MEMT 366

Introduction to Research in Music Education and Music Therapy


Instructor: Dena Register, Ph.D., MT-BC

Office: 448B Murphy Hall

Office hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 11:00-12:00

Others by appointment




Required texts:


Patten, M. (2005). Understanding Research Methods. Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.

American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication Manual for the American Psychological Association. (5th edition). Washington, D.C.: APA Publications.



Supplemental resources:


AMTA. (2000). Effectiveness of music therapy procedures: Documentation of research and clinical practice. Silver Spring, MD: American Music Therapy Association.


Isaac, S., and Michael, W.B. (1995). Handbook in research and evaluation. San Diego, CA: EdITS/Educational and Industrial Testing Services.


Madsen, C.K., & Madsen, C.H. (1997). Experimental research in music(3rd ed.). Raleigh, NC: Contemporary Publishing Company.


Madsen, C.K., & Madsen, C.H. (1997). Experimental research in music: Workbook in design and statistical tests (rev. ed.). Raleigh, NC: Contemporary Publishing Company.


Madsen, C. K., and Prickett, C. A. (Eds.) (1987). Applications of research in music behavior. Tuscaloosa, AL: The University of Alabama press.


Pyrczak, F. and Bruce, R. R. (1992). Writing empirical research reports. Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.


Wheeler, B. (Ed.) (2005). Music therapy research: Quantitative and qualitative perspectives (2nd ed.). Phoenixville, PA: Barcelona Publishers.





Purpose: To survey selected types of educational/clinical research and selected research techniques applicable to music therapy and music education.



-      Students will explore basic concepts/types of research in music therapy and music education

-      Students will read current, relevant research literature in music therapy and music education and will analyze research by type and design

-      Students will communicate an understanding of relevant research and will discuss implications of said research in their respective disciplines

-      Students will learn how to conduct an experiment and write a research report in APA format

-      Students will become familiar with appropriate professional forums for displaying and discussing research results

-      Students will practice the following standards (as outlined by the State of Kansas, Board of Education), required for teacher certification:

-      #4-The educator understands & uses a variety of appropriate instructional strategies to develop various kinds of students' learning, including critical thinking, problem solving and reading.

-      #6-The educator uses a variety of effective verbal and non-verbal communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration and supportive interaction in the classroom. 

-      #8-The educator understands & uses formal & informal assessment strategies to evaluate & ensure continual intellectual, social & other aspects of personal development of all learners.

-      #12-The educator understands the role of technology in society and demonstrates skills using instructional tools & technology to gather, analyze and present information, enhance instructional practices, facilitate professional productivity and communication, and help all students use instructional technology effectively.


You have the option of completing this class as a service learning class. Service-learning courses are designed to provide college students with structured learning experiences that meet both the needs of the academic program as well as those of the community. Therefore, students will be asked to select a classroom or clinical placement of interest where they will volunteer to be of service in order to supplement the assignments required in the class. Minimum time requirements outside of class are approximated at three hours per week for at least six weeks of the semester but will depend on the project designed by the student at the discretion of the professor. During their volunteer time, students will observe the participants and group leader(s); provide service or assistance to students or clients as directed by the group leader(s) or therapist and work cooperatively with other classroom or clinical staff in order to enhance the environment. During this service activity students will conduct a self-designed research project in order to benefit students or clients based on measurable outcomes.





Service-Learning placement (optional): You will select a location based on your career interests and, in cooperation with the professor and an on-site contact, schedule dates/times during which you will, observe the "happenings", provide some sort of service, and carry out a research project that you design. Your placement should be chosen and your learning contract secured with the on-site contact and the professor no later than September 27.


Research paper: You will conduct a research project and submit the written results of your experiment in APA (5th ed.) format. This report must have an Introduction section, including a complete Review of Literature (N>10), hypothesis and design. It must include a Procedures (Methods) section and a Results section, detailing results with graphs and tables where appropriate. This must be original research not used in another class. Portions of the research paper will be due over the course of the semester in order to allow for editing prior to completion of the entire work. See calendar for specific dates.

            Abstracts: Find and read 10 study abstracts that are of interest to you

Research analyses: Select 5 of the 10 abstracts, locate and read the entire article. Complete one analysis each for 5 studies.

Review of Literature with bibliography: Using a minimum of 11 sources, write a review of literature that supports your chosen research topic. This paper should include a clear introduction, transitions between articles and/or sections and should have a clear conclusion that ties in all ideas presented in the paper and sets up your research question. This paper should include a bibliography in APA (5th ed.) style, as well as correct citations in the body of the work.

Method: Students will articulate the research plan including all specifications of what they are measuring and how they are measuring it. This document should provide details about the number and type of subjects, how the data was collected, what instruments were used and what data was collected. Specificity is very important.


Research poster: Students will present the method, outcomes and points of discussion of their research in a 30"x40" research poster. All posters will be presented during a class research poster session and students will be asked to give a brief verbal description of their project and answer questions about their project.


Online or in-class writing assignments/discussion: Students are expected to complete all reading assignments by the day indicated on the calendar in order to participate in the discussion conducted in-class or online. Please refer to specifications on Blackboard regarding when/what to post and required responses.


Final class grades will be based on the following:

Grading Scale:





Research Paper




Research Poster/Presentation




Homework/Writing Assignments








-      You must be registered for this class no later than the 3rd day of classes in order to remain in the class.

-      Assignments are due at class time on the due date. Late assignments will not be accepted. Do not attempt to send assignments via e-mail.

-      All written assignments should be typed, double-spaced

-      Attendance is required. More than 3 absences (for any reason) will result in a drop of one letter grade

-      No incompletes will be given

-      Any student with a disability that prevents the fullest expression of his or her abilities should contact the staff of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), 135 Strong Hall in order to coordinate accommodations and services for this course

-      The University of Kansas website states:

"Academic integrity requires the honest performance of academic responsibilities by students. Academic responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the preparation of assignments, reports and term papers, the taking of examinations, and a sincere and conscientious effort by students to abide by the policies set forth by instructors. Any subversion or compromise of academic integrity thus constitutes academic misconduct. Examples of academic misconduct include (among others) falsification, unauthorized assistance with, or plagiarism of, reports, term papers, research papers or other written documents; giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations; disruption of classes; the offering of gratuities or favors in return for grades. When an instructor determines that a student has violated academic integrity as described above, the instructor may charge the student with academic misconduct."


Students violating this policy are subject to various sanctions, including failing the class and/or expulsion from the university.