SoM Student Engages in Interdisciplinary Research on Acoustics and Voice

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Associate professor Yvonne Gonzales Redman and undergraduate student Natalia Łastowiecka collaborated with Dr. Pasquale Bottalico in Speech and Hearing Science at U of I to design a study investigating the influence of room acoustics on singers’ voice production. 

Similar research on instrumentalists suggests that musical performers may be influenced to some extent by the acoustic environment, and this study demonstrates that singers also tend to adjust their vocal production when in different spaces. 

This research is difficult for many to conduct as it requires high quality performance spaces to be available at once and therefore highlights the unique and special facilities on our campus. Singers were recorded singing the same musical selection consecutively in five different locations on campus: Smith Memorial Room, Smith Recital Hall, KCPA Great Hall, Colwell Playhouse and the Amphitheater. Voice parameters analyzed were vibrato rate, extent, and pitch inaccuracy. Vibrato extent showed significant changes to the different acoustic environments. 

This research will be presented in June 2022 at The Voice Foundation Symposium, the world's leading organization for voice science research and The Acoustics of Ancient Theatres in Verona Italy in July. 

Ms. Łastowiecka is dual major in vocal performance and speech and hearing science. She is a student of Prof. Ricardo Herrera.

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