The 2020 Van Lawrence Fellowship Award
Congratulations to Edrie Means Weekly!
Awarded jointly by The Voice Foundation and
National Association of Teachers of Singing Foundation
“The Parameters of Breath Stamina and Muscle Tension in Elite Musical Theatre Singers Post Covid19 and Whether Those Parameters Change with Treatment Protocol”
Edrie Means Weekly, MM, is an active professional singer and an adjunct associate professor and Co-Founder of the Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Vocal Pedagogy Institute Shenandoah University, where she teaches applied voice, applied repertoire, commercial and musical theatre singing styles to undergraduate musical theatre students and graduate contemporary commercial music vocal pedagogy students. Her current and former students can be heard on Grammy Recordings, Movies, Broadway, off-Broadway, National and International Tours, Regional Theatre, TV (including The Voice and American Idol, Kidz Star USA). She has been an active member of NATS since 1996 and has served on the VA NATS Board for several years. In the summer of 2013, she was honored as a Master Teacher for the NATS Intern Program. Nationally, she is on the Advisory Committee for the NATS National Musical Theatre Competition, Advisory Committee for the NATS Student Music Theatre Auditions and has presented lectures, masterclasses, concerts and sessions for National Conventions, Regional and State NATS Chapters. She also is a contributing author for Training Contemporary Commercial Singers, The Vocal Athlete: Application and Teaching the Hybrid Singer 2nd edition, The Voice Teacher’s Cookbook: Creative Recipes for Teachers of Singing and Teaching Singing in the 21st Century.
This year’s Fellowship Awardee plans to research the impact of Covid19 on breath stamina and compensatory tensions in singers. Ms. Weekly states, “It is a recognized fact Covid19 is affecting lung function, which plays an important part in functional singing and this can significantly impact a singer’s career. Singers are reporting overall vocal weakness, loss of breath stamina and presence of compensatory muscle tension. I would like to explore the underlying physical parameters of professional musical theatre singers post Covid19 to see what their current respiratory stamina and muscle tension presents and how or if it changes over time with a protocol to follow.”
A long-time member and friend of The Voice Foundation, Ms. Weekly attended her first symposium in 2001. Since then, she has presented numerous papers and workshops related to teaching, habilitation and vocal health. She has co-authored research publications in the Journal of Voice regarding the teaching of the CCM voice and vocal health. Her first publication in the Journal of Voice in 2003 led to founding the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute and offering the first-ever CCM courses as part of the required curriculum for a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy and Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Pedagogy. Other universities have since implemented CCM pedagogy in their graduate degree programs.
Many thanks to the Van Lawrence Fellowship Committee:
Robert T. Sataloff , MD, Chair; Margaret Baroody, MM,CCC-SLP; Carole Blankenship, DMA; Josef Schlömicher-Thier, MD; Kate Emerich, MS; Brian Gill, DMA; Adam Rubin, MD
The Van L. Lawrence Fellowship was created to honor Van L. Lawrence, M.D. for his outstanding contribution to voice, and particularly to recognize the importance of the interdisciplinary education he fostered among laryngologists and singing teachers. It is awarded jointly by The Voice Foundation and National Association of Teachers of Singing Foundation. The Fellowship winner will be provided with the opportunity to attend the annual Symposium on Care of the Professional Voice and visit laryngologists, speech pathologists, voice scientists, and research centers associated with The Voice Foundation during the fellowship year, with resulting research to be considered for expedited publication in the Journal of Voice or Journal of Singing. The Fellowship winners are members of the National Association of Teachers of Singing who are actively engaged in teaching, have demonstrated excellence in their profession as singing teachers, and have shown interest in and knowledge of voice science. The Fellowship and $2000 award are intended to provide opportunities for the Fellow to become more thoroughly acquainted with practices, techniques, technology and people involved in laryngology and voice science. It is hoped that the opportunities and contacts provided through the Fellowship experience will enhance the teacher’s ability to do meaningful interdisciplinary research, and will encourage the teacher to apply appropriate voice science advances in the studio.