Hello again, for my regular readers I apologise for neglecting you during the past few months, and I hope the New Year is a good year for you. The first few weeks of my New Year, and the last few months of the previous one, have been spent in completing the work for a PhD and I am glad to say it was all submitted by the due date.
Thousands of words and the scores to over one and a half hours of musical compositions later it has all gone to be reviewed and assessed and I am now free of thesis thoughts and I can turn my attentions to other things. Not that I have been solely focussed on the research during my years of part-time study, I had to work and earn as well, and being pulled in different directions has sometimes meant difficult choices due to the irreconcilable requirements of the research, work and life balance.
I can understand why many postgraduate students do not complete their courses with the rate of between 40 to 50% dropout being cited for the USA over many years. This is a revealing statistic with many funding themselves but choosing not to complete and forgo the possible return on their investment. The demands of research are numerous with full immersion in the subject and lifestyle of a postgraduate researcher being one key aspect that many who had left felt could have helped them complete according to one Vitae discussion roundup https://chroniclevitae.com/news/445-in-hindsight-former-ph-d-students-reflect-on-why-they-jumped-ship.
Along the way I have found some very good resources: pat thomson, @ThomsonPat on twitter or https://about.me/pat_thomson, posts some excellent information as well as interesting retweets being a prime example and do not forget to talk to your colleagues, current and past, as they often have information or can facilitate an introduction to a good source.
New music to write and publish now as well as edit the most appropriate works for digital distribution and get back into a work routine. I have enjoyed some aspects of the research and it has taught me, or made me realise, how to evaluate myself but would I embark on such a journey again? Full-time with funding: þ yes but part-time while working ý no, there are just too many conflicting demands on limited time.
Evaluation done and now on to editing Traditional Tunes – a collection of eight arrangements featuring timpani, glockenspiel, marimba, vibraphone or xylophone with piano accompaniments – available from Southern Percussion (http://southernpercussion.com/597-birkby-peter-r) soon, I still very much have a passion for music.