Miller School and Frost School of Music Host Vocal Symposium

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Frost School of Music faculty and staff collaborated to host this year’s Pan American Vocology Association (PAVA) Symposium.

More than 200 voice experts representing multiple disciplines, cultures and countries attended the in-person and live-streamed September 29 to October 1 event.

The 2023 PAVA Symposium brought together more than 200 voice experts from around the globe.

“The annual PAVA Symposium is dedicated to dissemination of voice and singing research and pedagogical techniques,” said 2023 Symposium Director Adam Lloyd, SLP-D, CCC-SLP, deputy chief of speech pathology and assistant professor of otolaryngology at the Miller School. “This was a tremendous success for the association and for the University of Miami.”

Symposium Attracts Global Participation

The 2023 PAVA Symposium attracted attendees from North America, Central America and South America, as well as Europe, Israel, India and other countries.

“This was a unique conference as it was fully hybrid, meaning all sessions were accessible to attendees/presenters in-person in Miami and live-streamed on an interactive website,” said Dr. Lloyd, who organized the meeting along with the Miller School otolaryngology speech pathologists Julia D. Gerhard, Christine Martin and Maria Murljacic.

PAVA hired its first technology director, Christopher Seagraves, an audio engineer at Frost School who managed the complex audio and video needs for the symposium.

To further enhance the meeting experience for members who did not speak English, “we broadcasted in English with Spanish and Portuguese live interpretation,” said Dr. Lloyd.

University of Miami Representation

Miller School and University of Miami Frost School of Music faculty, staff and former doctoral students presented at the meeting:

  • A group of Miller School researchers orally presented “Combined Respiratory Muscle Training in Singing Practice: A Randomized Control Trial,” a research project led by former Frost doctoral student Alexandra Colaizzi and supported by faculty and staff from the Miller and Frost Schools. 
  • Frost Vocal Performance Program Chair Frank Ragsdale, D.M.A., conducted an interactive workshop on “Laban for Singers: Laban Movement Analysis for Body Release and Character Development.”
  • Mario Landera, SLP-D, associate professor of clinical otolaryngology and chief of speech pathology at the Miller School, did a “PedTalk” on “Maximizing the Tracheoesophageal Alaryngeal Voice.”
  • Speech pathologist Amanda Demane co-presented the PedTalk, “The Electric Glide: Optimizing the Electrolarynx.”
  • Christina Kang Rosow, M.M., M.S., CCC-SLP, formally in the Division of Speech-Language Pathology at the Miller School, presented an interactive workshop, “The Use of a Kazoo to Train Relaxation Phonation.”
  • Stephannie Moore, D.M.A., former doctoral student at Frost and current assistant teaching professor at Florida International University, presented the interactive workshop, “An Introduction to Musical Theatre Voice Training for Classical Voice Teachers.”

The meeting not only showcased the University of Miami’s expertise in the voice sciences and profession, but also “was another great example of cross campus collaboration with the Frost School of Music vocal programs,” said Fred F. Telischi, M.E.E., M.D., the James R. Chandler Chair in Otolaryngology, chairman of otolaryngology, and professor of neurological surgery and biomedical engineering. 

Emphasis on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

PAVA’s nearly 500 members include vocal pedagogy professionals, speech-language pathologists, voice scientists, otolaryngologists, acting teachers, vocal performers of all genres and many types of other vocal professionals. PAVA, while not the only professional voice organization, it is likely the most culturally diverse, according to Dr. Lloyd.

“PAVA has been working towards setting standards for training in the study of voice and has created a pathway for recognition of knowledge and skills in what’s called the PAVA RV, which stands for ‘recognized vocologist.’ This is something that other organizations do not have and something that is really needed in our field,” Dr. Lloyd said.

PAVA also is dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, according to Dr. Lloyd, who chairs the Miller School Department of Otolaryngology Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

“What was impressive this year at the symposium is that we had a large number of presentations on gender-affirming voice care and inclusion related topics,” he said.  

The symposium was not only educational but fun, according to Dr. Lloyd.

“We did an open mic night. We have amazing singers. We also had a salsa dancing class,” he said. “As a ‘Cane, I’m really proud of the University for hosting this symposium. This has allowed us to extend our reach and connect with voice professionals worldwide. I’m truly excited to see what we will all accomplish together.”

Tags: Division of Laryngology and Voice, Dr. Adam Lloyd, Dr. Fred Telischi, Frost School of Music, otolaryngology, USNWR ENT