Doctoral Student (Again)

Today marks a year of me studying for a doctoral degree, this time in Learning Analytics in K12 Education at Northcentral University. I’ve completed four courses so far and look forward to moving toward the dissertation phase of the program.

I’m still focused on music and literacy, and I’ve narrowed that focus to sensorimotor synchronization and phonological awareness. I’ve found in my research that music is simply too broad of a category as is literacy! I needed to select one aspect of each to have a truly spectacular dissertation.

Here are some articles I’m currently reading:

Anthony, J.L., Chen, Y.I., Williams, J.M., Cen, W., & Erazo, N.A. (2021). US Children’s understanding of the English alphabet: Its acquisition, conceptualization, and measurement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 113(6), 1073-1087.

Bonacina, S., Huang, S., White-Schwoch, T., Krizman, J., Nicol, T., & Kraus, N. (2021). Rhythm, reading, and sound processing in the brain in preschool children. NPJ Science of Learning, 6(1), 20.

Eccles, R., van der Linde, J., le Roux, M., Holloway, J., MacCutcheon, D., Ljung, R., & Swanepoel, D. W. (2021). Is phonological awareness related to pitch, rhythm, and speech-in-noise discrimination in young children? Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 52(1), 383-395.

Kempert, S., Götz, R., Blatter, K., Tibken, C., Artelt, C., Schneider, W., & Stanat, P. (2016). Training early literacy related skills: To which degree does a musical training contribute to phonological awareness development? Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1803.

Kertész, C., & Honbolygó, F. (2021). Tapping to music predicts literacy skills of first-grade children. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 741540.

2018 Goals: To Learn!

It’s been about three weeks since my last blog! I’m sorry to my readers. I had set out some goals for myself as I approached this new year. Yes, blogging was one of them, but even more significant, is my desire to pursue learning.

Starting last week, I began taking a graduate class at the University of Washington within their school of education: Developmental Foundations of Early Learning. I’m not an official student. I was accepted as a non-matriculated student, which means I can earn credit, but currently, it won’t get applied to any program at the University yet. My hope is with this class and other activities I will be doing this year, I can put together a stellar application and enroll in their PhD program in Learning Sciences and Human Development. As it stands, I will be preparing for a group case study on the topic, Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood, and my final will be a poster presentation on an existing form of curriculum designed for those between birth and fifth grade. I already have an idea for my final project, but it hasn’t been approved yet, so I will keep it to myself for the moment.

A second thing I started last week is music lessons. I purchased for myself basically a toddler’s melodica, and I’m intent on learning how to play. I found a private instructor, and I’m taking classes that take place immediately after my university class. I don’t play the piano, so these lessons are actually both teaching me how to play the melodica and the piano. I am having a wonderful time and proving to myself that even forty isn’t too old to learn a musical instrument.

Next, I’m working on my leadership skills. As a member of Toastmasters International (specifically “Leading Ladies Toastmasters Club“), I competed as my division’s finalist in the District 2 conference. Sadly, I didn’t place, but I certainly made an impression upon the leadership in my division. Now, I have accepted the request to chair an officer’s training workshop that will take place this next weekend. While I have had the help of fellow toastmasters, a lot of it was up to my creativity, and this Saturday, I hope to see a successful workshop of over 70 people!

Finally, I’m looking forward to attending the next National Association for Music Education conference in March 2018. This one will be better suited for me as it is focussed on research. One exciting thing I can share with my readers is that NAfME contacted me shortly after their November conference and requested to reprint three of my blogs about their conference. I eagerly agreed. I hope to produce similar blogs when I attend their next conference, and I’m very happy that they liked what I wrote.

For anyone who has completed a PhD program, even though I tried to complete one prior to now, I would love to hear your thoughts or tips on the application process. There is a lot to do, but fortunately, the deadline for applying is January 2019!