Riding in Tandem: Journeying the Research-Teaching Nexus in Partnership

Elizabeth Coombes, MA, BMus (Lond) FHEA, Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery; Beth Pickard, MSc, MA, PGCert, DipABRSM, BMus(Hons), SFHEA, NTFS
Photo of Elizabeth Coombes
Photo of Beth Pickard

Elizabeth Coombes is the Course Leader of the MA Music Therapy at the University of South Wales and is studying for her PhD. Her research focuses on the emerging identity of the twenty-first-century music therapist in contemporary society as well as cross-cultural issues. Her practice has a relational focus. Beth Pickard is a Senior Lecturer and PhD Student at the University of South Wales. Her music therapy practice is aligned with an affirmative interpretation of disability, informed by her research in Critical Disability Studies. Beth’s research explores how disability is socially constructed, interpreted and represented across disciplines and pedagogy.

Scholarship of learning and teaching on music therapy training courses offers opportunities for innovative pedagogical methods to be explored that may impact on the research and practice of staff and students. Final year MA Music Therapy students at the University of South Wales experienced two research-informed pedagogical inputs, exploring different positions on the research-teaching nexus (Healey, 2005). A live research project was embedded within one module, while a Music and Imagery model for clinical supervision was undertaken. Preliminary results show a high level of engagement from the students in these pedagogical research projects, developing their researchful thinking and evidence-based attitudes.

The two presenters will each give an overview of the methods used in their pedagogical research projects. Firstly, a music and imagery supervision model with be described and critiqued. Examples of the music used will be played to enable the audience to feel a proxy participation in this session. Brief case studies will form part of the presentation, demonstrating students’ and supervisor’s deepening insight into the clinical work.

Secondly, a research project which was embedded within a research module will be presented. The presenter will share the student and staff’s collaborative journey through the research cycle and will reflect upon preliminary findings of how this experience informed students’ conception of their own research protocol.

The two presenters will then dialogue with each other using the lens of Milne and James’ (2005) Tandem Model of Supervision. Through discussion and a critique of the two pedagogical research projects, they will arrive at personal and professional insights into the potential impact of these experiences on their own scholarship of learning and teaching, as well as professional and research practices.

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