Musical ‘learning styles’ and ‘learning strategies’ in the instrumental lesson: the Ear Playing Project (EPP)

Varvarigou, M. and Green, Lucy (2015) Musical ‘learning styles’ and ‘learning strategies’ in the instrumental lesson: the Ear Playing Project (EPP). Psychology of Music, 43 (5). pp. 705-722. ISSN 0305-7356.

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Seventy-five audio recordings of learners attempting to copy a melody by ear were transcribed and analysed. Thematic analysis through NVivo was carried out and combined with judgements from four independent experts using a criteria grid. Overall, the learners’ spontaneous responses to the ear-playing task, termed here ‘learning styles’, were classified into four main categories, termed impulsive, shot-in-the-dark, practical and theoretical. Learners who showed evidence of possible Absolute Pitch (AP) were categorised cross all the first three learning styles, suggesting that the ability to play back by ear from a recording may not be aided by AP. After the initial spontaneous response, the learners’ most common learning approaches, termed here ‘learning strategies’, included listening without playing, playing isolated notes, asking questions, listening and playing along with the recording, and experimenting. The findings suggest that the practice of playing along to a recording can reveal a range of spontaneous learning styles amongst students, of which teachers may otherwise remain unaware; and a range of further learning strategies that may provide new insights for music teachers.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study > MT0070 Instrumentation and orchestration
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Music and Performing Arts
Depositing User: Dr Maria Varvarigou
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2016 12:57
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 23:12

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00