For more than 10 years, Isabelle Cossette has been studying respiratory mechanics of musicians. Her multidisciplinary training in flute performance (Premier Prix, Conservatoire, M.Mus., McGill, D.Mus., Université de Montréal) and in respiratory physiology (Meakins-Christie laboratories, McGill) has brought her to do postdoctoral studies at the National Voice Centre, Sydney, Australia, and at la Politecnico di Milano. With her collaborators from la Politecnico di Milano, she first used an optoelectronic plethysmograph (infrared cameras filming reflectors used for movement and breathing analysis) and determined its suitability for the studies on wind instrumentalists´ breathing as well as starting to work on the creation of a new pedagogical approach on teaching breathing to musicians.
The results of her multidisciplinary research, which will be useful to music educators, encompass knowledge from many fields (musical performance, respiratory mechanics, biomechanics, acoustics, perception and music education). With a SSHRC grant, she has established an international network of collaborators in both the musical and scientific fields that will contribute to the foundation of this area of research in Montreal. She has recently been awarded a CFI New Opportunity grant in order to establish a respiratory laboratory at the Faculty of Music including an optoelectronic plethysmograph which will allow breakthrough respiratory measurements and studies on musicians’ breathing that have not yet been done because of the lack of technology.
As an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Music since September 2003, most of her teaching has included both the musical and scientific aspects of her research.