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MEIEA is proud to offer research grants to eligible educators in order to encourage scholarly research that advances theory, scholarship, and practice in the music and entertainment industries. MEIEA’s specific objectives are to provide academic encouragement and financial incentives for MEIEA members to pursue research and publication that will advance the understanding of music and entertainment industry education and the music and entertainment industry.

Grants of up to $3,000 are available to MEIEA members who are full-time or part-time faculty at accredited institutions. Single-investigator applications, as well as applications that include collaboration with other faculty or industry practitioners, are welcome.

Research topics might include:
  • Historical or theoretical studies documenting the growth, evolution, or future of the music and entertainment industries or music and entertainment industries education;
  • Curricular innovations and professional standards in music and entertainment industry education;
  • Business models in the music and entertainment industry;
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to the recording industry.


MEIEA’s expectations for recipients of research grants are:

  • To publish their findings in the MEIEA Journal or other scholarly publications; OR
  • To make a presentation at MEIEA’s annual conference.

Application period runs from January through February.

Download Application Form Here

Download Budget Form Here

FRG Checklist for Grant Recipients

All forms must be emailed to grants@meiea.org by the deadline.

Please check the MEIEA Newsletter for current deadlines.

Past Award Recipients

MEIEA has awarded over $34,000 in research grants to date.
Below are award recipients and a description of their research.

2017 Awards

  • Jason Lee Guthrie (The University of Georgia) 

Composing Copyright: Music and Image in American Intellectual Property Law - $2000

Theories about the music industry’s financial collapse abound. The digital download and the corresponding ease of piracy are common scapegoats. The ephemeral nature of music also enters into the discourse about an audience’s willingness to pay. However, phenomena such as crowdfunding and the vinyl revival complicate any narrative that suggests music is inherently less valuable to audiences than other popular media. This proposed research will conduct an inquiry into the historical factors that led to a privileging of image-based over audio-based work in American intellectual property law, particularly in the development of musical and photographic copyright in the nineteenth century.

  • Dr. Brent Smith (Saint Joseph’s University)

America’s Got Talent? How Emerging Adults Rate Present and Future Prospects for Cultural Diversity in Popular Music - $3000

The United States remains the world’s leader in cultivating and commercializing musical talent. Our homegrown genres (e.g., blues, jazz, rock, hip-hop) continue to foster significant cultural flows within artist circles and fan communities alike. While cultural diversity fuels our national character, we see unbalanced evidence of its value in music’s mainstream audiences compared to its featured artists. The proposed study will investigate how emerging adults see the present and future of diversity/inclusion (e.g., race, gender identity) as it relates to career prospects for talented artists not resembling typical artist demographics in a genre. Findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed publications/presentations. 

  • Dr. Waleed Rashidi  (California State University)

Fullerton Play, rewind, play again: Experience of millennials’ usage of the cassette tape as music media - $2000 

This project aims to understand millennials’ uses and experiences of the cassette tape as a new choice of physical music media. Typically thought of as a dormant or obsolete format, the cassette has recently re-emerged as a format with contemporary artists releasing new music. Millennials are often those purchasing such new works on cassette. This study seeks to reveal the reasons how and why millennials engage with a “vintage” audio format. Future studies will examine how and why artists themselves, record labels, music retailers, and pressing plants engage in the commerce of the cassette.

  • Dr. Stan Renard (The University of Texas at San Antonio)

Beyond the Grave: Variables Contributing to Music Consumption Increase After an Artist’s Death - $1700 

The recent passing of notable recording artists such as Prince, David Bowie, Tom Petty, and Chuck Berry has generated a surge in music sales associated with those artists. This study intends to contribute to the music industry literature by documenting what variables can contribute to the increase in music consumption following an artist’s death. We wish to understand how an artist death cannibalize sales of other living artists. To address this question, we use a difference to differences econometric methodology. This methodology allows us to compare music consumption sales between 115 artists whose death occurred between December 31, 2014 and January 1, 2018 with the top 200 Billboard charting and living artists for the same time frame.

2016 Awards


  • Dr. Stan Renard (The University of Texas at San Antonio)

A Concert Industry Mapping Framework: Case Study for the City of San Antonio
Conducting impact studies for the live music economy has been the focus of consulting groups such as Music Canada and funding partners, cultural economic development councils, and guilds in cities, states or countries. However, mapping the scale and scope of a permanent live music circuit is rarely if ever conducted as part of such studies. Thus, the author intends to provide a mapping framework that would fill this gap in the academic literature and present a new theoretical as well as empirical approach for organizations and focus groups dedicated to assessing the impact of the ever-growing live music sector and industry. This research will present an application of said framework in a case study format mapping San Antonio’s live music industry. Besides its academic validity, this research will offer a complimentary methodology for anyone interested in conducting an impact study related to the music industry.


