Collecting The Data

As the findings of this research are so specific to my own interpretation, I have tried wherever possible, to document my reactions to playing, particularly in the early stages of discovery. Recording myself play has been an important factor in my analysis of, and reflection on the research.

Browse the recordings

In addition, I have attempted to keep a written record of my observations, during and after each interaction with the trumpet and it is this bank of information that supports and fills out the detail of the stronger opinions that I am forming from the research as a whole.

Initial Observations

I have adopted an ‘Action-based’ research style, gathering my information directly from practical exploration of the instrument. In addition, this has involved reflection on my ‘playing’, in both senses of the word, and the observations I make, coupled with self-reflection on the development of my relationship to the instrument, in order to improve the overall quality of my research. Through this process of play and physical interaction with the trumpet, I hope to gain a deeper understanding than if I were to use literature alone.

In the article My Reflective Practice as Research, by Márcia Pereira, the author follows a similar research process and gives several explanations that characterise the idea. Although Pereira writes on the subject of architectural teaching methods, the descriptions she gives of action-based research are equally applicable to my study.

Pereira draws her references from Jean McNiff’s work, You and Your Action Research Project, stating that ‘action research is the professional reflective practice processed via a more systematic enquiry method.’ She goes on to note that ‘McNiff et al. (1996) suggest action research means mixing enquiry, action and purpose: ‘Action researchers are intent on describing, interpreting and explaining events (enquiry) while they seek to change them (action) for the better (purpose).’’

This has been my first attempt at action-based research, having previously sourced my information from books and other texts relevant to my studies. As this project has from the start demanded a practical approach, supported, not led by literature, this research style has been invaluable.

Not only has this approach resulted in a body of research almost entirely unique to me, but I have been able to discover information that is often ignored by other authors.

The individual paths I choose to research within my main subject are governed by my intuition as a musician, coupled with experience. It is this process of evaluation and analysis of the information gained from each different path, that contributes to any future choices I may make.