Research in Music Education I

MUSI 5341 Syllabus


Tarleton State University

Instructor:  Dr. Vicky V. Johnson   (254)968-9245


For week by week description of requirements, assignments, and exams, refer to the Course Outline at the following link:



Course Description


An exploration of methods and materials of research in music, including styles of writing and proper documentation of sources with an emphasis on developing strategies for organization and information access.

Required Text and Materials




Bellman, J. D. (2007). A short guide to writing about music (2nd ed.): Pearson.



Phillips, K.H. (2008). Exploring research in music education & music therapy. New York: Oxford University Press.



Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, 2010.  (Please get this version as I will refer to page numbers in my instructions)



Access to Microsoft Word





Suggested Reading

Here are some additional excellent references for music research. 


Phelps, R., Sadoff, R. H., Warburton, E. C., & Ferrera, L. (2005). A guide to research in music education. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc.



Wingell, R.J. & Herzog, S. (2001).  Introduction to research in music. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.



Sampsel, L. J. (2009). Music Research: A handbook. New York: Oxford University Press.





Course Objectives


Intended Student Learning Outcomes

Knowledge Outcomes:  Students will develop an understanding of:

  1. the different kinds of scholarly writing about music

  2. the process and organization of gathering information

  3. the challenges inherent in writing about music

Skill Outcomes:  Students will be able to:

  1. use electronic and print resources to gather information needed in scholarly inquiry

  2. write an annotated bibliography

  3. write short works based upon research, such as a music analysis or a critical report

  4. carry on a scholarly dialogue in a discussion forum

Value Outcomes:  Students will:

  1. be familiar with resources necessary for scholarship and research

  2. begin to develop their own personal interests for topics in music education research

  3. apply research findings to practical classroom situations




Course Activities




Online lecture material



Reading assignments



Weekly graded assignments






Final project





Course Requirements





Weekly assignments based upon the lecture and reading material 



Discussion postings



Final project






50%   Assignments



30%   Discussion Posts



20%   Final project










On time



All segments done as assigned

Some missing


Length, proofreading, formatting, etc. checked



Expression is succinct and clear

Expression is vague and imprecise

Application of readings

Terms and concepts understood and used appropriately

Terms and concepts misused or no usage









Presence in discussion within time assigned

Absent or late


Appropriate forethought given to comments where required


Application of readings

Same as above for coursework



Comments advance understanding

Comments have minimal substance or merit


Note:  In grading assignments with subjective content, students do not begin with a 100% and lose points for infractions.  Rather, these grades are judgments about overall performance.  That is to say, students who have earned an 85% did not necessarily "lose" 15 points through error, but were judged to have performed at a B level.


Attendance Policy:  This is an online class.  Students are expected to check in online regularly for announcements and to keep up with discussions.  Assignments and discussions will have weekly deadlines.  Recommendation is to login to Blackboard every day.


Students With Disabilities Policy

It is the policy of Tarleton State University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws.  If you are a student with a disability seeking accommodations for this course, please contact Student Disability Services, at 254.968.9400 or  More information can be found at www. or in the University catalog.


Academic Conduct

Cheating, plagiarism (submitting another person's materials or ideas as one's own), or doing work for another person who will receive academic credit are all impermissible.  This includes the use of unauthorized books, notebooks, or other sources in order to secure or give help during an examination; the unauthorized copying of examinations, assignments, reports, or term papers; turning in a paper or project previously used in another course; or the presentation of unacknowledged material as if it were the student's own work.  Any student caught cheating will receive a grade of "F" for the class.  Further disciplinary action may be taken beyond the Department of Fine Arts. Cheating is serious business and the penalties for engaging in this sort of activity will be severe. Consult the following link for further information on academic conduct as specified in your student handbook:



One of the biggest frustrations in an online course can be the technology required to make it happen.  Don't hesitate to contact the technology resource personnel at Tarleton.  They are there to help you.  The CII (Center for Instructional Innovation) number is 254/968-1960.  Here is a webpage with several links to help you.  Please access this page and take the opportunity to configure your computer before the semester begins.

Online Help Page

HomeCourse OutlineLinks

Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson