Reaching digital native music majors : pedagogy for undergraduate group piano in the 21st century
This dissertation comprises three projects that were designed to contribute to our understanding of today’s digital native music majors and their needs within the group piano curriculum. The first investigation is a review of literature pertaining to collegiate group piano, describing existing research and recommending aspects still needing to be studied. The second investigation used phenomenological qualitative methods to investigate the adaptation processes of group piano students as they adjust to the new demands of collegiate music study. Data from participants (N = 6) indicated that despite individual differences, common themes of Preparedness, Motivation, Priorities and Expectations, Support Systems, and Accomplishment/Empowerment were characteristic of the group piano experience for these first-semester students. The third investigation is an experimental study. I sought to determine how the use of technological tools with varied capabilities of providing aural modeling and tempo control features affected collegiate group piano students’ achievement. Group piano music majors (N = 43) were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups (control, metronome, YouTube, or Tempo SlowMo). No significant achievement differences were found among the technology groups. Results from these three projects indicated that (a) there is a need for further research in group piano contexts, (b) group piano is a valuable part of the music core curriculum because courses are conducive to 21st-century skill development and (c) individual differences are importantv considerations when assisting students with adaptation processes and technology selection in group piano. These findings may transfer to other core music classes, student experiences, and practice routines.