From the practice room to the opera stage

Research project

The project includes four focal scientific considerations of university vocal training or the underlying vocal pedagogical frameworks.

Project management
Christian T. Herbst, Antonio Salieri, Institute for Voice and Voice Research in Music Education, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

Josipa Bainac Hausknecht, Kristen Murdaugh

Funding body
Province of Salzburg Duration
15.02.2020 until 28.12.2023


In this cooperation project between the mdw and the University Mozarteum Salzburg, funded by the province of Salzburg, biosignals are being used to investigate whether there is a difference between singing in a rehearsal and a performance situation.

Stage singing is a high-performance sport, with considerable vocal-health strain for professional singers. Similar to athletes, correspondingly optimised (fine) motor processes in the vocal apparatus must therefore already be established during training. It is therefore the aim of this innovative research project to document the singing of professional singers in the performance situation "live" on stage. In particular, it will be examined to what extent different spaces (practice room vs. concert hall) or the presence of an audience influence singing in a real performance situation.

The project includes scientific observations of university singing training and the underlying framework of singing pedagogy.

  • Part I, entitled "In-Person or Virtual? - Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on the Teaching Habits of Voice Pedagogues", we examined how voice pedagogues around the world dealt with the crisis situation emerging in the spring and early summer of 2020 and the changed conditions of teaching.
  • Part II, entitled "Voice Evaluation Terms", aims to catalogue the terms used by English-speaking academic institutions worldwide for the qualitative evaluation of the singing voice and has the potential to contribute to a worldwide standardisation of curricula and training criteria in singing.
  • Part III, entitled "Singing Voice Maps", will produce and analyse basic data on the vocal performance and vocal strain of voice students during their training, which is still lacking.
  • Part IV, entitled "The influence of voice production on the perception of the singing voice", investigates the causal effect of certain pedagogical and vocal technical adaptations of the vocal apparatus on the perceived sound quality.