Putting the ‘I’ in music

April 2, 2015

In response to Emma Rees’ article on “mesearch” (“My work is my life”, Features, 19 March), I’ve been thinking about my personal biases as I’m writing up my PhD on the theology of music. When I started, I was seeking an objective perspective on theology and music. I was easily persuaded and found it difficult to construct my own arguments. This filtered through to my writing, where I used the passive voice to disclaim any claims I made. Academic tomes had the final word. I realise now that my perspective may be different from those of established academics, but it is equally valid.

Researchers have to be selective, and choices are always guided by a variety of personal and academic factors. I am likely to write about music that I like and am familiar with, but still I have left out far more research than I have put into the final thesis. My research interests reflect my leisure interests, but if I wasn’t interested in it I wouldn’t research it.

My musical experiences have also been significant: concerts have helped me to clarify my ideas on the work performed, and I have been introduced to new music. I am not the same person at the end of the PhD process as I was at the beginning; the “me” in my “mesearch” is now a more knowledgeable and confident “me”. I appreciate that no piece of research can be comprehensive or final, and as I continue to develop, I can imagine my research perspective changing.

Danielle Lynch
PhD researcher, University of Leeds
Twitter: @DALynch146

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Post-doctoral Research Associate in Chemistry

University Of Western Australia

PACE Data Support Officer

Macquarie University - Sydney Australia

Associate Lecturer in Nursing

Central Queensland University
See all jobs

Most Commented

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham