Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 13a
Doctorate of Creative Industries Project 1
Continuing on from my previous blogs in this series, I find my self now in a process of reflective practice. In much the same way as described in my education & learning practice session blog (see Layer 10: Reflective practice following the learning practice), I am away from the site of that last reflective practice, with some considerable time – eleven (11) days -having lapsed post-my December reflective practice session. As a not uncommon occurrence of this second stage of reflective practice, I am experiencing a separation of the expected automated response that could be activated by reflecting on the practice of December’s reflective practice, that I find my self now engaging in. The amount of time expired between that actual practice session and this reflective practice session has allowed my mind to turn over the distinctions I gained in redeveloping my Charter of Values and Beliefs. I am finding that I have distilled out the less significant events, and now focussing on the more prominent and significant aspects of that development. The primary entry I find my self now focussing on is:
2d. Self & Practice: a complex multi-dimensional approach to practice
Research Study Project 1 music practice and my music practitioner self
As I continue with my music practice as part of my research study, I have observed that quite often I am distracted by my other forms of practice – either my research practice (researching, investigating, analysing or reflecting) or my education & learning practice (recalling processes I undertake in preparing for, and delivering my education & learning practice sessions – both of creative media learners, and of aspiring educator peers). I often find myself being drawn into these other forms of practice quite unexpectedly to my original intended focus of practice as scheduled.
I have observed these distractions – unexpected mindful wanderings – usually commences on-site and in practice. It often starts with my noting my thoughts and/or my feelings during practice. This reflection then often progresses into further reflection, where I find myself drilling down to illuminate possible reasons for such a distraction at that particular time or stage of practice. In doing so, the act of reflection effectively causes the practice to cease and therefore becomes on-site and on practice. Any ongoing engagement in this process generally has me wandering away from the site to continue reflecting on my practice. Whilst I outlined this process in my July 2015 Music Practitioner Part 3 blog, I expressed my concern of the disruption this subject/observer phenomena could have on the creative practice flow in my Research Practitioner Part 5 blog in the early stages of my Project 1 study. However, on the back of recently completing the update of my Charter of Values and Beliefs – a holistic guide of my self, life with application across the varied forms of my practice, I am now reviewing my perspective. Do I continue to see a disruption to one form of practice, for reflection or performance of another form of practice, as a disruption. The word disruption has an inbuilt negative connotation within my mind, having one’s focus or attention forced away from one form of practice, to another form of practice. But I am now less sure of my view of this disruption being a negative process, or actually part of a more holistic integrated process. A necessary attribute of a more holistic self and multi-dimensional practitioner self. A multi-facetted practitioner self that incorporates multiple aspects of our practitioner selves.
The multi-facetted/multi-dimensional practitioner
Over the course of the past eleven (11) days, despite being on leave from my current primary income source of education & learning practice, with a very strict schedule outlined to develop my research study Project 1 – specifically the music practice creative component of a composition of my associative memories – I have observed that I have spent a significant amount of time reflecting on my last trimester of 2016 education & learning practice. Whilst this is in itself not a bad thing, I have found myself continually perplexed as to why it continues to happen.
I find central to this reflection is the self. I have noted that whenever I commence consideration of any form of practice I engage in, I find that the reflection process – planned or unplanned – progresses consistently back to the self. Having engaged in this auto-ethnographic study for just over a twelve month process to date, I have found that this occurrence is now predictable – if not predictably unpredictable. Perhaps not surprising, my values regarding professional practice and self include:
6a.Self & Professional Practice: I value diversity of orientation in my professional practice [Value].
6b. Self & Professional Practice: In my life I value reflection – regular conscious interrogative introspection in order to consider, critically analyse and appraise my self and my practice [Value].
6c. Self & Professional Practice: In my life I value ongoing development – constant and never-ending reflexive practice, in order to maintain proactive development of my self and my practice [Value].
6d. Self & Professional Practice: I value varied motives of practice such as:
Discovery (to use music practice as a medium for exploring, attempting to do something which you haven’t done previously);
Technically (to technically develop one’s skills);
Social (to connect to others);
Affectively (to express or connect to emotion);
Aesthetically (for expression or engagement in something artistic or of beauty);
Creatively (for action, just to do);
Physical (for physical expression, for exercise];
Commercial (for income generation purposes);
Educational (to demonstrate specific practice to my students, live or in preparation);
Cathartic (for self-development or intervention purposes. For me to connect with my emotions – to notice, to reflect, to acknowledge the emotion, and their significance, to work through that emotional experience – to deal with specific and/or significant events, and hopefully in doing so, move beyond certain emotions associated with these significant events, developing my self);
Performance (to maximise my performance standard, and what others get to see of me/ practice);
Nurturing (core to my Charter of Values is nurturing – nurturing of self and others. I demonstrate in my education & learning practice; nurturing of both others (eg when I am ‘performing’ either a} and myself in my creative practice; and nurturing of myself in my research practice).
