MASARA started the year with a planning session, followed by a postgraduate symposium on 15 & 16 January 2018.
Evaluate, plan and dream
MASARA is constantly renewing itself. Every year the MASARA team gets together in January to evaluate, plan and dream together. Dr Albi Odendaal, acting research director, says that “as a research entity our vision this year is to promote wellbeing and social responsiveness through accredited outputs in music”. They have identified the following priorities for themselves:
- to maintain the quality and quantity of their accredited outputs (both research and creative);
- to conceptualise several aspects of their collective work, including wellbeing, social responsiveness, quality research and creative outputs and relevance;
- to plan a research project and apply for funding;
- to strengthen collaboration between team members; and
- to promote wellbeing through musical interactions in diverse contexts.
2017 was filled with various activities including 7 workshops, 3 simposia, 6 colloquiums, several visits from international scholars and colleagues, presentations at 10 international conferences, hosting the SASRIM conference in Potchefstroom, all in addition to team members’ normal work of teaching, writing, editing, reading, interviewing, playing, composing, recording, studying, examining, and reviewing. 2018 looks likely to be as interesting, and in Dr Odendaal’s words, “We are ready and raring to go!”
The life of a postgraduate student can be lonely, which is why MASARA regularly presents symposiums and colloquia where postgraduate students can get to know the staff and each other, and learn something about research. Seventeen current postgraduate students gathered on 15 & 16 January for the first symposium of 2018.
The first day focussed on newly-enrolled students, and they were introduced to several research paradigms and methods. They could also hone their own research ideas in discussions with staff and other students.
The second day was aimed at those students who have already progressed somewhat with their research, and they discussed data collection and analysis.
Better researchers have larger networks, and through these events MASARA aims to assist.