No further research needed

June 2018

Reasons for doing research is often that further research is needed. Also research is done because it has not been done yet. 

The matter of why we would need more research because it has not been done yet is a strange way of acquiring knowledge when you think about it. Often it results in supposedly tapping into uncharted territory that by definition must be exciting and important - because it has not been done yet. Often also, when there is already a whole body of research that is (conveniently?) overlooked. In the case of Early Childhood Music Education there is an enormous reservoir overlooked from practice from and by practitioners with years and years of accumulated knowledge and experience. This is valuable knowledge. And because it has not been researched within a certain paradigm, according to certain methods and has not been published in a journal, does not make it less valuable. 


Especially because the publishing researchers in unfortunately many cases never sat on the work floor with the children. At all. Also the effect of music on something else is being researched in many cases by non-musicians. On the surface it works because method is according to paradigm and methodology. However, what is happening musically? Resulting in results that in some cases are extremely not in accordance  with normal general knowledge. As a result there is the music world and people who research music.


I recently reported on writing that promotes “personal” composition as important and vital. (Please see response to creative thinking). As if something new had been found. In the meantime I see many many so called amateur musicians who play, take lessons and! arrange and compose. Because it is normal. They are not bothered with personal composition at all. They love writing for their ensemble or orchestra or the ad hoc group for the birthday of the son of the aunty of the neighbour across the street. They do not need research to tell them anything at all. They want good music lessons and a good conductor in front of their group.   


The point is not that further research is needed. The question is why do we need to acquire more knowledge about something. For whom and for what is that something. Who is suited to find this necessary knowledge and report it to a community, a group. The rational of need is perhaps the most misused underpinning and at the same time the most important. To understand, know perhaps what someone or someones need is risky business. To define a need or needs for a person or a group without having thoroughly consulted / interviewed the person(s) in question, is in fact very undemocratic. Especially because most needs are artificial, with economic motives pushed through the throat, and by chance go well with current criteria for getting funding.