Achievement Standard Music Studies 91425:
Research a music topic
Resource reference: Music Studies 3.10
Resource title: Investigation
Credits: 6

Achievement - Research a music topic.
Achievement with Merit - Research a music topic in depth.
Achievement with Excellence - Research a music topic with insight.

Student Instructions: 

This assessment activity requires you to research a music topic and present your findings and conclusions in a suitable format. You will be assessed on the depth and insight of your research and your resulting conclusions.

This assessment activity will take place in class and out of class over six to nine weeks.

You will complete all the research and your presentation, individually.

You will present information that answers a question related to a specific music topic. You may use the information in Resource A to guide the research process.

To present your findings, choose a format that is appropriate to your topic, in negotiation with your teacher. For example, you could present a seminar with the help of a computer projector, make a documentary, present a written report, create a website or present a live performance with annotated scores.  

Your presentation should be of sufficient length and complexity to show you have processed relevant evidence from a range of sources.

In presenting your research, carefully choose the information you include. To show insightful conclusions, process your findings to come up with your own original ideas and observations on your topic.

Keep all your preparatory work and submit this with your presentation as evidence of authenticity. You may use the information in Resource B to set up your preparatory work.

Make sure you have answered your specific research question in detail and have also provided personal conclusions by the end of your presentation.

Resource A

You may choose to follow the process outlined below in conducting your research.

·        Define your area of research. This is the general area of music that will form the basis for your inquiry.

·        Formulate your specific research question in consultation with your teacher. This will narrow down your field of inquiry within your area of research.

·     Plan your time. Giving yourself small goals to achieve each week will help.

·        Write the framework for your research. In writing this, consider the following questions: What do you expect to find out? It will help you to have a number of focus questions to narrow your field of research further as you work to answer your main research question. How will you find this information? How will you organise your findings? The format of your presentation is likely to guide the methods of your research.

·        Gather your information from a range of sources. Aim to use at least three different types of sources, such as the Internet, people, and books. If you will be using people as the focus of your inquiry, you will need to gain the written consent of your participants before using any data provided by them in your presentation. You could use people to interview, survey, observe, undertake action research, or recount personal experiences.

·        Analyse all your material and come up with your own conclusions in response to your specific research question.

·        While you are researching, you must record all your sources in a bibliography that will be submitted with your presentation.

Resource B

Research Question Planner

Brainstorm your ideas on each of the following and discuss them widely as you start to refine them.

Topic:      The field I am interested in.

Focus:     The aspect(s) I am most interested in investigating.

Research Question:   What I want to know about my focus area.

Action Plan Checklist (part of the framework)

Research question formulated

Analysis of methods suggested

Time-frame phases planned

Possible important points identified

Methods outlined

Findings organised and represented

Data sources identified

Presentation format planned

Ethics addressed

As you plan your time frame consider the following:
  • Research has five main phases (not all are of equal importance but all are essential as part of the research process):
–      framework

–      background (information gathered to present the ‘big picture’)

–      fieldwork (specific information gathered to answer your research question)

–      analysis (processing the information gathered). This includes the formulation and refining of findings based on evidence, discussion, reading and further processing

–      presentation.

  • Although the first phase (framework) occurs on its own at the start, the other phases may at times overlap.
  • A timeline is approximate and it is highly unlikely that each phase will work exactly to plan. You will need to be flexible.
Use this checklist to make sure you have covered everything required for your presentation.

Presentation Checklist:
Area of inquiry defined - its limits, why it is important.
Research question introduced.
Framework included (time frame, methods, data sources, analysis methods, important points, organisation and writing up of findings, presentation format).
Findings presented and discussed, using musical evidence and background information.
Conclusions drawn.
Sources fully referenced; any appendices attached, for example, survey questions.