Aoife Chawke is currently a second year Postgraduate Research student at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick under the supervision of Dr Gwen Moore. She received a first class BMus honours degree from the Cork School of Music in 2017 where she specialised in pedagogy and received the ‘most outstanding dissertation’ award for her research. Aoife’s main research interests include: music education; music pedagogy and pedagogical approaches; students’ musical development; and instrumental music examination syllabi and curricula. Her current research investigates pedagogical approaches in the piano lesson and their role in students’ perceived learning experience and skill attainment.
Exploring Informal Learning Practices in the Piano Lesson: Implications for Pedagogy and Assessment
In this provocation, I will investigate pedagogical approaches most commonly adopted by peripatetic piano teachers, particularly to teach examination syllabi. Following an explication of Green’s theory of musical meaning (1988; 2008) I will discuss how the inclusion of informal learning practices may better align with the goals and interests of today’s piano students. I will then present examples from piano pedagogic practice of two holistic instrumental teaching approaches: 1) Green’s (2014) Hear, Listen, Play! Strategy, and 2) Harris’s (2004) Simultaneous Learning approach. To conclude, I will promote a discussion on formal and non-formal pedagogical approaches and question the piano educator’s role in creating independent, positive-thinking musicians equipped with the necessary skills for a lifetime of musical participation and engagement.