Call for Student Research Papers with CMS-Provided Mentoring

Submission Deadline:  12 noon Mountain Time / 2 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 3, 2024


The College Music Society (CMS) is pleased to announce its 67th National Conference in Washington, D.C., November 7-9, 2024, in conjunction with the 2024 National Conference of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI), the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI), and Pi Kappa Lambda (PKL).

CMS’s 2024 Conference Theme is “Advancing Democracy: Empowering Action Through Music.” Continuing to uphold and advance the College Music Society’s commitment to leading change, the 2024 Conference aims to explore musical leadership through the broad lens of democracy in action through our teaching, research, performance, and lives, now and into the future.

The Program Committee and the Student Advisory Council welcome proposals for scholarly research papers from current students and 2024 graduates for a special session during the National Conference. The Program Committee particularly encourages, and will give priority to, proposals that: 

  1. Provide examples of and showcase a wide perspective of musical democracy in action, including community projects, new pedagogical approaches, surveys, research, and performances; 
  2. Promote ethical scholarship, performance, and teaching musical cultures of marginalized populations, particularly Indigenous, Black, and LGBTQIA individuals;
  3. Welcome all musical voices into CMS conversations, including those from the fields of Jazz, Contemporary and Commercial Music, Music of the Americas, African American music, Electronic Music, Film Music, Musical Theater, and Wellness (including music therapy, music as care, and music within disability studies);
  4. Propose methods of sustaining curricular diversification and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, during a time when the viability of those initiatives is in question;
  5. Provide ways for musicians, whether engaging with music as a seasoned professional or impassioned amateur, to meaningfully engage with unique learning, critical thinking, and professional development opportunities; and 
  6. Elevate presentations and conference delivery formats by rethinking how we can engage audiences through participation, playfulness, and music-making.

The spoken presentation is limited to 12 minutes. An additional 5 minutes will be allotted following the presentation for discussion, and/or questions as appropriate. 

As part of this special session, invited presenters will be paired with faculty mentors (senior researchers) from within the CMS membership. In the months prior to the conference, mentors will reach out to their assigned presenter and help them with their final preparations. Mentors will assist with the format of the paper and offer helpful guidance in terms of topic and paper development. The goal of this session is to give space for all CMS student members to come together and learn from, and with, a select group of researchers as well as to extend the networking web facilitated by CMS. 

Please Note: Papers are the only accepted proposal format in response to this special Call. Please do not submit proposals for demonstrations, lecture-recitals, panels, posters, performances, or workshops, as they will not be considered. 


Please note: 

Proposals related to the use, study, or impact of technology on music in higher education, or which primarily focus on music software, technological trends, and/or products designed to enhance the musical experience will not be considered by CMS. Instead, please submit such proposals to theAssociation for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI).



  • If the program must be moved from an in-person to an online venue for any reason, the Program Committee reserves the right to request that presenters alter the duration and structure of their presentations to better accommodate the virtual format.
  • Before submission, proposers must communicate with all co-presenters regarding their interests and availability. Proposals not listing all participants will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered.
  • All persons whose work is selected for inclusion in the program are expected to register for attend the full conference. If the proposal is accepted, proposers will be asked to communicate with all participants in the presentation to ensure their registration by early summer 2024. At its discretion, the Program Committee may exempt specific individuals, such as non-music professionals, from the registration and membership requirements. It is the responsibility of the individual who submits the proposal to, upon acceptance, make conference planners aware of any non-music professionals involved in their presentation and to request such an exemptions.
  • Performers must provide their instruments, including all percussion (except piano, which will be provided). Presentations requiring two pianos will not be considered; however, single piano works for 4- hands are welcome. Pianos may not be prepared or altered in any way, including the insertion of objects into or onto the strings.
  • The College Music Society does not fund the travel expenses of accepted presenters, although student presenters are eligible to receive travel support from The CMS Fund. Please contact the CMS Director of Operations at [email protected] for more information about this funding opportunity. 
  • Proposers must submit their own work and may not submit proposals on behalf of their students or others. 
  • Proposals of a commercial nature that promote products and services will not be considered. 



