Research Hub


The Voice Study Centre is a vibrant research hub in which staff and students are research active.

Our Research Hub consists of four Special Interest Groups (SIG). In these groups staff, students and external colleagues meet as one research community discussing recent research, critiquing papers and debate contentious questions.

The Research Hub meets regularly and you are welcome to come to a meeting either as an interested colleague or as a prospective student. Please email

Dr Motje Wolf

Dr Motje Wolf was awarded a PhD in Music Education from De Montfort University Leicester (UK) and an MA from the University of Leipzig (Germany) in Musicology and Dramatics. Her research focuses on vocal pedagogy, epistemology and pedagogic knowledge exchange.

Debbie Winter

Debbie Winter (LLB Hons, MA) is the founder, director, and academic lead of Voice Study Centre.
Specialising in qualitative research methods, Debbie has authored two articles published in peer-reviewed journals and is on the Editorial Board of VSR, published by Routledge. Debbie is currently studying for a Ph.D. at De Monfort University.


Special Interest Groups

How to teach singing is a question discussed for centuries. However, while many singing treatises were published throughout the last centuries, only now we are seeing a vivid academic debate that is based in science and research. This SIG aims to foster this debate through the exchange of ideas, critique of current research, entering the public debate through conferences and symposia, and publishing new research on Vocal Pedagogy.


Dr Motje Wolf, Director of Research and Leader of SIG Vocal Pedagogy

International Partners

Prof Dr Helmut Schaumberger, Gustav Mahler Privatuniversität Klagenfurt, Austria

Dr Sanna Salminen, Jyväskylä University, Finland

Prof Dr Johann van der Sandt, University of Bolzano, Italy

Current Projects:

MOVE – Models of Vocal Education (LINK to page with description)

Music MESHguides – Vocal Pedagogy (LINK to page with description)


Recent Publications

Wolf, M. (2020) Concepts, Models and Methods in Vocal Pedagogy with Children, in: Johannes van der Sandt (Ed) Singing With Children.

Wolf, M. et al (2020) The Status of Singing in the National School Curricula of Austria, England, Italy and South Tyrol (Italy) in: Johannes van der Sandt (Ed) Singing With Children. Accepted.

Wolf, M. (2020) Schulchöre in England eine Herausforderung für die Musikpädagogik [School Choirs a challenge for music education]. In Tagungsband 1. Symposium Sächsische Schulchöre. Symposium der Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden und des Sächsischen Musikrates in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Netzwerk Musikalische Nachwuchsförderung und in Kooperation mit dem Landesamt für Schule und Bildung. Pp. 520 ́ß61. Available from: https://www.schulchor-

Recent Conference Presentations

The Effect of Covid-19 Lockdowns on Performer Identities of Professional Singers in the UK, at Research Symposium Singing, Wellbeing and Social Inclusion, De Montfort University Leicester and Voice Study Centre, 24/09/2021.

The Changing Knowledge of A Changing Profession, as part of the Symposium ‘Singing is what we do (together) – redefining “together”, with Sam Whelan at 28th EAS and 8th ISME European Regional Conference, 24-27 March 2021, Freiburg, Germany.

Mapping Educational Specialist knowHow (MESH): connecting researchers and teachers to share research knowledge worldwide on music education, with Prof Gabriele Schellberg, Dr Hermione Ruck-Keene and Nikki Booth, at 28th EAS and 8th ISME European Regional Conference, 24-27 March 2021, Freiburg, Germany.

Singing in Music Education – Reading Session, with Helmut Schaumberger, Johann van der Sandt and Sanna Salminen, at 28th EAS and 8th ISME European Regional Conference, 24-27 March 2021, Freiburg, Germany.

Models Of Vocal Education (MOVE)

This project investigates models of vocal pedagogy aiming to understand the current knowledge and the acquisition of knowledge of singing teachers better. The project follows two strands: Historical Models of Vocal Education and Contemporary Models of Vocal Education.

In the historical part, historic singing treatises are analysed in order to understand the knowledge of singing at the time. In the contemporary part, current knowledge of singing teachers is mapped. The project, further, aims to make recent research knowledge accessible to singing teachers, in order to foster an evidence-based teaching approach throughout the profession. This is in close collaboration with the MESHguide project:

Contact: Dr Motje Wolf,

Music MESHguides – Vocal Pedagogy

MESHguide stands for Mapping Educational Specialist Know How. MESHguides are flowcharts that contain research results for teachers in an open access and easy to understand format. The project aims to provide research summaries for teachers to help build and sustain evidence-based teaching in the profession. We are adding to the Vocal Pedagogy Strand of the MESHguides by writing MESHguides and therefore supporting our own profession.

