Exploring and Developing Piano Tuition Online

Lead Research Organisation: Falmouth University
Department Name: The Academy of Music & Theatre Arts


This project investigates and develops online piano pedagogy in the broader context of online environments. Online music education technologies have emerged following the digital industrial revolution (Schwab 2016), and are proliferating, widening access to music education and transcending geographic boundaries. Platforms in current use can be broken down into the following dominant clusters in approximate order of their introduction to the market:
Teleconferencing e.g. Skype, Facebook Live, etc.
Asynchronous streaming e.g. Youtube, Vimeo etc.
Asynchronous courses e.g. Udemy
Gamified music apps e.g. Yousician, Synthesia, UltimateGuitar, Melodics etc.
P2P networks e.g. Online Orchestra, LoLa
Mixed reality smartglass apps e.g. Music Everywhere

As telematic technology proliferates, 'music-making will take place increasingly in the new medium because general trends in communication run towards lower energy expenditure, higher content' (Chafe 2009:416). This research, surveys and tests the effectiveness of learning via this this 'content' with a view to developing new learning materials and guidelines for use by others. Piano will be used as a case study to delimit the project, yet new knowledge could be applied to other instruments and disciplines.

The primary question to

To comparitively review existing platforms, focusing on dominant clusters listed above.
To undertake a source review of relevant approaches.
To develop piano pedagogy in relation to selected platforms (including compositions and possible curricula)

This research will assimilate all of the above objectives into a body of work that seeks to discover:

1. How online environments impact students/teachers in a social, cultural, economic and pedagogical context and how suitable are they for use.

2. Why teachers are choosing to teach online.

3. How current online teachers work, in both synchronous and asynchronous teaching styles and what are the new insights/knowledge are being generated by this use.

4. How online educators can be supported in adopting these new technologies.
5. How to develop example compositions/curricula that are well-suited to each platform.


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