Drum roll please…. our book is published! Titled Teaching Singing in the 21st Century, it is published by Springer. There is a frontispiece. There is a hard cover. There is even an e-book. There are separately published e-chapters available for e-purchase. There are PAGE NUMBERS. This might seem a little odd, but when you have to reference your work with an (in press) in text citation and no page numbers for individual chapters, it feels a little bit fake. But now we have a date, we have page numbers, and we have a ISBN number (actually, we’ve had that for AGES), I can reference it proper, like.
Also, my very first sole-authored journal article for RSME, which was accepted at the end of last year, appears to be headed for imminent publication given that I have just been sent the first pass of the copy edits. I’m excited.
I now have four book chapters to my name, two shared with DH. I have a sole authored journal article. I also have 3 multi-authored journal articles. While this might seem reasonable for an early career researcher, I am painfully aware of the need to publish or perish in the current research climate.
I have heaps of good material from my PhD with which to write an article or two (or ten!). There are many new ways to analyse the material from my project and like all good data it’s the gift that keeps on giving. At the same time I need to be mindful of my research participants and the ethics surrounding the use of their material for analysis. And there will come a time when I will have to let it go.
I am becoming excited by other areas of investigation, including musical theatre. The challenge will be to do this work without the benefit of ongoing employment at my institution (I’m on fixed contract). Just recently I spoke with a colleague about having to prove one’s importance and worth to the university, and so it is with me, for sure! Publishing means one stays viable in the research space, and it is also a good way to have one’s work regularly critiqued. I’ve been SRA (senior research assistant) on a couple of research projects, and DH has been great in ensuring that his SRAs are recognised by adding their names to the articles that are published. So when I’ve created the research design, done most of the research, provided most of the literature, written most of the articles, and done most of the follow-up work, I think my name should go on the publications. It seems only fair, but I know lots of research teams don’t do this and who don’t recognise the work of their SRAs. On the other hand, I’ve seen first-hand when SRAs don’t do the work for which they are employed. So it cuts both ways, I guess.
I am beginning to think about when I will have completed my thesis and what I will do next. Given that DH is keen that I keep developing my research profile, I imagine I will be finishing off a few old projects, writing articles, and developing ideas for others research projects. I’d like to apply for a Churchill Fellowship so I can observe singing teaching in Musical Theatre in both the US and UK. Another project I’ve in mind is to investigate perceptions of opera (in terms of the body and the singer) from both within and without opera culture.
In the meantime, though, I have a little teensy weensy chapter to write. It’s just reporting the findings from my survey but when I looked at how to write about this I came up empty handed. Because I’m reporting basically quantitative data but from a qualitative perspective (don’t beat me over the head for this – I originally wanted to do mixed methods but it’s a minefield and I haven’t been advised on how to do it because supervisor is a purely qualitative researcher, nor do I have the skills to do statistical analysis on my raw findings) I need to be able to include a simple chapter that shows the results and draws some kinds of interpretation from them. Gah.