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The relationship between private studio-based piano lessons and home-based private practice: Case studies of young piano students

Andreou, Elena; (2022) The relationship between private studio-based piano lessons and home-based private practice: Case studies of young piano students. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis examines the relationship between studio-based instrumental teaching and home-based private practice within the context of Cyprus. It focuses on practice-related behaviours and actions, as well as on factors that may influence this relationship (e.g., parental involvement, personal characteristics and motivation). Specific interest is given to the level of expertise to examine its impact on the teaching and learning of practice. Actions and behaviours of the teachers and the students are investigated through an in-depth examination of a set of private piano lessons and subsequent home-based practice sessions over a specific period of time. The research is based on six case studies, with the participants being chosen from a private music school located in Cyprus. For the purposes of this study, three different levels of musical expertise were used and assessed under the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) criteria. The aim was to examine any influences of competency level on the relationship between studio-based lessons and students’ home-based practice. Videoed observations of the lessons and videos of the home-based practice sessions were used to gather data over four weeks, as well as data from unstructured interviews with the students and the teachers. The video data was analysed using a specially designed observation checklist drawn from the literature and results from two pilot studies, which was comprised of practice strategies, actions and behaviours found during the lessons and the practice sessions. A multi-methods approach to design and analysis was used, drawing on quantitative and qualitative perspectives to examine how categories from the observation checklist were used under different circumstances. Semi-structured interviews were also used and subsequently analysed with the use of the NVivo software. The results from all the data focus on two main themes: i) teaching methodologies that are related to practice and ii) practice strategies that were used in home-based practice by the students. Among the themes that emerged from the studio-based data were i) advisory comments of specific strategies, ii) reference to previous practice, iii) reference to future practice and iv) written notes about practice. Likewise, themes found from the home-based practice sessions were i) quantity of practice, ii) concentration while practising, iii) usage of own choice and tutor recommended practice strategies, and iv) identification of mistakes. The main findings are that the student’s level of expertise can influence the practice relationship between the studio-based lessons and the home-based practice sessions. However, according to the analysis, its influence may vary upon different teaching approaches (e.g., reference to future practice and written notes) depending on the teacher’s perceptions. Furthermore, findings revealed additional factors that can have a direct impact on the practice relationship. The teaching method applied by the teachers during the lessons was found to be one of the main factors influencing the student’s behaviour in the subsequent practice. Other factors of influence were the age of the students, their achieved level of practice development, self-regulation, personal characteristics and lastly, motivation and enjoyment of this activity. Findings also revealed several external factors that may have weight on the relationship between lessons and practice. The research showed that availability of time, other responsibilities, parental involvement, health issues and other aspects of the home environment (e.g., quite environment with no distractions) are possible influences on the studio-home practice relationship. However, their level of dynamic impact may vary with individuals. All findings are discussed in the context of this research by providing possible aspects that may influence learning within private music conservatories. A theoretical synthesis of the teaching and learning cycle is also proposed, which draws on all the findings from the six case studies. Finally, implications are made for instrumental tutors and their students.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The relationship between private studio-based piano lessons and home-based private practice: Case studies of young piano students
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10145450
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