  • The Proposer must be a current member of The College Music Society. Persons interested in submitting a proposal should check their membership status well in advance of the submission deadline. Please note the processing time for membership applications and/or renewals is 1–2 business days.
  • It is not necessary for the co-facilitator(s) to be a current member of CMS at the time of submission; however, if invited to the program, they must join the organization.



  • Each member may submit only ONE proposal in response to this Call.
  • Each member is limited to TWO submissions to all Calls for this conference (e.g., one panel + one paper).
  • If a member submits more than one proposal to the conference, each submission should be unique and content may not be duplicated, either in response to this Call or any other Calls for this conference, including proposals submitted to ATMI.
  • Each member may be added by others as a co-presenter (e.g., panelist or accompanist) to a maximum of TWO proposals.
  • The maximum number of presentations in which a member may be involved on the conference program is TWO. If more than two proposals involving the same member are accepted – regardless of whether the member submitted the proposal or was added to another member’s proposal – the individual in question must choose in which two presentations they will participate.
  • Submitters may not send the same or very similar proposals to both CMS and 2024 National Conference partner organizations (ATMI, NACWPI, and PKL).



Electronic submissions are required. Proposals sent by mail will not be considered.

To support the anonymous review process, the name(s) and/or affiliation(s) of anyone involved in the presentation, including the ensemble, performers, dedications or commissioners (if applicable), should not appear in the title, abstract, or program notes, nor in the file names or body of submitted supplementary materials. Submissions are evaluated anonymously and proposals identifying the proposer or co-presenters will be disqualified. Names and affiliations may appear in the “Collaborators” section of the proposal and in submitted biographies, however, as the review committee will not have access to this information.

The College Music Society's conference submission process is powered by Submittable. To submit a proposal, please (1) log in to the CMS members-only website using your user name and password and then (2) click the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of this call. You will be directed to Submittable to complete your proposal. If you don't already have a Submittable account, you will be prompted to establish one. (Click here for help using Submittable and to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions.)

A complete proposal includes: 

  1. The proposal’s title and format.

  2. An abstract of 250 words or less. The Program Committee chooses presentations based primarily on the abstract as submitted, so it is important to write an abstract that the Committee will understand and can evaluate fairly. The purpose of the abstract is to convey to the reader what will be said in the presentation. Do not merely describe the subject or list the topics to be covered. Rather, state the main point of the presentation, outline the subsidiary points, and summarize the evidence offered, so that someone who has not heard the presentation can know in brief what it will say and can evaluate its contribution to our knowledge and understanding of music. The abstract, like the presentation itself, should be clear to an audience of musicians and music educators of all kinds, not just to those with a narrow specialty. While it may be necessary to set the context or lay out the problem to be addressed, this should be kept to a minimum. 
  1. You may add up to 3 supporting materials to your proposal (optional). These might include printed music examples, photos, statistics, or relevant data. Do not include lengthy documents, dissertations, CVs, resumes, or PowerPoint presentations. Neither file names nor uploaded materials should identify the proposer or any collaborators.
  1. A list of required equipment and Internet needs (Internet connections may include a fee).
  1. A biography of the proposer and each co-facilitator, if applicable (250-word maximum per person).
  1. Contact details for all personnel involved in the presentation, including an email address, mailing address, and phone number for each person, as well as an institutional affiliation, if applicable. 


When referencing one’s own previously published research, the proposer should refer to such research in the third person to avoid identifying themselves. For example, hypothetical proposal submitter D. Graham should write, “D. Graham’s article, ‘XYZ,’ summarizes pertinent issues,” instead of writing, “My article, ‘XYZ,’ summarizes pertinent issues.” The wording in the first example protects the anonymity of the author, while the second compromises the author’s anonymity by linking the author of the proposal to previously published work by a named author.

Submissions that do not conform to the above guidelines will not be considered.



Proposals must be submitted by 12 noon Mountain Time on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024.

Proposers will be notified of their status by Thursday, March 28th, 2024.



Questions regarding this Call should be directed to: 

Rachel Roberts, 2024 Program Chair


Questions concerning conference operations should be directed to:

Charlie Chadwell, CMS Conference Planner