positive impacts on the immune system, etc.) the relevance of these findings for many special needs populations have not been fully explored. Recent publications do indicate that some models of clinical practice are starting to emerge. However, these publications also reveal that more research is needed to support the efficacy of these practices, and that there are many populations for whom models have yet to be developed. The purpose of the first singing and health research project at the CAHD is to investigate the impact of a structured weekly singing group on the health and well being of adults with developmental disabilities. It is hoped that this will be the first of several projects conducted at the CAHD that will aid in the development of specific models of singing/vocal techniques that can be used in both clinical and non-clinical (i.e., community) contexts with individuals who have a variety of complex or special needs (e.g., individuals with cancer, physical disabilities, dementia, etc.). Furthermore, the results of this research and of future studies will be used to develop training workshops for music therapists, musicians, other health professionals, and/or educators who want to develop high quality and effective singing programs for persons with complex or special needs. This poster will provide an overview on this initiative as well as highlight relevant perspectives on singing and health from the field of music therapy.



** Exploring the Implementation of an English Model of Health Promotion on Singing Groups for Older Adults (Silver Song Clubs) in Italy **

Elisabetta Corvo (Canterbury Christ Church University)


Introduction:The aims of the research is to carry out an exploratory study in Italy (Rome) of the value of weekly singing activity for older people, exploring the implementation of a health promotion model based on singing groups for older adults (Silver Song Clubs - SSCs). The beneficial effects of music in terms of well being, increased quality of life and health of older people are supported by several pieces of research; SSCs are music based community interventions shown in the UK to be effective as a model of health promotion.

Method:The research was divided into two main parts. The main objective of Part A was to inquire into the status of the elderly in the city of Rome, and evaluate the role that music has had in their lives, through semi- structured interviews. Part B was focused on setting up and evaluating singing groups and gathering information from participants on their experiences of singing through standardized and widely-used quality of life questionnaires (at baseline, at the end and 3 months later as a follow up).

Results:Interviews of elderly people showed they are mainly engaged in quite solitary activities, with educational level as a modulating factor. The more educated people are, the more they are interested in the experience of singing. The comparison before and after singing shows a general level of improvement in the two observed singing groups between the baseline questionnaire and the second one, while in the third (follow up) questionnaire, there was an overall decrease but with a number of cases still above the baseline.

Discussion:First analysis shows that the intervention seems to have a good impact on self-perceived health and the quality of life of participants.



** Inclusive Choirs: Welcoming Youth with Disabilities **

Marya Stonehouse (University of Saskatchewan) Jennifer Nicol (University of Saskatchewan)

Abstract:      poster

Belonging is an important human experience associated with health and wellness, and researchers investigating the health benefits associated with group singing have identified social benefits as a common feature of choirs. However, individuals with disabilities are often isolated or excluded from activities because of their disability. Inclusive choirs are a special type of choir that welcome all members (e.g., the Saskatoon “Kids of Note” These choirs are founded on a belief that all people, regardless of ability, should have the opportunity to sing alongside others. The intent of the current study is to add to the extant literature on the benefits of group singing by learning about the experience and perceived benefits of group singing from the perspective of the choir members with disabilities and their family members. The proposed poster will include a literature review introducing the key concepts of inclusion (contrasted with integration), belonging, and integrative choirs. The qualitative research design will be summarized along with data collection strategies suitable for working with children aged 10-17 years and with intellectual and physical disabilities. Preliminary data will be included as available.












Christine Tsang is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario. She has published several research articles on the development of music perception and cognition. Her many research interests include examining the effect of context on infant musical preferences, multimodal perception of music during infancy, and the role of music training on language and cognitive development. Christine is also a classically trained pianist, and in recent years has started playing the violin.

Lisa Chan is a PhD student in psychology at Ryerson University, and specializes in music cognition and perception. She also holds an A.R.C.T. in both Piano Performance and Piano Teaching from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Frank Russo is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Ryerson University and an Adjunct Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. During the 2012-2013 academic year, he is also the inaugural Ryerson Fellow at Massey College, Visiting Scientist at Phonak, and Visiting Professor at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich. Frank currently serves on the editorial boards of Music Perception, Music Therapy, Psychomusicology, and Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, and is the Editor-in-chief of Canadian Acoustics. He is the Leader of AIRS Theme 1 (Development) and co- leads the sub-theme 1.1 on Multimodal Aspects of Singing.

Dr. Stefanie Stadler Elmer is an Associated Professor of Psychology at the University of Zurich. She received her PhD from the University of Bern and her Habilitation from the University of Zurich. Her main interests in research and teaching concern the development of music and language, song singing, and methods to foster early development in these domains. She is involved in several research projects at national and international levels, e.g., as a collaborator in the AIRS (Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing), supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Dr. Daniel Muzzulini studied mathematics, musicology, physics, and philosophy at Zurich University and computer science at FHBB Basle and received his PhD from Zurich University in 2004. He was assistant of applied mathematics of ETH Zurich (1983-1992), research staff member at Zurich University (1992-1993), and programmer (1999-2001). Since 2004 he has been teacher of mathematics at Kantonsschule Alpenquai Lucerne. His main research focus shifted from mathematical music theory toward the history of science, the formation and chance of theoretical concepts of sound, colour, consonance, timbre, space and time.


