Communicating musical knowledge through gesture: Piano teachers’ gestural behaviours across different levels of student proficiency

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      Teachers’ communication of musical knowledge through physical gesture represents a valuable pedagogical field in need of investigation. This exploratory case study compares the gestural behaviour of three piano teachers while giving individual lessons to students who differed according to piano proficiency levels. The data was collected by video recordings of one-to-one piano lessons and gestures were categorized using two gesture classifications: the spontaneous co-verbal gesture classification (McNeill, 1992; 2005) and spontaneous co-musical gesture classification (Simones, Schroeder & Rodger, 2013). Poisson regression analysis and qualitative observation suggest a relationship between teachers’ didactic intentions and the types of gesture they produced while teaching, as shown by differences in gestural category frequency between teaching students of higher and lower levels of proficiency. Such reported agreement between teachers’ gestural approach in relation to student proficiency levels indicates a teachers’ gestural scaffolding approach whereby teachers adapted gestural communicative channels to suit students’ specific conceptual skill levels.

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      DOI

      Original languageEnglish
      Number of pages13
      Pages (from-to)723-735
      JournalPsychology of Music
      Journal publication dateSep 2015
      Issue number5
      Volume43
      Early online date30 May 2014
      DOIs
      StatePublished - Sep 2015

        Research areas

      • bodily movement, education, gesture, instrumental music teaching, musical learning, non-verbal communication

      ID: 9875562