The challenges of supervision in a doctorate in practice-based research in music: Perceptions of students and supervisors
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This paper interrogates the process of supervising a practice-based doctoral program in music. Through the eyes of a students and supervisors, the nature of supervision in relation to practice-based research in music is investigated. The paper begins by contextualising the nature of the site in question. Issues discussed in this introductory section include the encouragement of innovative research methods and forms of presentation along with the challenges of supervising cross-disciplinary work.Drawing on data from students at the site, the relationship between coursework, artistic practice and more "traditional" modes of supervision is examined. Students also reflect on supervisors' involvement in scoping the study, maintaining work/life balance and managing this type of study from a distance. Other themes emerging from the students include shaping the end-product of practice-based research and supervisor advice concerning the examination process.Similarly, academics' perspectives of the supervisory process are presented. These include balancing the needs of students who have considerable practical experience in their field with the necessary understanding of the institutional imperatives. Locating suitable exemplars, supervisor wellbeing and the supervision of colleagues in innovative programs are also discussed. Other issues to be explored include assisting students in managing the study/work/life balance and academic isolation.The paper highlights the significant challenges of supervising the practice-based degree but also reveals many positive outcomes for both students and supervisors working in this field.
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