    • Dr. Monika Herzig (Indiana University)

    Songs for Change An Intercultural Collaboration
    This project is an international collaboration between four music industry educators at universities in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. The goal of the project is to foster intercultural sensitivity by bringing music industry students together across continents combining their creative and entrepreneurial skills. Through collaborative songwriting, recording, performance, and distribution/ promotion of the musical products, students will engage creatively as well as learn principles of international music business. The process will be documented as a case study with detailed lesson plans and observations/ evaluations in order to provide a blueprint for an approach to cross-cultural teaching and collaboration. The final result of this study will be the creation and global distribution of a body of musical compositions with a social theme using digital music and video platforms. In addition, the first phase of the project will culminate in a live-streamed event featuring participants from all four colleges.


      • Dr. Richard Weissman (University College at University of Denver)

      Is There a Role for the American Federation of Musicians in the 21st Century?
      The American Federation of Musicians has gone from a high point of 300,000 members in the 1980s to less than 85,000 members today. Its core constituencies of recording musicians and symphonic musicians are struggling to survive, and the union has achieved little success if organizing DIY (do it yourself) musicians. The goal of this project is to define whether the union has or can have relevance for contemporary and future musicians, and to examine its difficulties in recruiting them.


        • Dr. Andrew Mall (Northeastern University)

        Marginalia: Niche Markets, Christian Rock, and Popular Music
        I am proposing archival research at Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Popular Music. I will analyze reactions to corporate consolidation and artist crossover within Christian rock. I will review CCM magazine, a consumer-friendly trade journal for the Christian record industry, targeting time periods when this market was fraught with tension over secular record labels purchasing Christian labels and artists crossing over to the secular market. This research will contribute to my monograph, Marginalia, and two ancillary pieces: a book chapter for the edited volume The Oxford Handbook of Global Music Industries and an academic article for the MEIEA Journal.


          2015 Awards


          • Dr. Stan Renard (The University of Texas at San Antonio)

          Audio Logo Common Core Attributes: An Analysis of Sonic Modality Cues
          This study will treat the topic of audio branding and intends to assess the presence of common core attributes among corporate audio logos. This article builds upon the author’s work on brand marketing strategies as well as upon the seminal work of Van Leeuwen (1999). The proposed study will concentrate on the analysis of a relatively large sample of corporate audio logos (n>100) that will be transcribed and analyzed in terms of sonic modality cues. The author expects to see several audio logo common attributes emerge from this study. The results from this study could have several industry applications beyond their academic validity. One possible application, would involve the use of an algorithmic virtual composer computer program that could populate a music production library with an infinite sample of audio logos based upon the data collected for this study.


            Paul Saintilan (The Australian College of the Arts), David Schreiber, Ph.D. (Belmont University)

            Managing Organizations in the Creative Industries: Organizational Behaviour for the Cultural Sector

            The overall aim for the text is to provide students with a vivid initiation into the organizational life of the entertainment and cultural firm. Although the scope of the text may be used for broader creative and cultural industry courses in the management discipline, the specific focus will be commercial and non-profit music, arts and entertainment organizations. The textbook will be published by Routledge in London, and will be available internationally. The text is intended to include various supporting materials to reinforce the copy, and heighten student engagement. It will include: extensive integration of photographs and figures; case studies to reinforce learning concepts; questions for further discussion, as well as problems and exercises to encourage real world contextualisation and application. Funding will be used towards these supporting materials.

            2014 Awards

              • Dr. Dave Kopplin (California State University - Pomona)

                Current Practices in Music Industry Education

                Overview of current trends and best practices in Music Industry education. The research is in three parts: 1) preliminary site visits, interviews, and survey design; 2) survey administration and data collection; and 3) focus groups, interviews, and site visits (site visits include interviews with administrators, faculty, students, and alumni in both public and private schools with Music Industry programs in Los Angeles, Boston, Nashville, and Miami). The goal of the research is to determine what current education practices are working best in the new music industry, and how public and private institutions compare in delivering quality education.

              • Dr. Stan Renard (Colby College)

                Music Brand Marketing Strategies: A Review and Analysis of Current Practices

                Music brand marketing strategies have been at the center of change and many innovations in recent years. This research paper will account for brand marketing strategies currently in use by music companies and artists. In addition, the author will provide an in-depth brand analysis addressing the relevance of brands in the music industry and how brands have been affected by new advances in technology and current consumer behavior patterns.

              • Clyde Philip Rolston, Ph.D. (Belmont University), Sarita Stewart, Ph.D. (Belmont University)

                The Effect of Ticket Prices on How Much Concert Goers are Willing to Pay for Merch

                This study will survey nationally concert goers and examine how the cost of admission to the concert impacts their pricing expectations and willingness to pay for concert merchandise.

