Elizabeth Sayrs received her B.A. in Music from Wellesley, where she graduated as the Katharine Malone Scholar. She completed her M.A. in Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music as a Sproull Fellow, and earned the Ph.D. in Music Theory from Ohio State, completing her dissertation with the assistance of a Presidential Dissertation Fellowship. Sayrs has presented her work on 19th-century music, cognitive linguistics and music, pedagogy, and gender studies and music at numerous regional and national conferences. Articles and reviews have been published in College Music Symposium, the Journal of Schenkerian Studies, Music Theory Online, and Music Theory Spectrum; in addition, the book chapter "Playing the 'Science Card': Science as Metaphor in the Practice of Music Theory," with co-author Gregory Proctor, was published in "What Kind of Theory is Music Theory? Epistemological Exercises in Music Theory and Analysis," edited by Per F. Broman and Nora Engebretsen. Her e-text, "MFun: Music Fundamentals" was published by MacGAMUT Music Software International in 2012. She currently serves as the editor of the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy.
Prior to her appointment at Ohio University, Dr. Sayrs served on the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Valparaiso University; The Ohio State University; and the University of Saskatchewan, where she was awarded the Dwaine Nelson Teaching Award. In 2007, she received the Ohio University School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award.