Music reading is a very challenging and frustrating aspect of learning music that often leads to the cessation of lessons in the early stages of music learning. Despite this, there has been very little experimental research to understand the music reading process. To address this need, we will administer a group of cognitive and music reading tests to young novice piano students. The results of this project will form groundwork for a much-needed understanding of the music reading process, which in turn will enhance our understanding the most effective approaches in teaching this skill.
One of music education's major concerns is the challenge of motivating students to continue learning the piano. A high percentage of young students stop piano lessons within the first 18 months, before they begin to master the instrument (Sloboda and Howe, 1991). This research will measure young piano students' degree of motivation and their interest in piano-related activities by using the Survey of Musical Interest. Participants will be from the Merriam School of Music, which has agreed to be involved in this research project.
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