AMS Study Group Election

The AMS Music and Disability Study Group is pleased to introduce Benjamin Coghan as its candidate for Webmaster.

Benjamin Coghan is a PhD student in Historical Musicology at the University of Texas, Austin from Waldorf, MD. He completed a Bachelor of Music Education in Choral Studies and a Bachelor of Music in Music History at The Ohio State University before beginning graduate studies in musicology at Louisiana State University, and transferring to UT-Austin. His research interests include disability studies and music performance/reception, American popular music during the nineteenth century, and has tertiary interests in the music of Fluxus and American opera & art song. While at UT, he has served as both the Colloquium Representative and Co-President of the Association of Graduate Ethno/Musicology Students (AGEMS).

Benjamin has been a member of AMS, AMS-Midwest, AMS-South, AMS-Southwest, and the Society for American Music (SAM). He has presented papers at the annual meeting of SAM (2017), the Music & the Moving Image Conference (2019), and has participated in several regional graduate conferences. As a member of the Austin community he performs with the Capital City Men’s Chorus, enjoys Austin’s paths and parks with his dog Joplin, works with fused glass at the Helios Fused Glass studio, and has a large collection of cactuses and succulents.

Please cast your ballot by Thursday, November 14!

A Note From Cambridge Common Voices


Logo for Cambridge Common Voices. A blue C, a red C, and a white V interlocking.

Dr. Andrew Clark just relayed the AMS Study Group a message on behalf of Cambridge Common Voices:

We of the Cambridge Common Voices owe such a debt of gratitude to you and your colleagues for the opportunity perform in your Music & Disability Study Group panel last Thursday at the AMS meeting in Boston. At our rehearsal on Sunday, we took time to reflect on the experience – our singers had a blast. It also drove home an important and painful reminder for me that many of our musicians really have very few occasions to perform for others, much less for such an esteemed group like AMS. 

This experience, made possible by you and your colleagues, ultimately gave our singers an empowered opportunity to share their music and their spirits in meaningful way. It had to be about them. And bearing witness to their authentic joy and sense of abandon made it all worthwhile. I think, maybe, we all often approach these conference spaces with a desire to impress, when what we actually need — at the spiritual level —  is to be inspired.

The work of your study group extends beyond the important endeavor of generating knowledge, critique, and insight — I’m drawn to it because it’s rooted in justice, in raising our consciousness, and in stirring our soul. To make music for all of you, whose work I deeply admire, felt like the best way to give back and to say thank you. I hope we can continue to keep track of each other and that our paths cross soon.

SMT DisMus and Music Cognition Interest Group Joint Meeting, November 9

The SMT Music Cognition Group and the SMT Interest Group
on Music and Disability will co-host a session of lightening talks at the
Society for Music Theory’s 42nd Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The
meeting will take place from 12:30pm-2pm on Saturday, November 9 in
Nationwide A. Please join us!

The theme of our joint session will be “Intersections of Music, Disability,
and Cognition.” The lightening talks include:

-Leigh VanHandel, “Working Memory Burdens and Music Theory Pedagogy”

-Michael Vitalino, “Aural Skills Pedagogy for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
(DHH) Students”

-Justin London, “Music Instruments as Cognitive Extensions, Domain
Specificity in Motor Tasks, and the Implications for the Music Theory
Classroom” OR “Why is it that Very Good Musicians suck at Aural Skills?”

-Mark Saccomano, “Dangerous Music: Analysis, Criticism, and the Aesthetic

-Evan Jones, “Metric Disability in David Lang’s Stuttered Chang (2011)”