Academic journal article Contributions to Music Education

Publishing Your Music Education Research: A Seminar for Future Authors A Summary of the 2009 Ohio Music Education Association Research Forum Presented by Dr. Wendy Sims

Academic journal article Contributions to Music Education

Publishing Your Music Education Research: A Seminar for Future Authors A Summary of the 2009 Ohio Music Education Association Research Forum Presented by Dr. Wendy Sims

Article excerpt

The Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Research Committee annually hosts a Graduate Research Forum in conjunction with the OMEA's Professional Development Conference. In 2009, the guest speaker was Dr. Wendy Sims, Director of Music Education at the University of Missouri - Columbia and Editor of the Journal of Research in Music Education. An Ohio native, Sims received her undergraduate and masters degrees in music education from Kent State University and earned her Ph. D. from Florida State University. An author and practicing researcher, Sims has published in a variety of preeminent journals including Psychology of Music, International Journal of Music Education, Music Educators Journal, and Journal of Research in Music Education. Sims encouraged those in attendance to consider research as a viable opportunity for professional growth. She also provided insights into the periodical publication process, offering suggestions to assist both novice and experienced researchers in developing their understanding of what is needed to author publishable research studies.

Dr. Wendy Sims, a distinguished researcher in the field of music education, initiated the 2009 Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Research Forum with a fundamental question of her audience: "Why do people do research?" The question was later clarified through an additional caveat that the audience was to only respond with "noble reasons." This singular instance established Sims' rapport with the audience and prepared the listeners for a session satiated with personal wisdom, humorous anecdotes, and a continuous demonstration of Sims' love of music education research. Answers to Sims' preliminary question ranged from intellectual to pedagogical in nature with Sims reminding the audience of an additional purpose of undertaking research - "because it's fun!"

Inspiring Future Researchers

Research in music education need not be confined to veteran researchers. In order to encourage students' enthusiasm toward music education research, Sims proposed that professors might start by finding ways to get their students to visit their institutional library more often. While an excellent starting point toward research, Sims noted that despite the enhanced efficiency of online journals, there is an inimitable experience of being inside of a physical library among the stacks of bound periodicals surrounded by a wealth of information. In her characteristic personable style, Sims suggested that professors use such cunning strategies as hiding a dollar in a library book or designing a makeshift scavenger hunt that asks students the placement of a specific book or periodical on a shelf in order to entice students into visiting their institutional library.

Relating the publication process to personal experience, Sims divulged some new changes to the Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME) - the periodical with which she maintains the position of editor. She indicated that due to an increased quantity of manuscript submissions, JRME would be expanding its review board from 17 to 21 members, each member holding a 6-year term. As a means to encourage young researchers toward personal and professional growth, Sims noted that more institutions are requiring students to delve into research as a part of their academic programs than in the past. Sims expounded that a host of new methodologies in the research community and many fresh opportunities for the novice researcher also contribute to submission of a greater number of manuscripts representing a wider variety of methodologies, necessitating a larger and more diverse group of reviewers. In order to clarify a particular area of interest or research topic, Sims suggested perusing Vision 2020: The Housewright Symposium on the Future of Music Education. This document is available online at http://www.menc.org. Sims also proposed that novice researchers consider applying to national poster sessions to disseminate their research. …

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