Amy Fancourt has a BSc Honours in Psychology from Durham University, an MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology from The University of London, Birkbeck College and is currently working towards a PhD in psychology at The University of London, Goldsmiths College. Her research interests include music perception and cognition in children with atypical language development.

Mayumi Adachi worked as a piano teacher after receiving her B.A. in music education from Niigata University. She studied piano pedagogy at Teachers College at Columbia University, where she completed her M.A. and Ed.M. in music and music education while studying psychology. She received her Ph.D. in psychomusicology at the University of Washington, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Her interdisciplinary background gave her flexibility in her career, teaching music education (Yamanashi University) and psychology (Hokkaido University), as well as conducting quantitative and qualitative research on a variety of phenomena surrounding the development and learning of music. In the past, she used “singing” as a measure for children’s melodic expectancy and their communication of emotion. As an AIRS project, she has been studying how parents and young adults interpret a toddler’s vocalizations as songs cross-culturally. She chaired the 10th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, and has served on the editorial board of Psychomusicology, Psychology of Music, the International Journal of Music Education, and Journal of Music Perception and Cognition.

Helga Rut Guðmundsdóttir is a professor of music education at the University of Iceland. She will work as visiting professor at the BRAMS laboratories for brain, music and sound research in Montreal during the academic year of 2012-2013. Helga’s area of research is within music education and music perception. She has conducted research in the area of children’s musical development, music perception and music reading skills. Recently she has studied musical development in infancy and the impact of parent infant music courses. Currently she is preparing a research study on infants’ song acquisition and a study on the effects of a special music program on 3-year-olds’ pre-reading skills. Helga founded the Iceland center for music research in February 2011 together with 9 other music institutions in Iceland. Helga is the chair of the center and has organized three conferences on music research since the founding of the center.

With a Ph. D. in Computer Science and Bachelors in Physics and Information Technology, Steven Livingstone brings an interdisciplinary skill set to singing research. Since completing his Ph. D. in 2008, he has undertaken a program of research dedicated to understanding the role of facial expressions in singing performance. In 2009, he provided the first time-course analysis of facial expressions in emotional singing. The study, which was done in collaboration with Bill Thompson and Frank Russo, revealed that performers’ facial expressions differentiated their emotional intentions. This research was continued under the supervision of Caroline Palmer and Marcelo Wanderley at McGill University, where he acquired extensive analytical techniques for the study of motion and auditory data. Steven has been an AIRS postdoctoral fellow since 2011, working with Frank Russo at Ryerson University on the development of facial mimicry in emotional singing.

Sara Murphy is currently an undergraduate student finishing her final year at St. Francis Xavier University. Since November 2010, she has been working for Dr. Hauf as a research assistant in the Infant Action and Cognition Lab, giving her the opportunity to expand her knowledge in Developmental Psychology. She plans to continue her education through graduate studies in Industrial/Organizational Psychology in future years.

Charlene Parker has a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Francis Xavier University and is currently working towards her Master’s in Experimental Psychology at Dalhousie University. Her undergraduate research focused on imitation in infants and her Master’s thesis involves mimicry and its influence on sharing in pre-schoolers. Her main research interests center on social cognition, especially in infancy and toddlerhood. In relation to AIRS, she is interested in the social relationship within the parent-infant dyad and how this experience can be enhanced through singing.

Petra Hauf has a Doctoral degree from the University of Frankfurt, and previously worked as a Senior Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany. Since 2006 she is a Psychology Professor at St. F.X. and a Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Development. One line of her research focuses on infant motor and cognitive development, especially on the development of action and emotion understanding. Furthermore, she is interested in how young infants process infant-directed singing and speaking.

Niusha Ghazban (M.A., Ryerson University, 2009; B.Sc., McMaster University, 2007) is a third year doctoral student under the supervision of Drs. Jean-Paul Boudreau and Frank Russo at Ryerson University, and in collaboration with Dr. Sandra Trehub at University of Toronto. With over 6 years of research experience examining infants’ cognitive and perceptual processes, she has presented at various professional meetings such as International Conference on Infant Studies (ICIS) and Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). She has served as the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Developmental Section Student Representative (2008-2011) and is currently serving as AIRS’s Student Representative (Theme 1). For her doctoral comprehensive, she conducted a major review paper examining mother-infant synchronous interactions from prenatal to toddlerhood as well as in clinical populations when the natural bond and attachment are disrupted. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on emotion regulation through maternal singing after an acute stressor using the Still-Face Paradigm (Tronick et al., 1978). The first part of Ghazban’s project examines how maternal singing and speech can help to alleviate stress in 10-month old infants, while the second study examines whether a mother’s soothing or playful singing is most effective in regulating infants’ emotions. These studies highlight the notion that music and song are a form of “distal communication” that can modulate arousal and attention when physical proximity to soothe the infant is not possible (e.g., driving in a car).

Sandra E. Trehub obtained her doctorate in psychology from McGill University in 1973. At present, she is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Toronto and Adjunct Professor at the University of Montreal. She has three principal domains of research (1) infants' perception of melody and rhythm, (2) maternal singing and its impact on infants, and (3) music perception and production in congenitally deaf children with cochlear implants.