Contact: Dr Motje Wolf, Editor in Chief of Music MESHguides,

The Singing for Health and Wellbeing research group aims to foster a sense of a collective movement towards building singing for health literature and to building practice underpinned by evidence and strong theoretical frameworks. It will explore current trends and themes in Singing for Health research along with the limitations and gaps. Researchers, no matter if staff or students, will have opportunities to share their research ideas in a collaborative and supportive group and to identify common areas of interest with other students.


Emily Foulkes, Leader of SIG Singing for Health and Wellbeing


Singing for Health Network –

Voice Pedagogy Online Research Symposium: Singing, Wellbeing and Social Inclusion 2021

The Voice Study Centre and De Montfort University’s Mary Seacole Research Centre hosted this online symposium on Singing, Wellbeing and Social Inclusion on 24 September 2021.

This video shows the symposium in full, and includes the following presentations:

Prof Johann van der Sandt, University of Bozen/Bolzano, Italy – Musical Habits and Wellbeing of adolescent choir singers in Italy, Austria and Finland during Covid-19 Lockdowns

Dr Sanna Salminen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland- Benefits of Singing reflected in the conceptual framework of social inclusion

Celi Barberia, Sing Up Foundation, UK – Sing Up: Children and Young People and the benefits of singing

Emily Foulkes, Singing for Health Network and Voice Study Centre, UK – Singing for Health

Dr Motje Wolf, De Montfort University and Voice Study Centre, UK – The Effect of Covid-19 Lockdowns on Performer Identities of Professional Singers in the UK

Call For Abstracts – Singing For Health Research Conference: ‘Insights And Innovations’

This prestigious online conference is a partnership between the Voice Study Centre, the Singing for Health Network, Royal College of Music, York St John University, University of Limerick and University College London.

Early Career Researcher (ECRs), Practitioner Researchers and Postgraduate students are invited to submit an abstract to present their work at this online conference.

Researchers are invited to submit an abstract application to have an opportunity to present research alongside these esteemed speakers. We have six slots available and applications will be scored anonymously.

The conference will conclude with a lively panel discussion with the key speakers who will be joined by Dr Hilary Moss (University of Limerick). This will be chaired by Thomas Kador (Senior Lecturer in Creative Health at UCL). Panellists will be sharing their views on the opportunities and challenges faced in Singing for Health research for the future.

Please click here for submission guidelines.

This research group investigates aspects of vocal health. This may be in relation to the singing classroom, professional voice users, speech and language therapy, head and neck cancer, manual therapy, looking after the voice and the potential ethical quandary that may arise from working in this field.

The group aims are:

•    to offer a platform for new researchers to participate in a research exchange with other likeminded practitioners

•    to develop research skills, such as summarising your own research

•    to engage in useful discussion relating to research shared by peers

•    to encourage, engage and inspire group members

•    to present work within an informal and supportive setting

Current projects include…

Singing and Allergies

Ethical Considerations for Teaching Singing and Caring for Voices


Kate Cubley, Leader of SIG Vocal Health

Staying In Lane: Exploring The Boundary Line Between Teaching Singing And Therapeutic Practice – December 2021

This open-access symposium explored the ethical codes of teaching singing and engaging in therapeutic practice. It formed the first of a series of symposia examining the tensions between teaching/coaching and therapy. With a focus on vocal health and hearing, this conference evaluated the ethical issues faced regularly by the singing profession.

This special interest group investigates aspects of music performance anxiety (MPA) in both professional singers and singing students.  With a particular interest in Acceptance Commitment Coaching (ACC) and coaching in general it aims to look at improving awareness among teachers and performers and examines some of the latest strategies in development for dealing with MPA.


Teresa Shaw, Head of Research Group


Shaw, T. A., Juncos, D. G., & Winter, D. (2020). Piloting a New Model for Treating Music Performance Anxiety: Training a Singing Teacher to Use Acceptance and Commitment Coaching With a Student. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(Article 882), 1-14. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00882

Research Repository

Research Repository

Description of Repository…




Get Involved

We are an open and vibrant community of researchers looking to connect to other researchers in voice studies . We are open to collaborations with other researchers and institutions. We particularly enjoy discussing anything vocal from various standpoints, so no matter if you are from ‘the field’ or from adjoining fields – do get in touch.

Ways to get involved:

Email Motje:

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