Introduction to Music Education Research

Yesterday (Tuesday, October 30), was the first day of my second doctoral course, Introduction to Music Education Research. Unlike my previous course, Foundations of Music Education I: Philosophy and History, this course is structured in three broad units that each have a project to complete by a certain deadline. FME1 had a set of readings and discussions due each week with Live Classrooms and papers sprinkled throughout the term. This blog post will serve as an overview of the course.

We were asked to purchase the following texts for this course:

Clicking on any of the books will take you to their corresponding Amazon page. Research Design was only recommended, not required. We were also asked to purchase the American Psychological Association’s Publication Manual (6th Ed.), but I had that from FME1.

Unit 1 is about Argument. In addition to reading A Rulebook for Arguments and Zen in the Art of Writing, we are asked to read two additional articles:

The project that we are developing over these two weeks (October 30-November 12) is an analysis of the research problem detailed in the Shaw article using techniques from A Rulebook for Arguments. The analysis should look similar in format to the Boucher & Ryan article. We will then trade our analysis with a classmate and critique each other’s arguments in a Live Classroom, revising our own analysis following the critique, and then submitting both our original and revised analyses.

Unit 2 asks What’s the problem? and focuses around The Craft of Research. As we progress through the book, different chapters will require different responses from us. For example, after Chapter 3, we are to generate and refine a topic according to the authors’ instructions (topic, question, and significance). We will share these topics with two other classmates in Live Classrooms and revise based on the feedback we received. Finally, we will craft a research paper as an introduction to a study we may conduct. This project covers the next two weeks (November 13-28).

Unit 3 takes an Overview of Research Traditions, looking at several texts and articles to help us generate an annotated bibliography as well as a critique two education studies. Our small group will have a Live Classroom discussing quantitative and qualitative research methods as part of the final two weeks (November 29-December 12).

I will continue posting reflections of my learning, this time at the end of each unit. As I shared in our introductory posts to our group this week, I am excited to learn more about research and hopefully, begin focusing in on a dissertation topic. Originally, I was interested in looking at effective practice (think Hattie, Marzano, Danielson, etc.) in the music classroom. Now after reading Timeless Learning, I am beginning to think about project-based learning and how music integrates into that process. Looking forward to sharing my learning with you!


Burton Hable

Burton Hable is an instrumental music educator from Central Iowa. In 2013 he helped open Centennial High School in Ankeny, the first time in forty years that a school district in Iowa expanded to two high schools. He served there through 2018 as Assistant Director of Bands: conducting the 10th Grade Symphonic Band, directing the varsity Jazz Collective, co-directing the Centennial Marching and Pep Bands, teaching music theory, and providing individual and small group lessons to brass students in grades 6-12 at Prairie Ridge Middle School, Northview Middle School, and Centennial High School. During his tenure in Ankeny, enrollment in band grew from 450 to nearly 700, the jazz program expanded from four to seven ensembles, and ensembles under his direction were invited to perform at Iowa State University, Harper College, and the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.