Natalie Ein has recently obtained her undergraduate degree in Arts and Contemporary Studies at Ryerson University. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she became fascinated in the field of Psychology and began to pursue a research assistant position in the C.H.I.L.D. Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau in 2010. She became particularly interested in projects related to mother-infant interactions and emotion regulation through singing, and began to work closely on these projects with Ph.D. student, Niusha Ghazban. In her capacity, she was responsible for recruiting participants as well as data collection and coding using both behavioural and physiological measures. This experience has strengthened her research skills and has prepared her for future projects. She has had the opportunity to present a segment of a project as an author at the International Conference on Infant Studies (ICIS, 2012), and is very grateful to AIRS, Dr. Frank Russo as well as her supervisor Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau and Niusha Ghazban for this experience. She plans on continuing her education to graduate school and continue in research investigating the long- and short-term effects of music and relaxation therapy in children and adults.


As a fourth year psychology undergraduate student at Ryerson University, Sabrina Aimola has had the privilege of working in the C.H.I.L.D. Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau. For over a year, she has been involved in various projects examining infants’ cognitive and socio-emotional development. Her efforts in the recruitment of participants and assisting with projects related to the effects of maternal singing on stress regulation in infants has provided her with extensive knowledge in behavioural and physiological methodologies, the literature, data coding and a presentation at the International Conference in Infant Studies (ICIS, 2012). She is grateful to AIRS, Dr. Frank Russo as well as her mentors, Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau, and doctoral student Niusha Ghazban for this opportunity. Her involvement in these projects has sharpened her skills as a growing researcher and has prepared her for other prospective research. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to apply to graduate programs and pursue prospective research studies with school-aged children and adolescents investigating how family dynamics influence children’s later development.


Jean-Paul Boudreau (PhD, 1997, Tufts University in Boston) is Professor of Psychology and Dean of Arts at Ryerson University. He is Director of the Cognition, Health, Infancy, Learning, Development (CHILD) Laboratory, training home to a thriving undergraduate and graduate student community. His scholarly interests in developmental science include the study of perception, action, and cognition in the first year; the interaction of social-cognition and goal-directed behavior; and the cognitive-neuromotor aspects of childhood disorders, including ASD. Boudreau has published in numerous journals and volumes including Child Development, Infant Behaviour and Development, Journal of Experimental Brain Research, and in The Psychobiology of the Hand. He is on the Editorial Board of Infant Behaviour and Development and a regular contributor to ICIS and SRCD review panels and conventions. Finally, Boudreau is involved in NSERC, SSHRC, and CFHSS, and has served as CPA Board member and current Chair of the Developmental Section.

Michael Forrester is Reader in Psychology at the University of Kent (England). His interests are in both children's conversation and in early singing skills. Publications include 'Analysing interactions in childhood' (with Hilary Gardner, 2010) and 'Doing Qualitative Research in Psychology' (Sage, 2010).


Emma Borthwick-Hunter tested and wrote her final year project for her Psychology undergraduate degree on English primary school children using the AIRS battery and was awarded funding to travel to the 3rd Annual AIRS conference, St John’s in 2011 to display a poster presentation of her findings. After graduating in 2011, Emma has worked in the Child Development Unit at the University of Kent as a Research Assistant within the Psychology department. During this time she tested pre-school children using the test battery and is currently reviewing longitudinal research on the musicality of young children. Emma and Dr. Mike Forrester have been invited to deliver a seminar on Musicality and their work with the AIRS project to Psychology academics at Christchurch University in Canterbury, Kent. They have also been invited to attend and deliver a seminar titled Analyzing musicality during the early years: Small talk and great songs to the SEMPRE 40th Anniversary Conference in September 2012.

Dr. Bing-Yi Pan received his Ph.D. in physics in 2010 from the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing and B.Sc. in physics in 2004 from Shandong University, Jinan. Simultaneously, he received his B.A. in music education in 2008 from Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing. Currently, he holds an AIRS postdoctoral fellowship at UPEI with Dr. Annabel Cohen, is working on the AIRS Test Battery and also contributing to Themes 2.2 and 3.1. He is also interested in formal teaching of singing.

Dr. Annabel J. Cohen is the Director of the AIRS MCRI and also leads the ARS test battery research sub-theme 1.3. She carried out her graduate work in Psychology at Queen`s University and her undergraduate research at McGill University. She is the Editor of Psychomusicology: Music, Mind & Brain and serves as consulting editor on several other journals. She received her ARCT in voice performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music – Toronto, and is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association. She is a member of the Council of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Beatriz Ilari was Associate Professor of Music Education at the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil for several years before joining the faculty of the University of Southern California, USA in 2011. Her research focuses on child development and learning, culture and cognition, and has been published in diverse journals including the International Journal of Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, and the Journal of Research in Music Education. She is currently affiliated with the Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing research team, and with USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute.

Vivian Agnolo Barbosa is a master's student in music at the Federal University of Parana in Curitiba, Brazil. She is co-director of Alecrim Dourado Formacao Musical School, where she teaches music for children aged 0 to 8.

