How do I choose?

I thought I’d take a break from the riveting world of textbook review to comment on something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Many websites and other founts of knowledge have said something like the following when it comes to choosing a graduate program: “it’s critical to find a specific professor to serve as your thesis [or dissertation] advisor. This person will be your guide, mentor and critic. The best advisors are approachable, available and engaged in your work. Apply to schools that have one or more professors who do research in your general area of interest, and with whom you can imagine working closely for a year (or six)” ( This is the advice I have always heard when applying for grad school (to give you a little background: I applied for a master’s program once and a PhD program two or three times). And it is advice I’ve given, on occasion, to other people. It seemed to make the most sense.

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In Discipline: Talks from the European Side

Welcome to week two of “In Discipline: Talks from the European Side.” Ana, Heather, and I are thrilled to continue featuring international perspectives on ethnomusicology, as a range of students offer us their thoughts on what their academic worlds look like.

This week, we bring you Leonor Losa, a Phd student at Instituto de Etnomusicologia, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa Portugal. After you read, send along your comments. We’d love to hear from you.

Leonor's photo

A concert of the fadista (fado singer) Ricardo Ribeiro  in the Alfama neighborhood, Lisbon, September 21, 2013:  Pedro de Castro performing a Portuguese guitar (guitarra portuguesa) solo section, accompanied by the guitar and bass guitar players Jaime Santos Jr. and Prof. Joel Pina. [photo by Leonor Losa]

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More to review!

For this week’s review, I thought I’d change it up a bit by looking at Musics of Hawai`i: “It All Comes From the Heart”—An Anthology of Musical Traditions in Hawai`i, (published by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, 1994/1997) a work that can’t decide if it’s a textbook or not. Dr. Ricardo Trimillos, in the Forward, calls this work a reference guide for the CDs, suggesting that one should listen to the CDs first and when something catches your ear, you can refer to the anthology for more information. Bess Lomax Hawes’ “Speaking to Teachers” section, however, introduces ways this work can be used in classrooms and how teachers can (and why they should) engage students in music.

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In Discipline: Talks from the European Side

The SEM Student Union blog is very excited to introduce In Discipline: Talks from the European Side. Initiated by Ana Maria Alarcon Jimenez, this project interviews students from various European universities. The students were asked to share their thoughts on their views of ethnomusicology and how those views are fostered by their home institutions; what major theories or issues they are tackling in their research; and whether the regional economic crisis impacts their lives as students, their research, and/or their future academic aspirations.

The students responded to a questionnaire with answers in both English and either their native language or their academic language (not every student we interview is going to school in their home country). Both languages will be posted as part of this project. In Discipline will try to offer a broad picture which includes countries both within and beyond the borders of the current European Union.

evrim hikmet öğüt

Our first ethno student is Evrim Hikmet Öğüt, a research assistant at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory and a doctoral student at the İstanbul Technical University, Center for advanced Studies in Music.

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