Volume 18 Number 9 March 19, 2017

Music as Method: Musically Enhanced Narrative Inquiry

Benjamin Bolden
Queen’s University, Canada

Citation: Bolden, B. (2017). Music as method: Musically enhanced narrative inquiry. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 18(9). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v18n9/.


While artist-researchers have been productive within the domains of the literary arts, visual arts, dance and drama, there is little musical arts-based educational research reported in the literature. This article introduces a research methodology to address this deficit: musically enhanced narrative inquiry (MENI). The article describes the methodology and its foundation in narrative inquiry, enhanced by arts-informed research processes. It provides an example of a MENI research project, Teaching Lives, that employs narrative and musical processes to explore and represent the personal, practical knowledge embedded within the stories of an experienced schoolteacher. The article is accompanied by three short audio files: musical representations of the data that integrate the recorded words of the participant with music, composed by the researcher, to illuminate the teacher knowledge within the narratives.

Visual Abstract

This article is available in PDF format.


The International Journal of Education & the Arts currently serves as an open access platform for scholarly dialogue. Our commitment is to the highest forms of scholarship invested in the significances of the arts in education and the education within the arts. Read more about our mission…


IJEA holds strong commitment to research in interdisciplinary arts education. Our editors are respected scholars from different arts fields working together to achieve our high standard. Read more about editors…