Dear Event Organizers,
Welcome to the blog for Music in World Cultures (MUSC/ANTH 324). My students have dedicated a significant amount of time to their mini-ethnography projects and are excited to share their results with you.
If you are new to the project, please take a few minutes to read through the “About the Project” section of this blog. It will provide you with an overview of our goals and methods. If your event is open to the general public, you may have noticed an increase in the number of A&M students attending your performances. Students attend events in groups of three and can be identified by their notebooks and diligent observation skills. Depending on the nature of your event, you might also notice the students participating. This helps them gain additional insight into how music reflects and informs culture.
If your event is private or religious, you may be approached by my students prior to your event. Any information you provide will help them determine if the event is applicable to the project, or if it fits into the ethical guidelines required of them. If so, and if you agree to let them attend, they will ask you to read and sign a consent form. Students are required to receive your written consent at least one week prior to your event.This deadline is in place to give you time to ask the students questions, visit this blog, and speak with me about your concerns. If you are not 100% comfortable with having my students at your event, I encourage you to contact me or simply say “no.” A significant part of this project is learning about ethical research methods – you can help them learn by being honest about your reservations and illustrating that there are necessarily limitations on what kinds of research scholars can conduct.
While my students benefit significantly from conducting research at your event, their presence should in no way be disruptive to you or the other attendees. I encourage you to review the “Ethics” section of this blog and note that students are not allowed to initiate interviews, take photographs, or make audio/video recording of your performances. If you have concerns about the possibility of this activity, or have witnessed it taking place, please contact me using the form on this blog. I take your concerns very seriously and will respond to you as soon as possible.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for contributing to this project and to your support of musical and cultural diversity in Bryan/College Station.
Dr. Emily McManus