Tiago Madalozzo, is a lecturer in music education at the Federal University of Parana in Curitiba, Brazil. He co-directs the Alecrim Dourado Formacao Musical School with Vivian Agnolo Barbosa, and teaches music for children aged 0 to 8. He is also the main editor of the forthcoming book "Fazendo musica com criancas" (Making music with children), by UFPR Press.

Elisabetta Corvo holds a degree in Law (University of Milan – Bicocca), focusing her final dissertation on the sociology of law, and an MSc in Health Promotion and Public Health (CCCU).For the last eight years she`s been focused on her work with an Italian non-profit organization concerned with children and successively with elderly people, particularly those suffering from Alzheimer´s disease. At the moment she is in her third year of MPhil/PhD. Elisabetta`s research theme is to explore the implementation of an English model of health promotion based on singing groups for older adults in Italy.

Dr. June Countryman (UPEI Department of Music) holds B.Mus, BA, and B.Ed degrees at Mount Allison University, an M.Mus in music education from The University of Western Ontario, advanced Kodaly training at the University of Calgary and an Ed. D at OISE/University of Toronto (2008). She has lengthy experience as an elementary music teacher, a curriculum writer and program consultant and a high school choral teacher. In addition to her study of musicking on school playgrounds, she is carrying out a case study of a children’s choir, examining both pedagogical and social aspects of choir participation. Other research interests include vocal improvisation as a tool for musical growth, global music practices, sharing power in teaching contexts, and music teacher professional development. Her publications relate to issues in music education, choral music education and the scholarship of teaching. June has just retired from UPEI, where she taught the aural skills program and courses in music education, global musics and improvisation.

Martha Gabriel (UPEI Faculty of Education) holds a BA (University of Toronto), Med (Mount St. Vincent), and a PhD (University of Ottawa). As an Associate Professor, her research focus has been in the area of digital technologies and how these can be used appropriately for learning and teaching. She is currently the Graduate Studies Coordinator in the Faculty of Education where she also teaches courses in qualitative research methods in the graduate program. She enjoys teaching through singing and music, particularly as a means for reaching children and high school students in their classrooms. Both Martha Gabriel and June Countryman are exploring the multimodal nature of children’s spontaneous musicking, assisted by RAs Kate Thompson & Melissa MacRae. Field work at the day cares and school playgrounds is providing a lot of data which both Martha and June will identify and interpret the kinds of musical play with language that has implications for literacy development.

Katherine Thompson is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Prince Edward Island, finishing a double major in music performance and psychology. In spring 2011, she began working with Dr. June Countryman and Dr. Martha Gabriel as a research assistant focusing on children’s spontaneous musicking. This opportunity has been pivotal in allowing her to explore her research interests in the field of music psychology. Her goals include researching the rehabilitative aspects of music at the graduate level in fall of 2014.

Melissa MacRae recently graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island with a Bachelor of Music Education. She began as a research assistant in the summer of 2012, observing the spontaneous musicking in children, under the supervision of Dr. June Countryman and Dr. Martha Gabriel. After considerable field work in elementary school playgrounds and childcare centers, she is fascinated by the essence of music in children’s play. Melissa is passionate about music education and hopes to integrate the understanding of children`s natural musicking, acquired through this research, into her own classroom pedagogy.

Maren Haynes is a current graduate student in Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research surrounds music and ritual experience with a focus on the varieties of religious music in the United States. She expects to receive her Master's degree and begin doctoral work in 2012.

Caroline Pacheco, singer and recorder player, is currently a lecturer in music education at the Federal University of Paraiba. She holds music degrees from the Escola de Música e Belas Artes do Paraná (undergraduate and post-graduate), and Federal University of Parana (master of music). An active performer and former member of the prestigious vocal group Brasileirão with whom she recorded Chico Buarque and Edu Lobo songs. She has experience and interest in the areas of cognition in music, music education, musical development and literacy acquisition of children.

Daniella Gramani, a singer, arranger, rabeca (a type of Brazilian fiddle) player and percussionist, she is currently a lecturer in popular singing at the Federal University of Paraiba. She holds music degrees from the Faculdade de Artes do Parana (undergraduate), and Federal University of Parana (master of music). She is an active performer and former member of the prestigious Mundaréu with whom she recorded three CDs and a DVD. She is also an active researcher in the fields of music, culture and education.

Angelita Broock: She has master degree at Federal University of Bahia and her doctoral thesis has recently being approved by the pos-graduate program at UFBA. She is working in the MEMUBA-PONTES research group. Since 2006 she has worked with pedagogical processes of teacher training for early childhood education at university extension projects. It has been the main focus of her research studies and academic productions. From 2008 she started to coordinate the project extension "Musicalization for babies” at UFBA. Beatriz Ilari and Angelita Broock are the organizers of the book “Music and music education”, released in 2013.

Tiago Carvalho is a doctoral Student in Ethnomusicology at Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. He holds the Master degree in Ethnomusicology from the same institution and an Undergraduate in Artes/Música at State University of Montes Claros. His research interests are urban music, popular music, and music and youth culture.


Natalie Sullivan is a research assistant at UPEI with Dr. June Countryman and Dr. Martha Gabriel. She is entering her final year of the B. Mus. degree (Vocal performance) at UPEI, and is also completing a second major in Psychology.


