International Foundation for Music Research Re-Opens Funding Opportunities on Re-Launched Web Site

Mary L. Luehrsen Appointed IFMR Executive Director

August 15, 2002

The International Foundation for Music Research (IFMR), which supports scientific research to explore the relationship between music, learning and physical and emotional well-being, has launched a new Web site at, which includes new funding guidelines. IFMR is accepting grant inquiries by e-mail.

IFMR has also announced the appointment of Mary L. Luehrsen as its new Executive Director, effective August 1. Luehrsen, an experienced manager in the field of music-related and cultural philanthropy, is a former Program Officer of the Texaco Foundation and also serves as Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations for NAMM, the International Music Products Association, an IFMR affiliate.

In addition to offering support for research, the updated grant guidelines for IFMR include support for doctoral and post-doctoral work that falls within the organization’s research guidelines. “These are the new scientists of this emerging field,” Luehrsen explains. “The most critical aspect of a study is personnel; sometimes another six months or a year is needed to complete or expand work at a vital moment.”

IFMR grants will be awarded to support multi-year research projects by established and emerging investigators and their teams; conferences and information dissemination activities; and one-year research fellow/assistantships that extend and/or expand work-in-progress. All projects must advance the foundation’s goals of exploring music’s role in learning and cognitive development and expanding the understanding of music’s role in all aspects of life.

Research grant awards are made for one to three years in the $20,000–$100,000 range, with higher amounts considered according to research design. Although IFMR reviews formal grant proposals by invitation only, initial inquiries are accepted according to the guidelines found at its headquarters.

Another addition to the new IFMR Web site is the first edition of IFMR News, which will use rotating guest editors and contributors highlighting news and trends in the field of music-related science. A searchable online guide to current music research will be added to the site in Fall 2002. MUSICA — The Music Information Computer Archive, a searchable database of music research abstracts and information from 1993 to 2001, is also available on the site.

In her new post, Luehrsen will work to advance the foundation’s visibility within the scientific community, and she will actively seek out innovative projects, collaborations and partnerships to advance the state of research in the field.

In her work with the Texaco Foundation, Luehrsen helped uphold a 62-year tradition of Metropolitan Opera broadcasts and assisted new outreach programs such as Texaco Quiz Kids and the Texaco-Sphinx Competition. She implemented the Texaco music education grant-making program, “Early Notes: The Sound of Children Learning,” which included the development of Texaco’s award-winning TV commercials promoting music education. Luehrsen also initiated the Texaco Foundation’s funding of “Sesame Street Music Works” in collaboration with NAMM, which led to the creation of a first-ever online music learning site at

Luehrsen previously served as program director of the Westchester Community Foundation, a division of the New York Community Trust; as executive director of the Westchester Philharmonic; and as an independent marketing consultant. She also worked for 20 years as a professional flutist and music curriculum planner. As a certified music educator in general and instrumental music, she taught music in Wisconsin and New York for 16 years.

The International Foundation for Music Research (IFMR) was founded in 1997 to support scientific research to explore the relationship between music and physical and emotional wellness, with particular attention to the elderly population, the impact of music making on at-risk youth, and music education and the effect of music and music making. IFMR also convenes scientists, educators and others around critical issues in music research and disseminates research through its publication, IFMR News, and various online research referral services and archives.