WIT lecturer Bridget O'Connell, had a keen interest in Newfoundland and realised that there was an opening for completing a PhD focusing on their fiddle styles
Bridget O’Connell from Thurles, county Tipperary is a lecturer in the Department of Creative and Performing Arts and is a graduate of the BA (Hons) in Music.
I am currently:
I’m lecturing in the Department of Creative and Performing Arts in WIT and have been active in research since 2004. I also lecture on the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree. I am currently compiling articles for publication and dissemination from my PhD thesis.
Fiddle Sound in Newfoundland in the 21st Century.
Strand 1 government funding.
Ireland Newfoundland Partnership travel grants.
My supervisors are/were:
Dr. Colette Moloney, external examiners Prof. Thérése Smith and Dr. Liz Doherty.
How did you get into research? How did you end up in WIT?
I started lecturing in WIT in 2004 and I had a keen interest in Newfoundland. I wanted to complete a PhD regarding fiddle playing and at the time there was very little research conducted on the instrumental traditions of Newfoundland. After reviewing the literature regarding the musical traditions in Newfoundland, I realised that there was an opening for completing a PhD focusing on the fiddle styles in Newfoundland.
Why is research important and why would you encourage others to pursue research?
Research can find the answers to questions that are unknown, and increase our knowledge and understanding of various subject areas. I would encourage others to pursue research, as it empowers us all with new knowledge and the efficient learning of new things.
Describe what your research life involves
As a lecturer and instrumental teacher, I have many things to juggle and must manage my time efficiently. This requires the discipline of setting a schedule for each term, allowing time to write and research within my busy teaching timetable. I also attend conferences and am actively publishing research articles. I hope to compile, and publish a fiddle anthology and CD of Newfoundland music from my PhD thesis.
What have been the highlights?
The day of my graduation, traveling and performing in Newfoundland and publishing five articles from my research.
How has your PhD influenced your career path?
Writing has become a major part of my career and I hope to pursue this further by publishing more large scale work from my PhD thesis.
What courses and modules do you lecture on?
I lecture on the BA (Hons) in Music degree and I teach ethnomusicology, performance skills and critical thinking and writing skills. I also lecture in the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and teach Irish traditional music to first year students majoring in Irish.
How does research inform/influence your teaching?
The critical thinking and writings skills that I have acquired from completing my own PhD, have enabled me to better help undergraduate students to improve their academic writing skills. Having studied a culture that is not my own, I have gained a better insight to teaching ethnomusicology to undergraduate students.