Research In Music Education Conference (April 2007)

I recently attended the Fifth International Research in Music Education Conference at the School, of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of Exeter. Those of you who are familiar with my PhD studies will know that my research concerns encouraging creative learning in music composition, therefore, this conference was ideal. It also gave me a chance to present the results from my PhD study during my paper session, which was well received and generated a lot of interest from other researchers.

Each day started promptly at 9am with various keynote speakers, and then paper sessions would run until 7:30pm. I had the pleasure of meeting Guy Claxton (one of the keynote speakers) who spoke about the capacity for creative learning. This session was of particular interest to me as I have read Guy Claxton’s work in some depth for my literature review chapters. The sessions which I attended I selected owing to their relevance to my studies, and this gave me the opportunity to see what research had been at the forefront during the last two years (RIME runs every two years). Themes of the paper sessions I attended included those relating to: Pupil initiated interactions in music lessons, comparative studies of musicians and non-musicians in terms of self perceptions and performance, collaboration in children’s classroom based composition activities, and learning technologies for creative musical activities.

I attended RIME at the last conference two years ago, and did not have time to look around the city. This time I made a dedicated effort to learn more about the history of Exeter. Exeter is indeed a beautiful city, not far from the seafront. During the evenings after the conference sessions I took time to find out what I could about Exeter. I visited the cathedral and found that the council provided free tours, all with different themes. So I went along on the ‘Ghosts and Legends tour’ which was an hour and a half tour in which I learned a lot of facts about the history of Exeter, some very spooky and very gruesome. At the suggestion of some of the other researchers I also went for a walk by the quay and also found a nice little ‘watering hole’ called "The Ship" which was apparently frequented by Francis Drake. At the end of the week I left Exeter fully refreshed with a pile of notes for my literature review, pages of e-mail contacts and a great deal of knowledge about Exeter and its history.

During the course of my PhD studies I have found conferences superb avenues through which to present stages of my work as it has progressed. Not only are conferences good venues to present work, but also to attain feedback, generate further ideas and to also find out what’s happening in relevant research areas. So to all you other students out there I’d highly recommend getting out there and presenting your work, and should some of your research include music education I’d definitely recommend attending RIME.

For those interested, previous works I’ve presented at conferences (and other publications) during my time at KMi are:

Truman, S. M & Mulholland, P (in progress) A generative framework of creativity: encouraging creative collaboration in children’s music composition. In D. Faulkner & L. Coates (Eds.) The Multiple Cultures of Creativity in Childhood. Taylor & Francis.

Truman, S.M (2007) Encouraging children’s collaborative creativity in a music composition task: summary and results. To appear in the Fifth International Conference on Musical Understanding: Research in Music Education (RIME). School of Education and Lifelong Learning. The University of Exeter. April.

Truman, S.M, Mulholland, P & Badii, A (2007) A generative framework for learning and creativity: facilitating creative thinking in children’s music composition. Accepted to appear in the International Journal of Music Education: Practice Issue (IJME).

Truman, S. M. & Truman, P. J. (2006) An investigation of the situated learnability effects of single- and dual-modal systems in education: a report of music-oriented learning environment and science computer-assisted teaching studies. British Journal of Educational Technology. 37 (1), 131-142.

Truman, S.M (2006) A computer supported approach towards collaborative and creative musicality in the classroom: concepts and framework. December issue of "Interfaces".

Truman, S.M (2006) Contemporary Perspectives on collaborative creativity: A review. To appear in Thinking Skills and Creativity Journal.

Truman, S.M & Mulholland, P (2006) Designing educational software to enhance the creative learning experience: An integrative framework. Proceedings of HCI 2006 Engage. 11th – 15th September. Queen Mary, University of London.

Truman, S.M (2006) Supporting creativity in a children’s music composition task: A summary and results. Proceedings of the Centre for Research in Computing PhD Conference. Department of Maths and Computing. The Open University. 6th – 7th July.

Truman, S.M (2006) Facilitating collaborative creativity in children’s music composition: objectives, framework and software. Entry for Open University Poster Competition. Friday 16th June. The Open University.

Truman, S.M & Mulholland, P (2005) A computer assisted approach towards music composition in the classroom: facilitating creativity in mainstream education. Proceedings of The Leeds International Music Technology in Education Conference. Leeds College of Music. 11th – 12th November.

Truman, S.M (2005) Enhancing creativity in children’s music compositions: objectives, framework and software. Proceedings of the Centre for Research in Computing Colloquium. The Open University, 18th October.

Truman, S.M (2005) An integrative framework of learning and creativity: facilitating creative thinking in school children’s music composition. Proceedings of the 2nd Music Teaching in Professional Practice Initiate Conference ‘Musical Creativity’. Pp 26 – 27. International Centre for Research in Music Education, University of Reading. 15th – 16th July.

Truman, S.M (2005) Facilitating creative thinking in children’s music composition: an integrative framework. Proceedings of the Centre for Research in Computing PhD Conference. Pp 22. Department of Maths and Computing. The Open University. 4th – 5th July.

Truman, S.M & Mulholland, P (2005) How can we advance the potential for learning via technology? It’s all in the CREATIVE design. Proceedings of the 9th Human Centred Technology Workshop: Advancing the Potential for Communication, Learning and Interaction. Pp 9 – 12. Brighton. 28th – 29th June.

Truman, S.M, Mulholland, P & Badii, A (2005) Bridging social learning and creativity: an integrative framework for collaborative-creative music composition within the classroom. Proceedings of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE) Conference: Musical Creativity in Culture and Mind. Pp 3. Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge. 16th April.

Truman, S.M, Mulholland, P & Badii, A (2005) A creative alternative to music notation: exploiting visual metaphors to encourage musical creativity in school aged children. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Musical Understanding. Pp 47 – 48. School of Education and Lifelong Learning. University of Exeter. 5th – 9th April.

Truman, S.M (2003) Facilitating collaborative music composition within the classroom: a creative learning perspective. Proceedings of SEMPRE Researching Musical Understanding. Department of Psychology, Keele University.

Truman, S (2002) A computer supported approach towards collaborative and creative musicality in the classroom: concepts and framework. Proceedings of the 6th Human Centered Technology Postgraduate Workshop. University of Sussex.

Badii A & Truman, S (2001) Cognitive factors in interface design: an e-learning environment for memory performance and retention optimisation. Proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Information Technology Management. P49. September. Oriel College, Oxford University.