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On-site and distance piano teaching: An analysis of verbal and physical behaviours in a teacher, student and parent

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This study was designed to examine how distance piano teaching might affect the verbal behaviours and physical actions of a teacher, a student and a parent. Weekly 30-minute piano lessons over a year-long period were taught to a 5-and-a-half-year-old on-site student and a 6-year-old distance student. All lessons were delivered by the same teacher who followed the Suzuki programme. All sessions were recorded and then analysed using Simple Computer Recording Interface Behaviour Evaluation (SCRIBE), a video analysis software that provides frequencies and durations of pre-coded events. The observation of recorded lessons showed that distance teaching did not slow down student progress. In addition, behavioural analysis revealed that in most aspects, distance and on-site delivery were remarkably similar. The most striking difference was the interaction between the teacher and the parent. During on-site teaching, most of the teacher’s instructions were directed to the student while the parent was listening and observing attentively; during distance teaching, half of the teacher’s instructions were addressed to the student and the other half to the parent. The distance student also tended to relate more to the parent than to the teacher. In the distance environment, when interacting with a young beginner student, the role of the parent becomes very central to the success of the lessons.
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Keywords: SCRIBE; distance teaching; parents’ participation; piano lessons; teaching via Internet; video conferencing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2019

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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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