Dr. Rollings Bigler earned a PhD in Vocal Pedagogy at The University of Kansas, a Research Level 1 University. Her program heavily emphasized voice pedagogy research and included intense work in teaching and performance with the requirement of a doctoral level recital in addition to three research studies and a dissertation. Her training included advanced study in vocology, including speech science, voice pedagogy, statistics (descriptive, ANOVA, regression, factorial/multi-variate), philosophy, research design (historical, qualitative, quantitative, philosophical), and voice science technology. Dr. Rollings Bigler also coordinated and ran the Vocology Lab at KU by maintaining and training others on equipment and software (e.g., EGG, Madde, Voce Vista, CSL, Ambulatory Phonation Monitors, Hearing Dosimeters, Praat, research microphones and preamplifiers).
Dr. Rollings Bigler believes that research must be applicable and attempt to answer difficult questions about the challenges voice teachers and singers face in the voice studio and on the stage. She has completed a series of quantitative studies on the effects of shoe heel heights on postural and acoustical measures of the female singing voice, and recently published her findings in the world’s premiere voice medicine and research journal,
Journal of Voice. She also believes in the immense value of research in historical voice pedagogy and advocates studying and learning from the generous work of the colleagues who have gone before us. In this area, she has studied past attempts at regulating the profession through certification, standards, and education for voice teachers, and recently published a portion of her historical research in this area in Voice and Speech Review.
She is excited by any opportunity to mentor undergraduate and graduate researchers in producing and publishing research of the highest quality, and trusts that voice pedagogy research will continue to grow in a valuable way if we train voice pedagogues and researchers who ask great questions based on their knowledge and experience in performance and teaching. She has been able to foster interest in voice science research among the undegraduate students at her current institution, Western Kentucky University. Dr. Rollings Bigler has been awarded three Faculty-Undergraduate Student Engagement (FUSE) grants, which allowed her to work with an undergraduate student in research design, data collection, data analysis, and research writing. She accompanied these students as they presented research at the Fall Voice Conference, the Pan-American Vocology Association (PAVA) Symposium, and the Voice Foundation Symposium.
Dr. Rollings Bigler aims to take the knowledge gained through her research and practice and apply and disseminate it through master classes and workshops with singers and teachers around the country. She was recently accepted to present two workshops at the National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference this summer. One workshop will train voice teachers in research design in voice pedagogy. The other workshop will focus on concepts for teaching musical theatre functional group voice classes. In the area of applied pedagogy, Dr. Rollings Bigler also recently published a chapter in the latest edition of The Vocal Athlete and is currently writing a textbook and curriculum for musical theatre group voice classes to submit to an interested publisher.