Christopher Roberts is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington, with an interest in world music pedagogy, children’s musical cultures, and the development of children’s musical skills and interests. An elementary music educator for 15 years, he has taught undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, and the University of Idaho. His publications have been included in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Children’s Musical Cultures, Alternative Approaches to Music Education (3rd ed.) (2011) and Multicultural Perspectives in Music Education (2011). Roberts serves as the Northwest Representative for the Council for General Music.

Lily Chen-Hafteck, holds a doctorate in music education from University of Reading, U.K. She is currently Associate Professor at Kean University, USA and has held teaching and research positions at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, University of Surrey Roehampton, U.K. and Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on the topics of music and language in early childhood, children’s singing and multicultural music education. She has served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Music Education, Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education and Music Education Research International, and has held positions of the International Society for Music Education as member of its Board of Directors, chair of its Young Professionals Focus Group and Early Childhood Commission. She frequently presents papers and workshops internationally. In 2008, she was the keynote speaker at the International Conference on Children’s Arts Education, held in Nanjing, China. She is the founder and director of the Educating the Creative Mind project that advocates arts-based education for children.

Sandra Cornaz is a third year bi-national (France-Italy) Ph. D. candidate with Gipsa-Lab in Grenoble and LFSAG in Turin. Her research study deals with phonetics, Singing-Voice and Acquisition of French as a Second Language. This argument is being developed jointly with Nathalie Vallée (CR1-CNRS), Nathalie Henrich (CR1-CNRS) and Antonio Romano (CR). She is responsible for courses in infant language development, phonetics and general linguistics in the Sciences of Languages Department at the University of Grenoble, Campus 3 (France). She is also a teacher of French as a Second/Foreign Language since 2003 and has worked in Botswana, China, Germany, Italy and France in differing working contexts; she was responsible for the teaching of phonetics for both learners and teachers. To that end, she used French songs and the singing-voice to enhance perception and production. 

Henrietta Lempert received an honours B.A. degree in psychology and a Master's in clinical psychology from McGill University, followed by a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Queen's University and fellowship in neuropsychology with Dr. Marcel Kinsbourne. She currently directs the Language and Cognition Lab in the Psychology Department at University of Toronto where she teaches a course in the Research Opportunity Program. She has published extensively in first language acquisition and currently is focusing on putative age constraints on second language grammars.


Assunta Ferrante, a linguistics major at U of T, completed her B.Sc. studies in 2012 and will enter Speech and Language Pathology.



Ju Hee Lim obtained her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience June 2013 and will be entering Dentistry in an American University in fall. She completed vocal training in South Korea and is an accomplished vocalist.



Rachel Williams completed Health Sciences at U of T this summer and is planning a career in medicine.



Natalie Kwok, a neuroscience specialist at U of T, had a Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate for Grade 8 Piano First Class Honours.


Dr. Benjamin Bolden, music educator and composer, is an assistant professor of music education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His research interests include the teaching and learning of composing, community music making and learning, Web 2.0 technologies as educational tools, and arts-informed research methodologies. Ben holds a Ph. D. in music education from the University of Toronto, a MMus in composition from the University of British Columbia, a BEd from OISE/UT, and a BMus from Carleton University. As a teacher, Ben has worked with pre-school, elementary, secondary, and university students in Canada, England, and Taiwan. In addition, Ben is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre. His works have been performed by a broad variety of professional and amateur performing ensembles. Ben is also editor of the Canadian Music Educator, official journal of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association/L’Association canadienne des musiciens éducateurs.

Larry O' Farrell is Professor and holder of the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning, Faculty of Education, Queen's University, Canada. Larry served two terms as President of the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association (IDEA). He is currently Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Network for Arts and Learning and a member of the advisory board of the World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE). As a member of the international advisory committee and General Rapporteur for the 2nd UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education (Seoul, Korea, 2010) he was instrumental in preparing The Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education. His research includes participation in international studies on creativity in drama/theatre and arts education, singing, and monitoring the Seoul Agenda. Larry is Honorary Professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. In 2011 he received the Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.

Rena Sharon is Professor of Collaborative Piano Studies at the University of British Columbia. Born in Montreal, her undergraduate and graduate training were at Indiana University. An internationally-renowned chamber musician, she is also the Artistic Director of the Vancouver International Song Institute ( In the 6 years since its inception, VISI has acquired a reputation as the leading edge of innovation and groundbreaking approaches to study, interpretation, and performance practice for scholars and artists in the realm of Art Song. Among VISI’s diverse paths of training and research, the establishment of SONGFIRE Theatre is the world’s first professional and apprentice program in Art Song Theatre - a multi-media genre developed by Sharon at UBC since 1995 that is defining a wide new field of usage for the global archive of Art Song. Sharon’s interdisciplinary spectrum of interests led to her appointment as a 2011 Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Her research on the cognition of Art Song by its performers and audience is in collaboration with Drs. Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson, Laurel Fais and their research team; the realization of works for SONGFIRE Theatre are in collaboration with Dr. Gayle Shay and many directors, writers, and performers.

Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson was born in Washington, D.C. in 1952. He received a Bachelor's degree in philosophy and physics from St. John's College, Maryland, in 1974, a certificate in ethnographic film making in 1976, and an M.A. in Linguistics from Indiana University in 1978. From 1982-1987 he was an NIH pre-doctoral fellow at Haskins Laboratories (Connecticut) investigating "the organization and control of speech production". After receiving a Ph. D. in Linguistics from Indiana University in 1987 he was appointed Staff Scientist at Haskins Labs (New Haven, CT). From 1990-2003 he was at Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) International in Japan. During this time, he and his collaborators examined the production and perception of multimodal communication in complex environments, especially spoken language processing. From 2000-2003, he headed the Communication Dynamics Project (Department 2 of the ATR Human Information Science Lab). In 2003, Vatikiotis-Bateson accepted a Canada Research Chair in Linguistics and Cognitive Science and became the first Director of the Cognitive Systems Program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Since coming to Canada, his research has increasingly focused on spatial and temporal coordination within and between individuals during communicative performance of music and language.

Gayle Shay, (DMA, University of Colorado) mezzo soprano, has performed throughout the United States and Canada in musical theater, opera and oratorio including productions with the Washington (DC) Opera, the Maryland Handel Festival, the Des Moines Metro Opera Guild, OpenStage Theater (Fort Collins, CO), Colorado Lyric Theater and Nautilus New Music Theatre Company (Minneapolis). Her professional stage direction and production credits include those with Wolf Trapp Opera, Maryland Opera Studio, Opera/Omaha, Des Moines Drama Workshop, Dorian Opera Theatre, Colorado Children’s Opera Theatre, New England Light Opera, and Nashville Opera. She has worked with composers John Harbison and Jake Heggie. Dr. Shaye is an Associate Professor of Voice at Vanderbilt University where she also serves as the Director of the Vanderbilt Opera Theatre. She has been a Co-Director of SONGFIRE Theatre since its inception in 2010.


Laurel Fais (Ph.D., Linguistics, Indiana University) is currently with the departments of Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of British Columbia. She has conducted research on the effects of social interaction on infant language acquisition and on the optical flow measurement of movement of infants engaged in language studies at UBC. In addition, she has analyzed conversational pragmatics and language use in multimodal interfaces in machine translation (NTT and ATR, Japan), and on the written language skills of adolescent dyslexics (The Forman School, CT, USA). She has created the qualitative surveys for Art Song Cognition audience research for the 2011-12 project.


Lisa A. Crawford is an experienced K-12 music educator nearing completion of her doctoral studies in music education at University of Southern California. She holds a Bachelor of Music, Composition, Master of Music, Music Education, and Master of Education, Curriculum & Instruction. Her research interests include composing in pre-service teaching and K-12 classrooms, singing and cognition of musical experience, and leadership and evaluation frameworks in music teaching and learning. She has been published in International Journal of Music Education and is affiliated with the Canadian research initiative, Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing.

Jennifer Hutchison is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in music education at Western University where she also holds a Master of Music. She has been a vocal and instrumental secondary school music teacher with the District School Board of Niagara for the past 10 years. Jennifer’s research focuses on musical engagement across generations using alternative forms of music education programs. This interest has led to her involvement as a research assistant in the Musical Futures Canada program and in the AIRS 3.2 intergenerational singing program. In addition to her studies, Jennifer currently acts as the chair for the SOGS Academic Committee. She is the teacher co-ordinator for Brio, a London-based project promoting music and social outreach, the 2012-2013 conductor of the UWO choir, and the conducting assistant for the Treble Training Choir for the Amabile Boys and Men’s Choirs of London, Canada. At the University of Western Ontario, Jennifer was honoured with the Don Wright Scholarship for Vocal Music, the Wesanne McKellar Award for Instrumental Conducting, the George Proctor Memorial Award for an outstanding literary contribution to musical scholarship in Canadian music, the Kenneth Bray National Undergraduate Essay Competition and the University Gold Medal for Music Education.

Dr. Carol Beynon is Associate Vice Provost of the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, former Acting Dean of the Faculty of Education, and Associate Professor in Music Education at the University of Western Ontario. She is the founding co-artistic director of the renowned and award-winning Amabile Boys and Men's Choirs of London, Canada. She was an elementary and secondary school teacher for several years in London prior to becoming a faculty member at the University of Western Ontario. Carol’s research focuses on teacher development, teacher identity, and gender issues in music education; she is author of the book Learning to Teach (2001) and co-editor of Critical Perspectives in Canadian Music Education (2012) with Kari Veblen. She also has numerous scholarly articles in several peer reviewed journals. She has received several awards for outstanding teaching from the University Student Council and in 2007 was named the Woman of Excellence in Arts, Culture and Heritage in London, Ontario and community. In the fall of 2010, Carol was inducted into the Wall of Fame at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario.

Rachel Heydon, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Western University, Canada, studies curricula related to early childhood education, multimodal literacy (with a focus on the arts), and intergenerational learning. She is part of a team that is designing, implementing, and studying intergenerational curricula that focuses on wellbeing through engagement with singing and other multimodal literacies. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Learning at the Ends of Life: Children, Elders, Literacies, and Intergenerational Curricula (UTP).

Susan O’Neill is an Associate Professor in Arts Education in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University in Canada. She is Director of Multimedia Opportunities and Diversity in Artistic Learning Research (, Research for Youth, Music and Education ( and the Arts Matter Learning Projects. She has been awarded visiting fellowships at the University of Michigan, USA (2001-03) and the University of Melbourne, Australia (2012). She is Research Commissioner for the International Society for Music Education (ISME) and Senior Editor of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association (CMEA) Biennial Book Series,Research to Practice. She has published widely in the fields of music psychology, youth development, and arts education.

