Event description


The potential of operatic vocal technique for people with rehabilitation needs


Since 2018, the Opéra de Montréal (OdM) has been developing programs under the themes of health, wellness, diversity and inclusion, which are enjoying growing success. In singing, our body becomes the musical instrument. Singers "play" with their breathing, the vibration of their vocal cords and the resonance of their voice. The vocal technique of opera singing in particular was born out of the need to be heard without a microphone by hundreds of people despite an orchestra, making it a model of vocal efficiency. OdM has created two exploratory programs specifically targeting populations with respiratory and vocal rehabilitation needs, free of charge and with no need for prior singing experience. For 12 sessions, participants follow group workshops led by an artist-mediator and singer, where the pleasure of singing is combined with vocal technique exercises. The online RESPIRER program is designed for people with chronic lung conditions. The program La voix harmonisée, in person, is designed for transgender women who are in the process of vocal feminization, while awaiting speech therapy services. Participants experiment with different sensations and sounds to develop ease and adequate control of their voice, in order to come closer to a voice that corresponds to their sense of themselves. Few scientific studies have been carried out to assess the changes in lung function associated with this type of workshop, and none have focused on the process of vocal feminization.

After the first editions of these programs, the OdM wished to validate them with an objective evaluation, and so contacted Prof. Anna Zumbansen of the Institute for Research in Music and Health (IRMS) at the University of Ottawa. Prof. Zumbansen identified significant potential for contributing to knowledge about the many ways in which music and song can bring well-being to populations with rehabilitation needs. The present project has been co-developed with this general objective. Its specific aim is to document the effects of the RESPIRER and La voix harmonisée programs, which will be assessed through a combination of qualitative (e.g. program satisfaction) and quantitative data. Some measures will be specific to each population, while others will be common in the psychosocial and quality-of-life domains. The results will be discussed with OdM to improve the workshops.

This partnership is intended as an innovative model of collaboration to base the development of programs like those of the OdM on directly applicable scientific research results, while generating data on the benefits of music on well-being, with significant potential benefits for the social inclusion and quality of life of populations with rehabilitation needs.

More information

Meeting ID: 972 3091 9780
Passcode: 9apK4n

This event is open to the public.

Date and time
Mar 22, 2024
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Format and location
Researchers, Students, General public
Organized by
Music and Health Research Institute