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Research Guidelines

The MS - C&I / Music Program is offered for cohort groups of students, therefore all students in the cohort will begin their research at the same time and will finish at about the same time.

Timetable for the Research projects

First Summer

  • Enroll in MUSC631. Music Research.
  • Submit a Preliminary Sketch of the research you would like to pursue and request an advisor.

September after the first summer

  • Meet with your advisor to plan the research project proposal.


  • Submit information to the "Longwood University Human and Animal Subjects Research Review Committee," if necessary.
  • Establish your research committee: advisor plus two other faculty.

January 20

  • Submit Proposal to the research committee.
  • As soon as the topic is approved, research should begin.
  • Meet with your advisor as you continue.

Second Summer

  • Enroll in MUSC690. Thesis or MUSC691. Teacher Research.
  • Meet with your advisor as you continue.

September - February

  • Continue your research and writing.
  • Meet regularly with your advisor


  • Schedule your defense and presentation. (If you want to graduate in May, you must finish your defense and presentation before March 25.)


The Preliminary Sketch

(Due at the end of the Music Research Class)

At the end of the Music Research Class you will be expected to submit a preliminary sketch of the research project you wish to pursue and to identify a prospective advisor and an alternate from the Longwood Music Faculty. Points to be included in the sketch are the following:

  • Your name, address, school division, current teaching responsibilities, future teaching responsibilities,
  • Indication of whether you will enroll in "Thesis" or "Teacher Research,"
  • Description of the issue/topic you wish to address (Narrative, approximately 1 page in length),
  • Justification. Why you think this is an important topic for a research project (Narrative, approximately 1/2 page in length),
  • Importance of the topic to you, personally (Narrative, approximately 1/2 page),
  • Your expectations for outcomes,
  • First and second choice for advisor for this topic.

The Proposal

(Due by January 20th)

You will submit to the research committee a formal proposal for your research project.

As stated in the current LU Graduate Catalogue, "The thesis or teacher research proposal will summarize the proposed study and give research methodology or critical framework for the study. The thesis proposal is formulated by the student in consultation with an advisor and submitted to the student's thesis [or teacher research] committee. The student's thesis [or teacher research] committee will be composed of three graduate faculty members; adjunct faculty will not serve on this committee. The Longwood University Human and Animal Subjects Research Review committee must approve the proposal prior to commencement of the research."

The proposal must contain the following:

  • A title page with a working title for the project and the following words:
    "A Proposal for Research to be Submitted to the Faculty of the Department of Music at Longwood University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Science in Education."
    The title page should also include your name and school division, whether you have selected the Thesis or Teacher Research option, the date, and blanks for the signatures of your advisor and the committee members.
  • A narrative body that includes the following:
    • A description of the project - statement and scope of the study, its limitations - with a clear outline of the research method,
    • A hypothesis - such preliminary findings as are relevant, as well as expected outcomes,
    • A justification of the project, explaining the ways in which it will add to the current body,
    • An anticipated organization of the final document,
    • A preliminary survey of the literature regarding your topic.
  • A Bibliography (formatted according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers).

When the proposal is approved and signed by all members of the committee, a copy of the title/signature page must be filed with the Department of Music Office.

For general requirements on the thesis and/or teacher research, consult the "Academic Regulations" section of the Graduate Catalogue.


Choosing the Thesis or the Teacher Research

Your research, if focusing on a musical topic, will culminate in a Thesis. If focusing on a project that involves a classroom or music students, it will most likely culminate in the Collaborative Research.


In collaboration with the advisor, the student will choose a musical topic that is appropriate for this level of research. Projects may range from analysis of scores to study of a particular stylistic convention, to review of critical analysis, to an analysis of performance issues, etc.

Teacher Research

In collaboration with the advisor, the student will choose a topic relevant to teaching or managing situations in the schools, will create surveys or other tools for collecting data, will collect and analyze the data, and will formulate conclusions. Topics should be of importance in addressing current issues related to music in the schools, and the results should have the potential to be useful to the researcher and to other educators.


Defense or Public Presentation of the research


The student will make a presentation to the research committee, 30-40 minutes in length. This presentation may be open to the public or a few invited guests, if the student wishes.

Teacher Research

The student will present a lecture demonstration, 40-60 minutes in length, in a public forum. The research committee must be present.