Jean Emmerson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Saskatchewan, Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education. Her supervisor is Dr. Jennifer Nicol, AIRS Research Team Leader, Singing and Health. She has taught elementary, secondary, college and university students in Toronto, Vancouver, and Saskatoon over the past 20 years. She has also sung in choirs, performed in musicals, and played in a variety of bands. She has degrees in Music (BFA, York University), Education (BEd, University of Toronto), and Counselling Psychology (MA, Adler School of Professional Psychology, Chicago).

Dr. Jennifer J. Nicol (PhD, MA, BMT, BMus) is an Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. She is also an Accredited Music Therapist and Registered Doctoral Psychologist. Her research focuses on the benefits of music, especially therapeutic benefits easily accessed and available for use in everyday life. Dr. Nicol is a co-investigator and team leader (Singing and Health) in the AIRS project. She can be reached at 306-966-5261 or by email at

Merrill Tanner is a registered speech language pathologist (SLP) and a singer (Bachelor and Master of Music in Voice Performance). She works part time as an SLP at the Glenrose Hospital with stroke and voice outpatients, teaches singing privately, performs in a duo with classical guitarist Ernst Birss and leads a singing group for people with Parkinson’s disease in the community. Merrill has just completed a Ph.D. to showing the value of “singing voice therapy” for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes is Practice Advisor/Senior Music Therapist at Baycrest Centre in Toronto, working with clients in the hospital and nursing home and supervising internship placements. At present she is also a sessional instructor at the University of Windsor in the Music Therapy program. Amy is President of the Canadian Association of Music Therapy, and Clinical Commissioner for the World Federation of Music Therapy. She owns and operates Notes By Amy: Music therapy and performing arts services. Amy obtained her Masters and Doctoral Degrees from the University of Toronto. Her work has been presented throughout the world at numerous conferences including: the World Federation of Music Therapy, European Music Therapy Congress, American Music Therapy Association, Canadian Association for Music Therapy, Ontario Gerontology Association Conference, International Symposium on music therapy in supportive cancer care, and the International Congress on Palliative Care. Her scholarly writings have been published in the Canadian Journal of Music Therapy, Canadian Music Educator's Journal, and the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Amy is also a singer, recording artist, vocal instructor and performing artist. She recently became a co-investigator in the AIRS project and is working on research with older adults.


Carina Daugherty is a Master’s student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She graduated last summer (2011) with a Bachelor of Arts, highest honors, in Psychology with a minor in Law and Music. Carina’s interests include singing and health. She has completed her honors thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Mary Gick, on choral singing and senior residents with dementia in a long-term care facility. Carina was enrolled in music lessons at a young age. Although she plays several different instruments, singing, piano, and guitar are her main interests. Currently she enjoys teaching music to a variety of ages, including young children and seniors. She is also actively involved in a variety of bands, performing music in the Ottawa area.


Mary Gick received a B.Sc. in psychology (1975, McGill) and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology (1981, Michigan). She joined Carleton University in Ottawa Ontario in 1985 and conducted cognitive research (publications include articles in Cognitive Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology) until her sabbatical in 1992, when she began studying health psychology with the late David McClelland (Boston University), and at the Cambridge Hospital Behavioral Medicine Program (affiliated with Harvard Medical School). She currently teaches health psychology and the community practicum at Carleton. Her long-standing health interests in individual differences (e.g., attachment style) associated with health, coping with medical problems, and seeking treatment for them have led to articles published in such journals as Rehabilitation Psychology and Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Her more recent interests are using a health framework to study environmental behavior; and singing, health and well-being. She has had an active folk music avocation since her teenage years. She taught clawhammer banjo at the Ottawa Folklore Centre from 2003-2007, plays regularly at sessions, and occasionally performs and appears on professional recordings, including the Juno-nominated Michael Jerome Browne and the Twin Rivers String Band. Mary is a Co-Investigator of AIRS and was the Health and Well-being Steering Committee Theme Leader during 2009-10 and returned to that role in 2011.


Marya Stonehouse (B.A., Psychology) is a second year graduate student in the University of Saskatchewan's Masters of School and Counselling Psychology program. She is enjoying her involvement with AIRS, likes working with exceptional children and youth, and is a musician (voice, French horn and piano).



Katie McCaw (B.A.) is a first year graduate student in the University of Saskatchewan's Masters of School and Counselling Psychology program. She appreciates her involvement with AIRS, is pursuing an innovative thesis on arts-based knowledge dissemination, and is a dancer.


