The Graduate Student Workshop Program (GSWP) emphasizes instruction, participation, and discussion among graduate students.

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The Graduate Student Workshop Program was founded by Wayne Alpern, who acted as Administrative Director of the Program from 2006–2011, and whose efforts, innovative ideas, and financial contributions supported the Program during its initial years.

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Eligibility and Selection

  • The 2022 workshops were originally scheduled for 2021 and deferred to this year. Those that committed to the 2021 workshops will receive priority. In the event that a spot opens up, the 2021 application list and waitlist will be considered, followed by the 2022 waitlist. 
  • All full-time students registered in a graduate program in music theory, or in a graduate program in musicology or composition with a substantial theory component, and who have not received their Ph.D. as of July 15, 2022, are eligible to apply. (Separate workshop opportunities are also available to those who have completed a Ph.D.) Students seeking a MM degree are welcome to apply.
  • Participants are selected by a random draw from the pool of applicants.
  • The GSWP is intended to provide students with the opportunity to study with a professor not at their home institution; therefore, students affiliated with the institution of the instructor are not eligible for that instructor’s workshop.
  • Prior GSWP participants are permitted to apply, but preference will be given to first-time applicants.
  • To encourage interaction, each workshop is limited to approximately 10–12 participants.


  Applications are no longer being accepted. The deadline to apply for the 2022 workshop waitlist was June 15.
  • To apply for the 2022 workshop program waitlist, complete the online form. 
  • Please be sure to indicate for which workshop(s) you are applying—you may apply for one or both.
  • You must also have a professor at your institution send an email to the Executive Director, confirming that you meet the requirements for participation stated above. 
  • The application deadline is June 15, 2022; selected participants will be notified shortly thereafter.


  • Please note that GSWP workshops will take place the morning of Friday, November 11; by applying you are committing to arrive at the conference in time to participate in the workshop.
  • In the event that a student selected for a workshop also has a paper accepted to the conference and scheduled by the program committee at a time conflicting with the workshop, the student may need to forego participation in the workshop.
  • These workshops may require many hours of preparation in advance, including both reading and writing assignments. You are not expected to be an expert in the subject matter of the workshop(s) for which you apply, but you should have a serious interest in and commitment to it.


There is no fee to participate in the program. Participants are responsible, however, for the cost of SMT membership and conference registration (but not at the time of application), as well as for other expenses of attendance, including transportation, housing, and meals.

SMT 2022 Workshops

Intersections of Music Cognition and Music Theory Pedagogy

Nancy Rogers (Florida State University)

This workshop focuses on enhancing music theory pedagogy by judiciously incorporating elements of music cognition research.  While there may be a gulf between mainstream music theory and music cognition in the domain of tonal harmony, other realms where they are more compatible (e.g., form and phrase structure) can be illuminated by an interdisciplinary perspective.  We will discuss a variety of core undergraduate topics including melodic organization, phrase structure, and form, and how reflecting cognitive research in memory, encoding, event segmentation, statistical learning, and schema theory might improve our teaching.  We will also examine broad pedagogical decisions such as solmization and technical vocabulary.  During our time together, we will consider both in-class techniques and appropriate corresponding assignments to fortify our integrated approach.  Perhaps most importantly, we will contemplate ways in which cognition-centered pedagogy propels a class beyond mere fact memorization, engaging even first-year students with some central concerns of music theory:  how music is constructed, and why certain patterns recur so frequently.

Analyzing Hip-Hop through the Music of Daniel Dumile

Kyle Adams (Indiana University)

This workshop will be an analytical celebration of the life and music of the late British rapper Daniel Dumile (1971–2020). Dumile assumed a wide variety of rap personas: most famous as MF DOOM, he also recorded as Zev Love X, King Geedorah, Metal Fingers, Metal Face, Viktor Vaughn, and simply DOOM. His music lies at the intersection all current areas of hip-hop research, including beat, flow, rhyme, phrase, and timing; thus, an analytical workshop on his music will serve both as a useful survey of the discipline and a way to profitably build on existing approaches.

Workshop participants will each choose one track by the artist to analyze and present to the group for discussion. I will also provide a set of preliminary readings and discussion points.


For additional information, please contact the Chair of the Committee on Workshop Programs.

View the full committee