Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS) (External organisation)

  • LUDKE, K. (Member)
  • Annabel J. Cohen (Director)

Activity: Membership typesMembership of network


This seven-year major collaborative research initiative aims to Advance Interdisciplinary Research in Singing through cooperation of over 70 researchers representing every province in Canada and 15 other countries on 6 continents. Aiming to understand individual, cultural, and universal influences on singing and the influences of singing on individuals and societies, the AIRS researchers focus on three themes:

Development of singing ability; (Theme 1 leader - Frank Russo, Ryerson University, Toronto)
Singing and learning - how to teach singing and how to use singing to teach; (Theme 2 leader - Helga Gudmundsdottir, University of Iceland)
Enhancement of health and well-being through singing. (Theme 3 leader - Susan O'Neill, University of Western Ontario)

These themes may be regarded respectively as defining what singing behaviours are theoretically possible given mental, physiological, and environmental constraints; what singing behaviours occur in practice, and what are societal implications of singing. Within and across these themes, researchers will share their knowledge and expertise from numerous disciplinary perspectives, including psychology, musicology, music therapy, education, sociology, anthropology, folklore, medicine, and audio and computer engineering. They will share their work audio-visually using a digital library and website, the foundations of which are already established at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in Canada.

Several common motifs integrate the collaboration: an emphasis on student training opportunities; researcher meetings supported by electronic technology fostering transfer of findings across themes; and an AIRS test battery of singing skills woven through the research themes. The research results will be disseminated through traditional academic means (peer-reviewed journals, books, conferences) and through real world activities and settings (school curricula, homes for seniors, medical interventions, performances). Such dissemination will provide a foundation for decision making in education, health, culture, immigration, and foreign policy.

The Project Director is Dr. Annabel J. Cohen, University of Prince Edward Island

Singing, like speaking, is a natural human expressive ability. Yet, in comparison to speaking, less scholarly inquiry has been directed to it. Linked to social, cultural, and biological development, singing draws on many disciplines and submits to many forms of analysis and specific explorations.

An international collaboration of more than 70 scholars is integrating new multidisciplinary knowledge about singing from the perspectives of psychology, music, linguistics, sociology, anthropology and education, assisted by computer science and audio engineering.
Period2013 → …
Held atAdvancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS), Canada
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • singing
  • research
  • Music education