Vocal invention laboratory : the impact of the practice of improvisation in the training of young singers

Person(s) in charge



Jean-Marc Daviet, Conservatoire de Musique d’Annemasse-Agglo

Elodie Lombard, Ecole Catalyse

Start date: 2022

Presentation of the project

The Vocal Invention Laboratory is an exploration of what is possible with the voice, through improvisation and composition. The starting thesis is that the practice of improvisation and composition among young singers is an essential tool for developing awareness of harmony, melody and rhythm, building a free set of vocal gestures, but also for gradually affirming an artistic and expressive personality.

The goal of the project is to target the areas of learning affected by the practice of improvisation, so as to be able to conclude whether or not this approach to the voice is effective with a panel of pupils. The research will be conducted on some young singing pupils, and is aimed at developing effective teaching material, and experimenting with and analysing its relevance to the pupils, with the support of their key teachers (regular interviews).   The invention workshops will be filmed or recorded, so that we have a precise resource available for deducing and analysing the work in progress.  The Laboratory will take place at three music schools: the Conservatoire de musique de Genève, the école Catalyse, and the Conservatoire de Musique d'Annemasse-Agglo. Our research will therefore look at vocal learning in the context of the classic aesthetic, but also that of contemporary forms of music.

In parallel to the Laboratory, the project will also flourish within the Haute École de Musique de Genève and, more specifically, the Voice Department (with the students studying for a Master’s degree in Pedagogy in particular).  The construction of the project and the results of the experiments will be shared with the students. Moreover, the pedagogical material created will be promoted via various publications and forms of media.