6e. Self & Professional Practice: In my life I value nurturing of my self and others – across my areas of my practice (family, music, education, research, practice) as appropriate [Value].
What I have found as a by-product of my twelve (12) month research study Project 1
I engage passionately in all forms of my multi-faceted practice, consisting of creative practice, research practice, or education & learning practice. After much observation, I now accept that the self informs my multi-faceted practice of creative practice, research practice, or education & learning practice – conceptually and literally. My multi-faceted practice of creative practice, research practice, or education & learning practice in turn informs/contributes to the self, even if that contribution is only with increased clarity around that particular practice, which in turn increases confidence within the self. I have observed within the self, that this increase in confidence in turn informs and/or shapes my practice – irrespective of what practice I am about to engage in – my creative practice, my research practice, or my education & learning practice. Over the course of the twelve (12) month research study Project 1, I have observed this cycle of interdependency and commonality between the self – my self – and the various incarnations of my practice – creative practice, research practice, or education & learning practice.
Figure I – Project 1 Research Study Developed Approach (Page 2017)
Core principles of the multi-facetted/multi-dimensional practitioner
I devote my time to all forms of practice, irrespective of what practice that is;
My weekly schedule outlines what I need to realise;
My self guides me to what practice I need to do at that moment in time;
My self informs all forms of my practice;
All of my multiple forms of practice inform my self;
This situation aligns to my Charter of Values – freedom
7. I apply this approach to all forms of practice in my life:
my self guides me to what I need to do, when I need to reflect, to research, to create, to practice, whatever I need to learn, what ever I need to become, what ever I need to realise……
8. I apply this approach to all forms of practice in my life, as evidenced by the past twelve (12) months whilst undertaking this research study, Project 1.
9. Whilst I am interested in all of my forms of practice, I am particularly focussed on observing how this cycle of interdependence can bring benefit to the central theme of this research study, my music practice. I therefore, by definition practice reflective practice across all forms of my practice.
10. In order to develop all forms of my practice, I therefore necessarily engage in reflexive practice across all forms of my varied practice. My belief is: since all forms of practice inform my self, which in turn can inform all forms of my practice – by developing any aspect of either my self, or any of my forms of practice, I am potentially, likely, to develop any and all aspects of my self and/or my practice. As Deming refers to it – constant, and never ending change.
(Self Reflection 2016)
As a person new to formal academic research studies, I have been surprised with the number of occasions that I have been confronted by a range of thoughts, feelings, observations, recollections – positives and learnings – and highlighted behavioural patterns over the course of my life, relative to my music practice. Over the past few months I realised that I did not have in fact, the clearest understanding of who I was as a creative practitioner at this moment in time. Therefore in order to try to anchor myself, I continue to develop my Charter of Values and Beliefs to maintain a valid contemporary values statement – a charter of values for both myself and my music practice at this time. In doing this, I am able to continue to gain new levels of understanding of my self and my practice, and start to apply them reflexively to my self and practice.
Engaging in this research study has allowed me to continue to develop my self, increase my self confidence, and develop clarity regarding my practice. It is my intention – through reflective and reflexive practice – to increase my confidence with this task at hand as a practitioner with my Research Study Project 1. In short, following such practice process has allowed me to become a more holistic and balanced practitioner; or as I refer to it, an expanded practitioner (see figure I above).
I realise that as my Research Study Project continues and I gain more insight and greater clarity about my self and my practice, this document will require even more development. It remains a dynamic document that will continue to evolve, in line with my reflections and insights of my self interests, and my practitioner self interests.
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Research Practitioner Part 17. It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
DLP 2016 image courtesy of David L Page. Accessed 28th November, 2016
Page, David 2017 Project 1 Research Study Developed Approach Created 11th January, 2017
Research 2017 image courtesy of: Research Accessed 28th January, 2016
Walton, Mary. 1988. Deming management method. London: Penguin.
– ©David L Page 11/01/2017
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.