Novel Strategies for Teaching a Graduate Music Research Course

The College Music Society International Conference
Seoul, South Korea
July 2011

David Brian Williams, PhD
Professor of Music and Arts Technology, Emeritus
Illinois State University


Confronted with teaching a music research course required of all graduate students, the presenter looked beyond traditional strategies and textbooks for bibliographic music research to find novel strategies that would engage the students in contemporary issues and technology that included Internet resources, copyright and plagiarism issues, editing tools built into word processors, as well as referring to, evaluating, and publishing Internet-based documents such as those found in Wikipedia. The course was taught in a computer lab where students had online access during class activities.

This presentation will provide an overview of the novel projects designed for the course as well as feedback on student success with the projects. The projects included, among others, a music library treasure hunt for both on-campus and online music resources, use of an online bibliographic tool that interfaced with online search indexes, plagiarism analysis and identification, a Wikipedia writing and publishing project, and skill development with editing tools built into Microsoft Word. Pedagogical, scholarship, and music issues using these tools and techniques will also be discussed. Examples of the various projects and the class study guides will be provided as a Web online handout


The following are some selected materials referred to in my presentation in Seoul for the CMS International Conference. This course was offered in 2005 as Music 357 at Illinois State University. Unfortunately, my archived folder of materials from the course was corrupted and I needed to scan from hardcopy materials and call upon the generous assistance of two students in the course, Jonathan Saeger and Susan Bock, to send me various files they had saved. Hence, some of the files are of marginal quality due to scanning.