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

Varvarigou, M; Green, L; (2015) Musical 'learning styles' and 'learning strategies' in the instrumental lesson: The Ear Playing Project (EPP). Psychology of Music , 43 (5) pp. 705-722. 10.1177/0305735614535460. Green open access

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Abstract

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 categorized across 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.

Type: Article
Title: Musical 'learning styles' and 'learning strategies' in the instrumental lesson: The Ear Playing Project (EPP)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0305735614535460
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735614535460
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: absolute pitch, ear-playing, learning strategy, learning style, one-to-one instrumental lesson, popular music
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103253
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