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‘Mixing It Up: A Blended Approach to Practice-based Research Training in Music’

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Higher degree research training in music has been in existence at the Queensland Conservatorium for some decades now, one early form being the PhD by Composition – somewhat prophetic in its shape and atypically framed as a amalgam of new music and exegesis. Over time more programmes became available, but largely in traditional form as musicology or education investigations of phenomena external to the candidate. The introduction of practice-focussed research programmes in the Master of Music (M.Mus, 2000) and the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA, 2005) led to an explosion of new kinds of projects, methodologies and representations, and now stabilising at around 85 enrolled candidates per year. This seminar will unpack some of the issues arising from recent experiences and publications in relation to teaching, resourcing and responding to this environment. In particular, it will be noted how the cohort comprises differing lifestyles, working commitments and often distance candidatures, and to this end, there are a range of relevant collaboration resources and coursework designs that will be explored. Similarly for projects themselves, there are aspects of milestones and examination pathways which aspire to best fitness for purpose: from performance, to record production, composition, installation works and beyond. In parallel to such ‘blended’ research training, a number of related academic artistic research projects will be included in the mix, informed as they are by recent Federal research evaluation exercises in Australia (ERA). The seminar will consist of a presentation followed by an open discussion.

Bio: Paul Draper (EdD) is Professor of Music Technology at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. He holds a doctorate in education and has served as the Griffith Chair in Digital Arts and as Deputy Director (Research) in music. He is a composer, jazz musician and sound producer who publishes on higher education, web 2.0 culture, music making and practice-based research. Paul supervises a cohort of higher degree research students in masters and doctoral programs and is currently head of the Doctor of Musical Arts program at the Queensland Conservatorium.

This talk is part of the Arts, Culture and Education series.

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