              2013 Awards

              • Janee Burkhalter, Ph.D., David Allan, Ph.D., Natalie Wood, Ph.D

                Shoppable Music Videos: Smash Hit or Big Miss for the Artist, the Music and Brands?
                Product placement in music videos can provide an additional revenue stream for artists. A shoppable music video is interactive and allows viewers to purchase some or all of the products contained in the video. This research explores the potential of shoppable music videos to promote products online. Critical determinants of consumers’ desire and intention to use this new technology are examined., as well as its impact on perceptions of the artist and his/her music. We expect that consumers’ perceptions of the artists and receptiveness to the practice will influence responses to the video. Recommendations and implications for marketers and artists are offered.

              • David Schreiber, Ph.D. (Belmont University)

                The Influential Role of Strategic Sexual Performance within the Music Industry Organization

                Looking at the strategic sexual performances in music industry firms will not only attempt to refine existing literature as it relates to processes relevant to strategic sexual performances, but it will also extend existing knowledge within the broader field of the creative and cultural industries like the music industry.  I hope to shed more light on how agents that work in firms within the music industry use their sexuality as an ingratiating technique to influence the decision-making process and/or their own power and influence with others in the organization.  This information will extend the literature within strategic sexual performances and understanding of the phenomenon and how it’s used in the music industry.  The resulting contribution, a rich and illuminated description of the practice, will also aid in further inquiry that may produce results for further inductive or deductive research.

              2012 Awards

              • Cheryl L. Slay (Belmont University)

                The Motown Legacy: Models of Diversity and Enterprise
                What originated as a vision in the mind of a former Detroit autoworker became the recording company that would brand a city and define a sound known as Motown.  As digital technology ushers in a new era for creating music, a pertinent but unanswered research question persists:  how to create a sustainable business model in an era ripe with the proliferation of independent labels and ventures.  Forty years after Motown spawned its first hits, this study proposes that Motown, perhaps the most successful indie label in history, offers insights for fashioning indie business models in the Internet era and beyond.

              • Peter Spang Goodrich (Providence College), Dr. Stan Renard (Providence College), Gregory Faulk (Belmont University)

                Income Projections and the Evolution of Economic Valuation Models in the Music Industry
                The proposed research intends to understand and explore how artists, publishers and labels are coping with multiple revenue streams in the new digital era. And considering the displacement of each agent within the financial streams chain, are all these revenue streams still relevant and are monies being collected differently as a consequence? Also, the authors wish to investigate how the economic valuation tools traditionally used for income projections have evolved since the displacement of each agent within the financial streams chain and to assess which ones are still relevant and applicable in the music industry.

              • Douglas Bielmeier (Art Institute of Washington)

                What I Really Learned at Recording School: The Skills New Hires in the Audio Industry Have and Where They Were Learned

                There are myriad choices for the aspiring recording engineer when planning a career in the audio industry.  The audio industry is a complex system that requires a highly skilled recording engineer to meet the heavy demands of the larger entertainment industry.  However, Audio Education Technology (AET) programs in the United States often are disconnected from the industry they serve, and thus the validity of the programs and approaches come into question.  This research asks (a) what do new hires in the Audio Industry report as their skill set learned from either formal AET program or on the job, (b) what skills do employers in the audio industry report their new hires have, (c) and what is the level of congruence or gap between the perceived skills of the new hires and the observed skills by the employers.  The research utilizes a non-experimental method by creating a mixed methods survey for both the new hires and their employers to indicate the difference or similarity in perceived skills and observed skills.  This could lead to a better understanding of the larger disconnect between the Audio Industry and AET Programs.

              2011 Awards
              • Don Cusic (Belmont University)

                Lift Every Voice: James Weldon Johnson as Songwriter
                This research project will culminate in a biography of James Weldon Johnson as a songwriter and commentator on the arts during the early music industry as well as digital recordings of Johnson’s songs, documenting his career as a songwriter through recordings. The biography will probably take the form of a book included in a boxed set of recordings of Johnson’s songs.

              • Serona Elton (University of Miami)

                Comparative Analysis of Mechanical Licensing Processes Around the World
                The aim of this research is to show, side-by-side, the different mechanical licensing processes, as well as the associated administrative costs, employed in the major territories around the world today. The significance of this research will be the conclusion as to which licensing process model is the most efficient and least costly. The expected outcome is that the research will spark renewed efforts in the industry with respect to mechanical licensing process reform, and could become the foundation upon which a new set of processes are built.

