AMSGNY Announcements

2019 Meetings--CFP for Winter and Spring

The AMSGNY winter meeting will take place on Saturday, February 2nd at Columbia University, starting at noon.  There is no theme for this meeting, so papers on any musical topic are welcome.  The deadline for proposals is December 8th.  

The spring meeting will take place on Saturday, April 13th at Hunter College, also at noon.  The theme for this meeting is “Composers and Composing.”  Papers on any interpretation of this theme are welcome.  The deadline for this meeting is February 13th (Valentine’s Day Eve).

Note that pianos will be available at both of these meetings.

Send your proposals, by the due dates, to both jonathan.waxman “at” and DrJSDailey ‘at”  Proposals should be around 250 words long.  Do not send attachments—put the proposal in an e mail and include your name, e mail, and phone number.  Put “AMSGNY 2019” plus the season in the subject line.

Students are encouraged to submit proposals and will be considered for our annual student prize.  Please share this information with all who may be interested.

The Business of Musicology--Summary of September 2018 meeting prepared by Bryan Terry

It is no secret that with each passing year, recent graduates of PhD programs in musicology are having more difficulty attaining full-time, tenure track professorships. Simply put, the number of available positions is shrinking, while the number of PhDs being granted is not. In the spirit of addressing this issue, the American Musicological Society-Greater New York chapter recently hosted a special meeting on "The Business of Musicology." The meeting included presenters with a variety of perspectives on how to make a living with a PhD in musicology in this challenging job market.

Jeff Dailey, president of the AMS-GNY, set the table for the day's discussion with opening remarks that included the sobering statistics at the center of the current state of affairs. Across the board, about 75 percent of college classes are taught by adjuncts, and the number of PhDs earned in the last decade in the United States rose 25 percent to a record 55,000 in 2015. These trends are echoed in the field of musicology, and music in general.

Suzanne Cusick, AMS president-elect and NYU professor of music, also delivered opening remarks in which she discussed how the AMS can better address what is happening in the musicology field. She said that the AMS board has been working to make the organization more open to diversity, including in how people make their living.

The first presentation of the day was given by Samantha Bassler, whose talk was entitled "Diversifying, Entrepreneurship, and the Alt-Ac Career: Being a Musicologist in the Gig Economy." An adjunct professor of music theory and history at Rider University and Rutgers University, Bassler also owns her own studio space, gives private piano lessons, and is a yoga instructor. She critiqued the notion among many in academia that someone who is an adjunct for a long time is "stuck" and unable to progress in their career. While she has been an adjunct for several years, Bassler has shown that it is possible to make a living combining part-time professorship with other exciting musical opportunities. She discussed how a musicology degree can be equally valuable in a private piano lesson setting, for instance, in order to provide intellectual stimulation to the students and make their performance more meaningful.

Up next was a presentation called "Everything You Wanted to Know about Being a Contingent but were Afraid to Ask" given by Reba Wissner. As an adjunct professor at NYU, Montclair State University, and Ramapo College of New Jersey, Wissner described the often challenging life of working at multiple schools, with a large group of students, across a vast geographic area. She discussed some of the hardships she has faced, including personal health issues, and how she persevered through them with resilience and a strong sense of self-worth. While she spends countless hours each week commuting on trains, and often gets less than the ideal amount of sleep, the love of her work and her students pushes her through. Wissner concluded her presentation with a note on self-worth in the academic sphere: "Don't let your worth be determined by whether or not you have a tenure track job," she said.

The event's keynote presentation was given by Jane Greenway Carr, opinion producer at CNN Digital. Carr's presentation - "Real Talk about Writing for a Broader Audience" - served as a how-to guide for those with academic expertise who seek to provide insight and have their work featured in mainstream outlets. She highlighted some of the ways editors in the mainstream media could use the help of experts in academia, including the need for op-eds, interviews, and quotations to use in articles. Given the fast-paced 21st-century media world, Carr emphasized the importance not only of putting oneself and one's work out there on social media, blogs, etc., but also being responsive via e-mail, phone, and messaging. Editors, she noted, might need a piece written, edited, and posted online in as quickly as a few hours, and academics need to be prepared for that. Carr also noted that reporters and editors will likely know very little about the area of study for which they are seeking expertise, and that it is important to be patient and be able to explain things in an accessible way.

The next two speakers presented additional ways one can supplement their work in musicology. Christopher Preston Thompson teaches at Lehman College and Rutgers University. He also performs regularly, particularly in churches. His talk, called "Singing in the NYC Liturgical Market: A Gigging Musicologist," gave a firsthand look into the life of the professor-performer. Thompson noted that in a market as large as New York City, there are more gigging opportunities than one might think. He emphasized the importance of building a network, including in the liturgical setting, and highlighted how being a substitute performer at an institution such as a church is a big sub-category of musical performance work with a great deal of opportunity.

Seth Radwell, an entrepreneur formerly of Scholastic, Inc. then gave a presentation in which he served as an example of someone outside of academia who is looking for musicology experts to assist in educational projects. He played a video highlighting a new venture, "Music in Time," which would include video lessons that demonstrate the impact composers and musicians throughout history have had on society and culture.

The day concluded with a presentation by AMS-GNY vice president Jonathan Waxman, who teaches at Hofstra University, Five Towns College, and serves as an instructor for Kaplan Test Prep. Waxman's presentation was called "Redefining Success," and summed up the day with the statistic that 94% of people with PhDs in a field find a job outside of academia. He reminded us that skills learned in the course of attaining a PhD can be used in a wide variety of professional settings, and left us with the message that there should be no shame in leading a life outside of academia with a PhD.

Fall 2018 AMS-GNY Meeting Program

Panel 1 (12:00PM)

Beverly Jerold (Princeton, NJ) - “The Myth of the Inferior Amateur Musician”

William E. Hettrick (Hofstra University) - “Another Kind of Pitch: American Piano Advertising in the ‘Gilded Age’"

Jeff S. Dailey (AMS-GNY)  - "Shaw's Guide to Musical Theatre"


Discussion: The Business of Musicology

Panel 2: (2:15PM)

Kirsten S. Brown (Westminster Choir College) - "Make Opera Great Again: Donald Trump’s use of
Nessun Dorma' in his Presidential Campaign"

Joseph S. Kaminski (Wagner College) - "An Introduction to Jianpu Music Notation and its Uses and Applications in Manhattan/Chinatown"

Fall Meeting--October 13, 2018

The chapter will hold its regular fall meeting on Saturday, October 13th,  at the AMS headquarters at NYU in Cooper Square.   Everyone is welcome to submit proposals on any topic of musical scholarship by September 6th to both DrJSDailey “at” and jonathan.waxman “at”  Please follow these guidelines:

A.      Include your name and contact information (e mail and phone) in your submission.

B.      Do not use attachments—paste everything into the e mail.

C.      Put the following heading in the subject space:  “AMSGNY Fall 2018”

D.      Abstracts should be around 250 words.

© 2008 American Musicological Society of Greater New York
Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly | Blog customization by Jeff C. Li and Philip D. Reid.
Image © 2008 bigdrumthump. Used under Creative Commons license.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.