Susan O’Neill is new Theme Leader for AIRS

Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing

Susan O’Neill is the new Theme Three Leader (Impacts of Singing on Health and Wellbeing) and member of the Steering Committee of AIRS (Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing) funded by a Major Collaborative Research Initiative by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada from 2009-2016. The project is directed by Dr. Annabel Cohen of the University of Prince Edward Island. The project brings together researchers from 16 countries to address questions about how singing develops in every human being, how singing is to be taught and used to teach, and how singing impacts well-being. AIRS researchers are addressing these issues from the perspective of what is universal to all people, what is dependent on cultural circumstances, and what is unique to each individual. For further information visit:

Theme Three of AIRS involves over 20 researchers from around the world in exploring:

  • 3.1 Cross-cultural Understanding – Can singing improve cultural understanding as a kind of well-being, and if so, how?
  • 3.2 Intergenerational Understanding – Can singing improve intergenerational understanding, and can intergenerational singing activities improve well-being, and if so, how?
  • 3.3 Singing and Health Benefits – What are the direct benefits of singing to mental and physical health and how do they arise?

MODAL Research Group Doctoral Candidate Jim Sparks is also a member of AIRS Theme 3. He is working on research in 3.1 on Engaging cultural understanding through singing: a focus on youth singing expression.


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