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Assessing the suitability of Kinect for measuring the impact of a week-long Feldenkrais method workshop on pianists’ posture and movement

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The Microsoft Kinect depth sensor could offer a convenient, markerless solution for quantifying the head and torso movements of pianists to examine the impact of somatic training on playing postures and movement. To assess the suitability of the Kinect for this application, we tracked four professional piano teachers performing scales immediately before and after a week-long workshop involving daily Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement (ATM) lessons. We compared Kinect skeletal tracking data with 2D reference data obtained simultaneously using Dartfish video analysis software. Analysis revealed frequent tracking errors in the Kinect data compared to reference data from Dartfish. Differences in pre- and post-test measurements of forward head position, head height, C7 vertebra height and shoulder displacement did not correspond between Dartfish and Kinect. Our results suggest that one Kinect sensor does not provide enough accuracy to track torso movements of pianists for the purposes of ergonomic assessment in response to somatic training.
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Keywords: Dartfish; Feldenkrais; Kinect; motion tracking; piano pedagogy; posture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa 2: School of Music, University of Ottawa 3: School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Ottawa 4: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University

Publication date: May 1, 2017

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  • The Journal of Music, Technology and Education (JMTE) explores the issues concerning the use of technology in music education. It examines pedagogy at all levels and across genres such as composition, musicology, performance and music production. It is the only journal specifically dedicated to the educational aspects of music technology and the technological aspects of music. Peer-reviewed, with an international editorial board, JMTE aims to draw its contributions from a broad community of educators, researchers and practitioners who are working closely with new technologies in the fields of music education and music technology education.
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