December 2013 - News!


Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops

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



  • Dr. Karen Ludke joins AIRS as a postdoctoral fellow

Working with Tom Germaine on the AIRS Digital Library, along with t

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

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

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

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



Other News

  • Interstitial Lung Disease singing group in Edmonton moves ahead

On Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis awareness day November 20, 2013 at the Alberta Legislature building in Edmonton, the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation announced its support for the (AIRS inspired) Interstitial Lung Disease singing group project spear-headed by AIRS collaborator Dr. Janice Richman-Eisenstat with Dr. Meena Kalluri (both are specialists in Pulmonary Medicine) and Merrill Tanner (who recently obtained her doctorate in Speech Pathology in Edmonton and has been working with a choir for persons with Parkinson's disease). Janice tells us there are additional  irons in the fire. Stay tuned. Congratulations to the AIRS Edmonton team.



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