The Effects of Shoe Heel Heights on Postural, Acoustical, and Perceptual Measures of Female Singing Performances: A Collective Case Pilot Study


  • Amelia A. Rollings University of Kansas


Voice professionals hold varying opinions about whether shoe heel heights affect vocal performance, but to date no empirical study has addressed this matter. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect, if any, of three shoe heel heights (low [ < 0.5 in.], medium [1.0 - 2.5 in.] and high [ > 2.5 in.]) on postural (head position, lumbar lordosis and knee flexion), acoustical (LTAS, formant frequency profiles), and perceptual (singer surveys) measures of prepared arias sung by individual female voice majors (N = 5) in a semi-naturalistic audition environment. Results were discussed in terms of audition clothing and accessories, opinions held by singers and voice teachers, and the direction of future research in this area.

Author Biography

Amelia A. Rollings, University of Kansas

Amelia Rollings is currently pursuing a PhD in vocal pedagogy at The University of Kansas, where she is a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She received a MMus degree in voice performance and pedagogy from The Pennsylvania State University as a prestigious University Graduate Fellow. She also holds degrees in vocal performance (BMus) and music education (BMus) cum laude from Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina. A dramatic soprano and frequent performer of opera, recital and oratorio, Amelia recently performed as the soprano soloist in Requiem (Verdi), Magda Sorel in The Consul (Menotti), and the Witch in Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck). A multifaceted singer, Amelia has been seen in many musical theatre performances, including as a young artist with the Intermezzo Foundation in Brugge, Belgium, where she performed Saraghina in Nine (Maury Yeston). Amelia maintains an active voice studio and teaches both private and group voice lessons. She is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Her primary research interests include the female middle voice, group voice teaching, musical theatre voice pedagogy, and the effect of head position and other aspects of posture on singing.