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Accessible Ideas = Clear Thinking = Clear Writing + Clear Talking

by Kimberly on May 31, 2012 · 5 comments

At this point in my career–more specifically my career in academia–it’s helpful to have a research idea or focus in mind. Though not vital since I’m still a year out from working on my dissertation proposal, it helps.

Why? With a research intent in mind, you can gear all your coursework papers and projects around that idea. Then, when you sit down to work on your actual dissertation, you’ve have two years of thinking, writing, and doing literature reviews on the topic.

The good news for me is that I have a research idea in mind: the effect of music on emotion regulation.

The bad news is that I’m not sure how to talk about it in a way that’s not too jargon-y. In a clear, succinct way that’s accessible and easy to understand.

I’m reminded of the phrase “clear writing is clear thinking”…which maybe in this case should also include “clear talking is clear thinking.” I’m not sure where this phrase originated, but I believe it’s true.

I’m struggling now with clearly writing and talking about emotion regulation. With defining it in a clear, succinct way that people understand.

I know I’ll get there eventually. I know that the more I think, write, and talk about emotion regulation, the clearer a definition will emerge. This definition will probably evolve, too…just as my answer to the question “what is music therapy?” has evolved.

Why am I writing about this? Probably because I am struck with how we can have the same struggles over and over again, just in different ways. We struggle with providing a clear, concise definition of music therapy. We struggle with portraying the science and depth of music therapy when what people see are clients “having fun.” We struggle with describing that, yes, harm can potentially happen when an unqualified person does “music therapy” with a vulnerable client.

We can understand these concepts at a deep level, but if we can’t communicate them in a way the listener understands? Then our work is–literally–lost in translation.

Perhaps our best bet is to just keep talking and writing about it. The answer will evolve.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Evelyn June 1, 2012 at 8:44 am

The question of “What is music therapy” also puzzles me..and it led me to my current research interest too!
Evelyn´s last blog post ..Spiegel Im Spiegel was often used in my previous placement as a…

Kimberly June 1, 2012 at 11:57 am

Nice! What is your research interest, Evelyn? 🙂 ~Kimberly

Evelyn June 2, 2012 at 9:03 am

Looking at how music therapy is represented in social media, but eventually hoping to go deeper in looking at social networks and music 🙂
Evelyn´s last blog post ..Spiegel Im Spiegel was often used in my previous placement as a…

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