What are the purposes of the program?
- To provide financial support and mentorship to graduate students interested in pursuing original research related to song.
- To encourage the exploration of underexplored song repertoire.
Who is eligible to apply?
Any graduate student in any area of the SOMD may apply. The program is intended not only for students in academic areas (music theory, musicology, ethnomusicology, music education, composition, and intermedia technology) but also for students in performance. So long as your project engages in research about song, you are encouraged to apply.
Each year, two awards will be given, one to a student in the academic department and one to a student in the performance department.
What kinds of projects will be supported?
Projects may explore songs in any language, genre, style, or era. Projects on art song or popular song are welcome.
Preference will also be given to projects that engage closely with the music in question—in other words, those that involve some form of music analysis (construed very broadly to include various ways of making sense of music).
Preference will be given to projects that explore song composers who have been marginalized on account of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
Possibilities could include (but need not be limited to)
- creating a critical edition of previously unpublished songs
- producing a professional recording (with explanatory liner notes) of previously unrecorded songs
- writing a scholarly article about underexplored song repertoire
- designing a website or database with resources related to underexplored song repertoire
- devising a public outreach initiative that shares underexplored songs with audiences that wouldn’t normally have access to them
- composing an original vocal work that sets texts by marginalized authors, or that engages in some way with issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability
What does the award entail?
a $6000 research award
Note for graduate students with financial aid: receiving this award may reduce your financial aid award. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid prior to applying for this support for information.
mentorship from Stephen Rodgers, Edmund A. Cykler Chair in Music and Professor of Music Theory and Musicianship, over the course of one academic year (fall, winter, and spring terms)
What are the expectations of the award?
During the 2024–25 academic year you must engage in research related to your project, under the supervision of Dr. Rodgers. This will involve signing up for at least three credits of MUS 601: Research each term.
By the end of the academic year you must produce a significant, original research project.
By the end of the academic year you must share the products of your research in some public forum (e.g., a recital, a lecture-recital, a research presentation to the SOMD community, etc.).
You must acknowledge the Cykler Song Scholar program in any work resulting from the research you conducted.
What is the application process?
By May 1, submit a 1000-word narrative proposal to the dean’s office (email@example.com). Title your email “Cykler Song Scholar application.”
Your narrative proposal should address (preferably in this order)
The conception and definition of your project. As specifically as possible, describe the research project you hope to pursue: What song repertoire will you explore and why? What research questions will you explore? What will be the product of your research? (an article? a critical edition of song scores? a recital? a lecture-recital? a web resource? a public outreach project? etc.)
The reason this song repertoire needs to be explored. As specifically as possible, justify why your project is necessary. Has this repertoire been studied, performed, and/or recorded previously, and if so, how and by whom? In what ways is it underexplored, and what communities stand to benefit from the products of your research?
The relationship of your project to your past work and interests. Explain how this particular project relates to work you have done previously. How have you explored related questions and repertoire before? What guiding principles underlie your current project, and how have they shaped your work up to this point?
Your plan of work. Specifically outline the term-by-term schedule for your proposed project. Make clear any preliminary work you have already completed, the present state of your research, and your goals for each term.
Proposals will be reviewed by a four-person committee appointed by the Dean. The committee will include Dr. Rodgers, one faculty member from the SOMD’s academic department, one faculty member from the performance department, and one previous recipient of the award.
Awards will be announced by the end of Spring term.