Professional Development Committee


  • Chair: Nancy Rogers (Florida State University)
  • Jenine Brown (graduate student), Diego Cubero (graduate student), Melissa Hoag (Oakland University), You Young Kang (Scripps College), Samuel Ng (University of Cincinnati), Philip Stoecker (Hofstra University)

Conference Guides

For many years the Professional Development Committee (PDC) has sponsored the Conference Guides Program, in which members of SMT who are attending one of their first conferences are paired with more experienced conference goers, who help orient them on the first day, introduce them to other scholars, and in general help them feel welcome at the conference and in the Society.

Student Breakfast

The PDC hosts a Student Breakfast during the Annual Meeting. In the past we have called this a Graduate Student Breakfast, but in recent years more and more undergraduates have wanted to come, so we have opened the event to students at both levels. The breakfast not only offers excellent food, juice, and coffee, but it is also a great way to meet students from other institutions, to begin to develop all-important professional networks, and to learn about conferences and publications that invite student participation. This year’s breakfast will be Friday, November 7, from 7:30-8:45 (Hilton Wright Ballroom A-B).

CV Review Session

The PDC offers a CV Review Session at the Annual Meeting, in which senior members of the society are available to review and critique CVs and cover letters one-on-one with those applying for jobs in the near future. Conference attendees who wish to take advantage of this opportunity should bring at least five copies of both their current CV and a generic cover letter for this session.

Session at 2014 Annual Meeting

SMT’s Professional Development Committee is sponsoring a special session at the 2014 Annual Meeting in Milwaukee that geared toward music theorists who require prose writing in their undergraduate classes or are considering doing so. Many SMT members have both a deep engagement with undergraduate writing in many forms (from traditional term papers to journals and blogs) and a keen interest in using writing in a variety of courses (from the music theory core to electives for non-music majors to aural skills courses). As Writing Across the Curriculum becomes more prevalent, music theorists may find that teaching prose writing becomes an increasingly important aspect of their professional development.

Teaching Writing as a Music Theorist (Thursday, November 6, 8:00-9:30)
Moderator: Nancy Rogers (Florida State University)
Panelists: Walter Everett (University of Michigan), William Marvin (Eastman School of Music), and Lynne Rogers (William Patterson University)

Our panelists (who regularly incorporate prose writing in their undergraduate courses) will begin the session with brief statements about the benefits and difficulties of including writing in music theory classes. Anticipated topics include:

  • The challenges and rewards of Writing Across the Curriculum
  • The kinds of writing assignments appropriate for music majors and for non-music majors
  • Using writing effectively in both written and aural skills courses
  • How teaching writing skills differs from teaching musical skills

After the opening remarks, there will be a panel discussion. Audience members will be invited to ask questions, make comments, and share their own experiences including writing in the core music theory curriculum.

Student Facebook Page

The PDC maintains the SMT student Facebook Page, which is intended specifically for students and first-year faculty. The Facebook Page, which replaces the PDC listserv of past years, provides a safe forum for new members of the professional community to discuss issues relevant to graduate study, applying for jobs, or other questions and concerns, without being shared with the entire SMT membership.

Meeting Proposals

For advice about preparing an effective SMT meeting proposal and for a broad spectrum of successful proposals from recent years, please see the Meeting Proposal page, hosted by the Professional Development Committee.

Information about Potentially Illegal Interview Questions

There continues to be a series of disturbing reports that job applicants in academia — including in the field of music theory — are asked illegal and inappropriate questions during their interviews. To address this matter, the SMT Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) has set up a web page ( that provides information and guidance for those who are conducting interviews as well as for those who are being interviewed.

Special Sessions

Here is a list of some of the special sessions held at previous Annual Meetings of the SMT:

  • 2013: Technology-Enhanced Instruction (short session)
    Classroom Teaching Videos for Job Applications (short session)
  • 2012: A Discussion on Mentoring and Being Mentored
  • 2011: Reaching Beyond the Field
  • 2010: Tenure and the Musical Scholar: Philosophical and Practical Issues
  • 2009: The Teaching Component of the Job Interview
  • 2008: Publishing in Music Theory and Musicology
  • 2007: Presenting at a Conference
  • 2006: Mid-career Renewal
  • 2005: Preparing an Effective Tenure Case
  • 2004: Writing for Publication in Music Theory

Relevant Links

Committee on the Status of Women (CSW)
Report on the demographics of the Society (prepared by the Ad Hoc Committee on Demographics)
Chronicle of Higher Education's Career Development Website
College Music Society (Main Site)
American Association of University Professors (National)