Busy work

Busy work is just that: busy.

There is no deep thinking involved in busy work: all it requires is the time to do the work and the desire to see it done. Today I’ve had a reasonably quiet day. I created my to-do list on the bus to work late this morning, and I’ve not really gotten through them all, because I had lunch with a friend, and then afternoon tea. There are applications to prepare; such as Fulbright and Churchill fellowships. I have a job application to prepare. I have to get some videos OFF my laptop as I now only have about 2 gig of available memory left and it’s worrying me. I have books to borrow from the library, but only one is currently available. I have to prepare a 2 hour lecture/workshop on vocal health for PE teachers for next Tuesday. And I have an RHD portfolio form to prepare. All busy, busy work, and it’s annoying me. But I have to do it. No-one tells you that much of one’s time is spent doing the boring things like moving enormous video files from one electronic medium to another. It’s crap work, but, actually, it allows for those necessary breaks in between the transcripts and the journal writing and the draft preparations for one’s supervisor.

Tuesday was a good day: I sent off my annotated bibliography with its 40 odd articles to my supervisor; I also sent off my data timeline, with only 2 interviews yet to complete (but a trillion transcriptions yet to finish). Then I created a timeline of things to do between now and July next year, when I plan to submit my final draft. I quite like doing these things, as it keeps me on target, and even when I’m off target, I can see how much work I need to do to get back on track.

This is my timeline as it currently stands:

June 14 – 26

  1. Transcriptions to complete:
    1. Teacher transcriptions x 3
    2. Student transcriptions x 3
    3. Ex-student critical-events transcriptions x 3.
  2. Paper preparation ASME conference: Negotiating learning and teaching relationships in the private tertiary music studio – 3 short narrative accounts. (20 minute paper.)
  3. Readings: Cultural Psychology. Create annotated bibliography.
  4. Application for MSA funding to December conference. Join MSA.
  5. Job application for Level B singing teacher – USQ, Toowoomba (to start 2012?).

June 27 – 28

G U Writing retreat: re GGL&T article on developing the professional musician.

June 29 – July 5

Final preparation and presentation of paper. Attendance at ASME.

July 10 – 20

  1. Writing retreat Victoria.
    1. Analysis and semi-transcription: case study 2 and 3 singing lessons.
    2. Narrative Case 1: continue shaping.
    3. RSME paper preparation – will help with narrative case 1, (given more recent data generation).
    4. GGL&T article final.
    5. Prepare milestone presentation.

July 25 – August 31

  1. July 29: Milestone seminar: activity to date; report on future plans. Show outline of thesis; some initial writings. Autoethnographic murmurings.
  2. Narrative Case 2: shaping. Draft 1.
  3. Readings: Literature on singing pedagogy; physiology – shaping and refining.
  4. Readings: Identity (for RSME paper, still in train.). Create annotated bibliography.
  5. Fulbright scholarship application sent off (comparative analysis of singing teachers in Australia and the US; singing lessons; interviews with eminent teachers).

September 1 – October 2.

  1. Continue thesis super-structure: identify weak links, holes and poor connections.
  2. Submit RSME paper.
  3. Writing: continue literature sections and substantive theories outline.
  4. Reading: Refine areas for thesis:
    1. Singing pedagogy
    2. Singing physiology studies – a brief account
    3. Studies in applied music studios and conservatoires
    4. Studies in education – focus on higher education, music education and some relational theories, plus some readings in adult education.
    5. Studies in cultural psychology – delimit from behavioural and developmental?
    6. Studies in Self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan) potentially for survey chapter.
    7. Studies in Mixed Methods and Narrative Inquiry methods, Autoethnography.

October – Dec 2010.

  1. November: submit application to extend APA to August 2012 (+6 months).
  2. Preparation for MSA paper on emotion.
  3. Conference MSA Perth: The Power of Music. December 29 – 3.
  4. Submission to ISME Research Commission finalised, edited and sent; general session application created, organised and sent.
  5. Churchill Fellowship application made and sent (comparative study between singing teaching in UK, US and Australia; singing lessons and interviews with eminent singing teachers).
  6. December 12 – 31: School Holidays, Xmas, New Year and 4th wedding anniversary!


January 2 – 31

  1. First full draft preparation and submission to supervisors.
    1. Thesis review submission (3rd milestone).
  2. Paper preparation for The Reflective Conservatoire Conference, London, March 17 – 20.
  3. Continue drafts:
    1. Finalise methodology chapter;
    2. Further shape literature chapters;
    3. Introduction chapter discussion and shape;
    4. Finish narrative chapter drafts.

February 1 – April 11.

  1. Create Conclusion and/ or discussion chapter draft on thematic analysis of narrative threads?

April 12 – 21.

School Holidays: time away from thinking about thesis. Melbourne. Son’s birthday; Easter.

April 22 – June 30

  1. Submit intention to submit form in late June?
  2. Finish literature and conclusion chapters
  3. Shape survey chapter if required
  4. Complete conclusion and introduction
  5. Format and design thesis appearance
  6. Fix and organise references, appendices.
  7. Overseas: Thessaloniki July 5 – 28. (approx). Sweden: August (approx).
    1. ISME Conference: Research Commission and Conference proper. 8 – 20 July.
    2. ICMPC Conference July 23 – 28.
    3. Sweden: Sundberg Voice Workshop planned attendance (not confirmed).

July 2012

  1. Submit final thesis.
  2. Applications for Post-Doc positions prepared and sent. All job applications in Tertiary applied for.
  3. General malaise sets in: August.

So of course, now I can see that I need to have joined MSA in order to apply for their grant to travel to Perth, which I’ve not yet done. Do I do it now, knowing that my confirmation of membership will not come through in time by the 17th June? It’s never gonna happen! And that job application is roaring forward. Busy, busy work.




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