Teaching Qualitative Research Experientially and Aesthetically

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The nature of qualitative research—holistic, contextual, with foci and design that are emergent and attentive to the phenomena investigated and to insiders’ perspectives—imply that it entails more than theoretical knowledge and scripted procedures. The conduct of fieldwork and concurrent data analysis, and the processes of interpretation and writing require the cultivation of dispositions supportive of an improvisatory and responsive inquiry. These dispositions are related to those cultivated by artistic engagement. Music and the other arts provide rich and powerful occasions for intensified perception and responsive, attuned engagement. It also facilitates a space for lingering and a distinctive juxtaposition of detached connection. This chapter discusses these qualities in the context of teaching qualitative research, presenting in detail one course assignment targeting fieldwork of music performances. Students’ writing is included as concrete examples of qualitative observations, emerging conceptualizations and interpretations, and ongoing attention to their resonance (both consonance and dissonance) with what they study.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music Education
EditorsColleen M Conway
PublisherOxford University Press
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • experiential learning
  • teaching qualitative research
  • scholarship of teaching and learning
  • SOTL
  • qualitative dispositions
  • qualitative research courses


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