November 2014 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops     view all upcoming

  • Journal of Youth Studies conference, March 30th – April 1st 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference theme is ‘Contemporary Youth, Contemporary Risks’, and the conference welcomes all with an interest in studying youth, regardless of discipline.  LINK

  • 23rd European Association for Music in Schools (EAS) Conference, March 25-28, 2015, Rostock, Germany.  LINK

  • The Workshop on Infant Language Development (WILD) 2015, June 10-12, Stockholm, Sweden.   LINK

  • International Symposium in Learning and Teaching Music in the Twenty-First Century: The Contribution of Science and Technology (LTM21/AEM21), November 5 – 7, 2015, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, and Department of Music, Université du Québec à Montréal, Québec, Canada  LINK 

  • Conference on Auditory Development (spanning cellular/molecular to behavioral levels), Aug. 14 and 15, University of Washington, Seattle.  Contact Dan Sanes,, for more information

  • International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS) 2-5 September 2015 will be hosted by Ryukoku University, Kyoto. This conference is intended to provide a platform for new research and discussion on processes of learning, training and review that enable effective performance. Specific research topics, fields of study, and methodological approaches have been left open intentionally to encourage interdisciplinary exchange.   LINK

AIRS News  

  • Virtual voice lends itself to all kinds of music games, written or improvised, from the accompanying chorus to complex polyphony, through the solo voice singing in the style of North India, baroque Opera or contemporary music.  Chorus Digitalis is the first choir in the world composed of synthetic voices controlled in real time by graphic tablet. The synthetic voice instrument is called Cantor Digitalis. Resulting from research on the gestural control of voice synthesis initiated in 2005 by Christophe d'Alessandro, Chorus Digitalis has performed for the first time in March 2011 in Vancouver with its designers, Sylvain Le Beux, Boris Doval, Lionel Feugère and Christophe d'Alessandro. The current project is led by Lionel Feugère and Olivier Perrotin. LINK

Cantor Digitalis Performative Singing Synthesis is an open-source software governed by the CeCILL license. For Mac OS X version 10.6 or above, the software requires the use of a computer and a graphic tablet with a stylus and a tactile function.  LINK

Recent Publications

  • Sing-a-long DVD and activity package pilot study with older adults, Clements-Cortés, Amy, Journal of Music, Technology & Education, Volume 7, Number 2, 1 October 2014.  LINK

This study investigated the utilization of an original sing-a-long DVD and activity package titled ‘Sing-A-Long of the 1930s’ to engage older adults’ participation in singing and therapeutic recreation activities. Participants (n=693) included a combination of persons residing and/or working at 25 long-term care facilities, retirement homes and adult day care centres across Canada engaging in a DVD sing-a-long and activity programme for five weeks. Following this experience, participants were individually interviewed or took part in one of 25 focus groups. The results focused on participant, caregiver and DVD facilitator’s perceived benefits and indicate the DVD was successful in engaging older adults with cognitive impairment in singing, social interaction and discussion, participation in meaningful activity, reminiscence, sensory stimulation, and quality of life in aging. 

  • It’s All about Confidence and How You Perceive Yourself”: Musical Perceptions of Older Adults Involved in an Intergenerational Singing Program, Jennifer Hutchison, Carol Beynon, The University of Western Ontario, Canada, September, 2014, (pdf) LINK

This study explores and identifies the perceptions of older adults involved in an intergenerational singing curriculum that brought a group of 20 seniors together with a Grade 2 class of children in one small Ontario community. During six, one-hour sessions, the seniors and children experienced a carefully-designed curriculum that explored songs across various themes that served as a vehicle in fostering dialogue, musical discourse and shared learning among the participants. At the conclusion of the program, interviews were conducted, and seniors, children, and administrators were encouraged to share their personal musical narratives and background, in addition to their experiences from and about this program.

  • Singing ability is rooted in vocal-motor control of pitch, Sean Hutchins & Pauline Larrouy-Maestri & Isabelle Peretz, The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2014, DOI 10.3758/s13414-014-0732-1. LINK

TThe inability to vocally match a pitch can be caused by poor pitch perception or by poor vocal-motor control. Although previous studies have tried to examine the relationship between pitch perception and vocal production, they have failed to control for the timbre of the target to be matched. In the present study, we compare pitch-matching accuracy with an unfamiliar instrument (the slider) and with the voice, designed such that the slider plays back recordings of the participant’s own voice. We also measured pitch accuracy in singing a familiar melody (“Happy Birthday”) to assess the relationship between single-pitch-matching tasks and melodic singing. Our results showed that participants (all nonmusicians) were significantly better at matching recordings of their own voices with the slider than with their voice, indicating that vocal-motor control is an important limiting factor on singing ability.We also found significant correlations between the ability to sing a melody in tune and vocal pitch matching, but not pitch matching on the slider. Better melodic singers also tended to have higher quality voices (as measured by acoustic variables). These results provide important evidence about the role of vocal-motor control in poor singing ability and demonstrate that single-pitch-matching tasks can be useful in measuring general singing abilities.


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