This longitudinal study determined the effects of vocal training (VT) on respiratory kinematics and muscle activity during singing tasks. Four voice students, 3 females and 1 male, were recorded during singing tasks once a semester for 3 consecutive semesters. Respiratory kinematic measures included lung volume, rib cage (RCE) and abdominal excursions (ABE). Surface electromyographic measures included burst duration (BD) and peak amplitude (PA) of the pectoralis major, rectus abdominis and external oblique muscles. Descriptive statistics revealed that RCE and ABE increased from the 1st to the 2nd semester, but decreased from the 2nd to the 3rd semester of VT. Overall, mean BD decreased from the 1st to the 2nd semester and increased from the 2nd to the 3rd semester. Mean PA increased from the 1st to the 2nd semester and decreased from the 2nd to the 3rd semester of VT. RCE and muscle force generation of the above muscles increased as the demand level and the length of the phonatory tasks increased. Interpretation of the results suggests that the respiratory system is highly responsive to VT, after only 3 semesters of training.

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