Laurel Young [PhD (Music Therapy), Temple University (2011); Master of Music Therapy (MMT) and Bachelor of Music Therapy(BMT), Wilfrid Laurier University (2003; 1994); Bachelor of Music (BMus; piano), Mount Allison University (1990)] is an accredited music therapist (MTA) and a certified practitioner in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. Prior to joining the Creative Arts Therapies Department at Concordia University, she was the first Professional Leader of Creative Arts Therapies at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (Toronto). She has taught in the music therapy programs at Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo) and Temple University (Philadelphia), and received awards from both institutions for her outstanding contributions to the field of music therapy. She has over 18 years of clinical experience in various areas including geriatrics/dementia, cancer, HIV, palliative care, community mental health, and developmental disabilities. Dr. Young has presented internationally and has published in several peer reviewed journals. For the past two years, she has served as Editor-in-Chief for Barcelona Publishers Qualitative Inquiries in Music Therapy Monograph Series. Current research interests include developing valid assessment tools, the impact of singing and sound environments on health, and understanding clients' perspectives on their music therapy experiences. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund, is a past Vice President of the Canadian Association for Music Therapy, and is Leader of the AIRS Sub-theme 3.3 Singing and Well-Being (physical and mental health).


Tiana Malone holds a MMus in Vocal Performance from Université de Montréal and is currently completing her training as a Music Therapist at Concordia University. She has been involved in theatre and music within her community and on the professional stage for over 20 years, and has worked with organizations such as the National Theatre School of Canada and Pacific Opera Victoria. In 2008, she was the winner of the Bea Scott Memorial Vocal Scholarship, and also received top prize for French Art Song of the Victoria Performing Arts Festival. Tiana has taught voice, piano and music theory for nine years in the Lower Mainland, around Vancouver Island and in Montreal, and has given many choral and vocal workshops. She was a music theatre instructor and vocal coach for four years at Eaglearts Music and Arts Camp, and was a member of Pacific Opera Victoria’s Young Artist Program. Her current interests include the therapeutic applications of singing and musical performance with a variety of clinical populations.


Chrystèle Chovelon and Nadia Jauneau-Cury are both singing teachers at the music and dance conservatory of Grenoble, professional lyrical singers and co-presidents of Temps Relatif, an association for young singers’ formation and promotion.

Utpola Borah is an ethno-musicologist, educator, cultural archivist and vocalist. Utpola has conducted an extensive study on “Bihu” songs of Assam which has found expression in her book, Bihu Festival of Assam—Music, Dance & Performance published by B.R. Rhythms, Delhi. Utpola has worked as a Course Writer, Content editor and Expert for the PG Diploma in Folklore and Cultural Studies in the School of Interdisciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Studies at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi. She has presented lectures and given demonstrations at international and national seminars and conferences. Utpola is an eminent Hindustani (North Indian) Classical vocalist. She has been trained extensively in the traditional "Gurukul" system under Gaanaprabha Dr. Prabha Atre, Vidushi Malashri Prasad and Pandit Indralal Dhanda of the Kirana, Banaras and Udaipur Gharanas (traditions) respectively. Utpola is an accomplished performer and All India Radio and Doordarshan (Television) artiste.

Hans Utter is an Adjunct Professor of Music at The Ohio State University and Capital University. His research focuses on the traditional methods of teaching and learning music in India, music perception and cognition, and the role of the government in arts policy. Hans is an accomplished sitarist, and has performed widely throughout the world. He has conducted extensive research in India and Central Asia, which has been published in journals articles and book chapters. He is currently completing his second book. He holds a an M.A. and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from The Ohio State University.

Alda Oliveira: Her background is music education, piano performance, music composition and music improvisation for dance choreographies. She has worked many years both as an undergraduate teacher and as a supervising professor at the post-graduate program for the education of music teachers. Her PhD dissertation at The University of Texas at Austin (USA) analyses traditional songs from Bahia, Brazil (play, religious, dance and work songs), focusing on the frequency of occurrence of the music elements in the sample of songs, using hand and computer techniques. Results may help curriculum and classroom plans development. Based on these results and on her personal teaching experiences, combined with the related work of various recognized authors, she has developed an approach which she calls PONTES to deal with the different teaching/learning situations. It calls the attention of the music teacher for the need to develop articulatory creative actions, especially related to the following items: Positivity, Observation, Naturalness, Technique, Expression and Sensitivity. Right now, she has produced eight different graduate studies that used this knowledge as main reference, dealing with different topics (instrumental teaching, informal education, musicalization, evaluation in music, music appreciation, teacher education, choral and the creation and development of musicals in schools). She coordinates a research group at the Federal University of Bahia called MEMUBA-PONTES, which deals with the theme “Pedagogic Articulations in Music Education”. She is currently living in Boston and working as Visiting Scholar (2013-2014) at Eliot-Pearson Child Development Department at Tufts University (USA).

Felix Neto earned a Ph. D. in Normal and Abnormal Anthropology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales/Paris V (France) in 1980 and a Ph. D. in Social Psychology from the Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação (Universidade do Porto) in 1985. Agregated Professor in Psychology at University of Coimbra in 1990. He is actually a "professor catedrático" of psychology in the Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação at the University of Porto, Portugal (since 1993). He was also the coordinator of the Master on "Cross-Cultural Relations" at Universidade Aberta (1996-2006). He was the director of the Cognition and Emotion from FCT (1994-2002). He was regional representative for Europe from International Association for Cross- Cultural Psychology (1992-1994). He was vice-president of Sociedade Portuguesa de Psicologia (1997-2002). His research interests include social psychology and cross-cultural psychology (especially, migration, mental health, and forgiveness). Author of 18 books and over 200 scientific articles.


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