              2010 Awards

              • Rush Hicks (Belmont University), Jennifer Wilgus (Belmont University), David Maddox (Belmont University)

                Successful Recording Artists and Major Record Labels: Are the Two Closely Connected or Can an Independent Recording Artist Have an Equally Successful Career?
                The recording industry has suffered tremendously during the past five years in terms of reduced CD sales and digital piracy resulting in job layoffs and reduction of artist rosters.  Because it is still expensive to "break" an artist in any mainstream genre, do record labels avoid signing too many artists and does that translate to less artists who are marketed to the consumer? Does it still make sense to actively pursue a major label recording contract or is the new artist better off by pursuing an independent record deal and/or marketing themselves directly to the consumer? What's the percentage of recording artists who are offered a major record label compared to those pursuing a recording contract in light of today's music business climate?  Do we really know how many artists are no longer pursuing a recording contract, and instead focusing on alternative ways to establish or maintain their careers?

              2008 Awards

              • Marcia Lewis (Valparaiso University)

                Transformation of Pedagogical Content and Methodology in Media Instruction as reflected by the Changing Business Climate in the Twenty-first Century
                The media industry in the twenty-first century continues to undergo a profound transformation because of multiplying distribution channels, declining entry barriers for content producers, continuous technological advancements, and mounting competitive pressures. Because the entertainment industry has been transformed by the internet, educational institutions must shift their focus to adequately prepare students to be successful in an industry that is rejecting old business models, eliminating career options, and struggling to find new directions. This study will survey educators to determine how curricular content and pedagogical methodology is meeting the challenge of the changing business environment in the music and entertainment industry.

              • Storm Gloor (University of Colorado - Denver), Geoff Mayfield (Billboard Magazine)

                Just How Long Is Your 'Fifteen Minutes'? The Length Of Artist Careers Before the Long Tail and After
                One criticism of the recording industry is that there is more "churn" and less development of artists, reducing the length of artists' careers. Our aim is to examine such thought based on the historical and present-day lengths of "chart careers." Our expected outcomes include identification of trends in such durations, as well as a comparison of artists and/or periods of both shorter and longer careers to identify commonalities. Such an analysis would be significant in that not only could results of the study address industry theories, but would also provide aspiring artists with real data relevant to their career planning.

              • David Tough (Belmont University)

                Developing a Model Audio Engineering Technology Curriculum: A Delphi Study
                The purpose of this study is to survey 25 industry leaders--professional engineers, sound equipment designers, video game composers, producers, etc.—and to identify what these individuals view as essential components necessary for undergraduate programs to be successful in training students in the field of audio engineering. Rankings will be developed into a future-oriented curriculum complete with essential comptencies, courses, and technology that can be used by any school trying to start or revise its own audio program. This curriculum will specifically focus on smaller schools (200 majors or less) that are trying to develop their programs from the ground up. This study could also be viewed as the first step towards developing an independent accrediting body for audio engineering programs.

              2007 Awards

              • Clyde Rolston, Ph.D. (Belmont University)

                Music Business Employment Attributes:  A Comparison of Employer, Student and Professor Expectations

                Dr. Rolston will conduct a survey tool with co-investigators, Theo Papdopoulos, Associate Dean of Victoria University and Richard Strasser, Assistant Professor at Northeastern University.  Their project will examine the valuation of general skills over technical abilities, curriculum outcomes against employer requirements, and strategies that close the gap between students’ perception and employers’ expectations.

              • Storm Gloor (University of Colorado - Denver)

                Determinant Attributes in the Buy or Burn Decision:  An Exploratory Study
                Assistant Professor Gloor will direct, with co-investigator Clyde Rolston, Associate Professor at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, the project entitled "Determinant Attributes in the Buy or Burn Decision:  An Exploratory Study” in an effort to identify what influences consumers to pay for recordings rather than download them, illegally or legally.

              2006 Awards

              • John Kellogg (Berklee College of Music)

                July 17, 2006.  MEIEA is pleased to announce the first winner of the newly-instituted MEIEA Research Grant program. John Kellogg, Assistant Chair of the Music Business/Management Department at the Berklee College of Music, was awarded a $1,500 research grant for his proposal "Freeing the Music: An Examination of Proposed Methods of Streamlining the Process of Licensing of Music for Sale on the Internet."

                A summary of the proposal, in Professor Kellogg's own words:

                "U.S. Copyright law makes it difficult for Internet Download Services (IDS) to license virtually all of the songs recorded for digital sale. The true potential of the vastly growing digital sale market is thwarted by the difficulty IDS encounter when trying to license songs for digital sale, causing the music to be imprisoned in label vaults.  Problems occur when the services attempt to license mechanical and performance rights, requiring separate licenses and payments to two different licensing agents.  I propose to write a journal article examining the proposals to remedy this problem and fairly compensate publishers and songwriters."

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