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Equity in Jazz Program

Promoting diversity in jazz across academia and the professional scene. 

Pursue your passion, hone your craft, and take your career in jazz to the next level with a postgraduate research degree.

About the program

Sydney Conservatorium of Music is offering three new scholarships to support creative postgraduate research by women, female-identifying, and gender-diverse musicians in jazz.

The program is open to candidates pursuing a Master of Music (Performance), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) and Doctor of Philosophy (Music) (PhD). While these degrees are research-based, at the centre of this program is your creative practice and individuality. Scholarship recipients will receive close mentoring and support from program leader Dr Jo Lawry across research, professional performance opportunities, and collaborations with industry leaders.

Master of Music candidates will receive a $20,000 annual stipend for two years. DMA and PhD candidates will receive $35,000 for three years. Stipend funds are tax-exempt. Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens will qualify for Research Training Program (RTP) funding that covers academic fees.


Study Options

The Master of Music (Performance) provides a unique opportunity to develop high-level skills in producing research-based creative work in music performance. The final thesis embodying the results of the research will include the final creative work presentation and a written dissertation of 10,000 to 20,000 words.

Within the degree structure, candidates receive training and supervision to support the development of their performance-based creative work and associated dissertation. Candidates organise and present their creative work (recital, lecture recital, recording, or other appropriate forms) demonstrating independence of thought, critical awareness and interpretative capacities, and high potential as a scholarly musician.

Candidates will be able to articulate the contribution their performance makes toward extending the boundaries of the discipline of performance through such means as expanded stylistic or interpretative horizons, development of new performance modes, relationships and techniques, or through enhanced critical, historical or analytical perspectives.

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) is a research-based doctorate in music performance open to professional-skilled musicians with strong scholarly abilities and interests.

Students in the DMA pursue a supervised research program leading to the submission of a thesis comprising two components:

(i) a public presentation of creative work (recital, lecture recital, recording, or other appropriate formats), or a composition portfolio; and

(ii) a written research dissertation of 25,000–35,000 words.

Both components are expected to be an original contribution to the candidate's field of creative research. 

Research development is supported by coursework normally taken during the first full year of candidature.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) requirements at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music vary between disciplines and may comprise a thesis of up to 80,000 words; or a thesis comprising a dissertation that includes a critical and theoretical discussion together with a substantial body of creative work.

From 2021, PhD students will be required to complete some coursework as part of their candidature. Students will have access to a range of specialist units of study relevant to research students.

About Dr Jo Lawry

Dr Jo Lawry is a lecturer in jazz and the Equity in Jazz program leader at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 2003 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study her Master's Degree in New York and went on to become the first vocalist, and first woman, to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance from New England Conservatory. She has taught at Manhattan School of Music and in Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program and has been a Teaching Artist-in-Residence at Frost School of Music (Miami) and the University of North Texas.