"I was eager to study a PhD for several reasons. I had studied two Masters courses in subjects which are not inherently closely related (Music Therapy and Disability Studies) and had been applying my learning from each closely together in my current role.
"Pursuing a PhD would enable me to consolidate my application of both subject areas in practice and demonstrate their potential to be understood in collaboration with each other and in relation to pedagogy more widely.
"Another reason to pursue a PhD was to challenge myself. I thrive on reading, researching and learning and was ready for the next step in my learning journey. Although it felt daunting at first, having the challenge of a PhD really motivated and excited me.
“My PhD explored how we understand, interpret and portray disability in different contexts, drawing from my own research and practice in music education, music therapy and higher education.
“I had completed two thirds of my outputs before enrolling on the PhD by Portfolio, as is recommended, and worked on a final project with my supervision team.
“The PhD by Portfolio meant I was able to collate a number of publications and artefacts that I had been working on in recent years. This was an exciting way to draw together the diverse elements of my practice and develop a framework around this way of working. It was also a constructive model for me as I studied for my PhD alongside my full-time teaching role.
“It was challenging to balance my job with my PhD studies. However, it was rewarding to work on dedicated research for my PhD and see the impact it had both on my work, and in the wider community.
"I think by having the headspace, time and supervision to really investigate my area of passion, and to understand how I was contributing to this field in an original way, I was able to see how I am contributing something meaningful and relevant."