Synthesis Sunday: Getting Back Into the Research Groove

It is time for me to get back into my research reading routine. I took a hiatus over the past couple of months, mainly because I didn't want to do any reading. I'm back into a reading mood, so here we go.

(By the way, this reading mood is almost always spurred on by the arrival of music therapy journals in the mail...aahh, guilt.)

My first step is always to gather my materials so I have them near me for the entire process. 

Essential Materials:
With my materials in hand, I am ready to start reading!

I am a bit old-fashioned when it comes to reading research, so I always print out my articles or use my printed journals when I am reading. This allows me to touch the pages - for some reason that is important to me. I've never really got into the whole electronic thing.

I pick up my reading - in this case Music Therapy Perspectives, 34(2), 2016 - and start with the Table of Contents. This is an interesting journal, but, after a cursory glance, there isn't much that is directly applicable to my clinical situation. That's fine. I'll still be reading part of it.

The hardest part of reading articles in music therapy journals is that my clinical population is very unique and there aren't many people doing music therapy research in this area of clinical practice. I have to extrapolate information from research and see if it is applicable in my clinical work.

I usually go with my gut about what to read during these sessions. The article that seems the most interesting to me is Viega, M. (2016). Exploring the discourse in hip hop and implications for music therapy practice. Music Therapy Perspectives, 34(2), 138-146. So, off I go.

I start off with a brief skim of the article. I then assign colors to different type of topics for reading purposes. Usually I keep track of things I need to define, other research to explore, and important quotes from the article itself. I also assign a color for questions that I have while I am reading.

Off I go into the article. It's time. I'll go through this one and write about it next Sunday.


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