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#1729119 - 08/08/11 11:21 PM Academic Research
painter55 Offline
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Registered: 01/17/11
Posts: 101
Loc: New Mexico
Does anyone here have good academic research references on the cognitive aspects of piano practice? I found a few studies on the relationship between hours of practice and levels of performance ability. I also found a few on "tactual (sic) perception" that I haven't read yet.

I want to make the best of my practice time and eke out the maximum amount of benefit from my time in front of the keyboard. My idea is to avail scientific findings about how the brain reacts to stimuli of a various sorts presented by a piano. Sound, touch, spatial relations, tactile learning, et al.

I had the idea today that learning the piano is related to transcription, as in touch typing. Or, perhaps it is related to the way blind people develop spatial sense. I don't need an IRB to use myself as guinea pig in some sort of cognitive study. This all may sound a bit *academic*, but I believe in science, and I believe my brain is subject to whatever laws exist that govern its training. I am a PhD student, so now you know why I am exploring this part of piano study.

Thanks.
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#1729179 - 08/09/11 01:02 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
BadOrange Offline
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Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 368
Loc: Banned
think you will find more research on just concentration and time. Piano is too specific and the trailblazers in this area wouldn't really confine themselves to something so esoteric.

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#1729383 - 08/09/11 01:01 PM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
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Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
There actually is a lot of relevant research. Surely at your university you have access to electronic data bases and journal articles online, right? Go to PsycINFO and search for "piano" crossed with "performance." When you do so (as of today) you'll get 324 hits, not all of which are relevant of course, but many are. You'll find more stuff if you broaden your search to "music*" and "performance" or "practice." But I probably don't need to tell a ph.d. student how to search the literature. wink

In my psych of music class, I focused mostly on social psychological determinants of musical success, but one of the readings I assigned that you might find useful was:

Duke, R. A., Allen, S. E., Cash, C. D., & Simmons, A. L. (2009). Effects of early and late rest breaks during training on overnight memory consolidation of a keyboard melody. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169, 169-172.
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#1729437 - 08/09/11 02:29 PM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
BadOrange Offline
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unfortunately most of the tests done in the music faculties are rather poor. Very small group, no control. Usually bad science all round.

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#1729451 - 08/09/11 02:59 PM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
Monica K. Offline

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Registered: 08/10/05
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The cognitive psych stuff will often be better, as those faculty have received methodological and statistical training that music faculty don't often receive. (Which is not a slam against music faculty; most psych faculty couldn't tell your lydian mode from your dorian mode. laugh ) That's why I suggested searching the psych journal database.
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#1729485 - 08/09/11 03:41 PM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
painter55 Offline
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Registered: 01/17/11
Posts: 101
Loc: New Mexico
MonicaK:

I found the Duke article yesterday. It is sitting on my desk right now. My Boolean search terms (music and performance and practice) in PychInfo turned up lots of neat stuff. I looked at the key words and found a track to follow on tactile acuity. Another interesting track is on neuroplasticity (how the brain changes in response to learning).

I am not interest to find out (again) that performance level is related to cumulative hours of practice, as in 10,000 hours = virtuoso. This fact(?)is not helpful to me tonight in front of my piano. I want to know exactly how to practice such that my brain reacts efficiently to the stimuli of touching and hearing the piano.

I am no expert in learning theory, but I have some idea that the brain compartmentalizes the processing of various stimuli. Sound is processed in one part of the brain while sight is processed in another. Thinking and logic in yet another. Learing the piano is a complex process requiring all of these (and probably more) aspects of cognition. It is known that learning can be subject to interference by competing stimuli. Try listening to two people talk at the same time! This is my jumping off point: how can I remove interference of competing stimuli during practice so that learning becomes efficient?

My first trial was to simply close my eyes and play a two octave scale. After relying on the bad habit of staring at my hands, the eyes closed trial was not so bad. In fact, after an hour of practice like this, it GOT EASIER to do the scale, judged by my ear in terms of mistakes, tone, and rhythm. Eyes closed screened out visual interference and permitted me to concentrate on only the tactile and aurual components. Next, I want to find a way to separate the aural and tactile components. I have a way to do this with my digital piano: I will record my play with the earphones plugged in but not on my head. This will silence the digial piano while I press the keys. I could even do this with eyes closed for total isolation of the tactile component. This will be interesting.



Edited by painter55 (08/09/11 04:03 PM)
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Working on:
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*Haydn Hob XVI/1
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#1729604 - 08/09/11 06:49 PM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
I can think of two books that should keep you occupied for a while.

Practicing Perfection: Memory and Piano Performance (Expertise: Research and Applications Series)
This book reviews all the basic pertinent information you need as far as the cognitive aspect is concerned and deals explicitly with piano performance.

Self-Directed Behavior
This book will guide you through principles of learning theory and teach you to apply them to everyday situations so you can make your practicing more frequent and efficient.

As far as neurology is concerned, there is little there that will be of any relevance to your practising. Learning about plasticity and brain localization of function is fascinating, but the information you glean from it will not impact your practising, except in one regard. Hands separate practice does not make your hands more independent. It has other benefits, but independence is not one of them. The reasons for this are complex, so just take my word for it.

Beyond what the two books I listed can tell you, any more advanced learning you do with cognitive psychology or learning theory will not be of much assistance (unless you intend to become a composer, in which case learning theory has a lot to say about the origins of creativity).

I highly recommend borrowing these books from a university library before you decide to purchase them, as they are very expensive.

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#1729671 - 08/09/11 09:06 PM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
Morodiene Online   content
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Originally Posted By: painter55


I want to make the best of my practice time and eke out the maximum amount of benefit from my time in front of the keyboard.


While these findings can be interesting and even helpful, I think it's really easy to forget that music is mainly a right-brained activity. Yes, you can use your left brain for certain things, but often I think the imagination gets shorted when doing things like practicing, and I believe all learning begins in the imagination.

I think if you strive to make your practice sessions as creative as possible, you will gain much more from that than a purely left-brained approach based on findings of a study done with possibly very narrow margins or a very specific phenomenon in mind.
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#1729763 - 08/09/11 11:11 PM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: painter55
Next, I want to find a way to separate the aural and tactile components. I have a way to do this with my digital piano: I will record my play with the earphones plugged in but not on my head. This will silence the digial piano while I press the keys. I could even do this with eyes closed for total isolation of the tactile component. This will be interesting.



I'll be eager to hear what you think of this exercise. I tried to imagine playing without being able to hear myself, and I think I would be totally, irrevocably lost. eek
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My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1729768 - 08/09/11 11:14 PM Re: Academic Research [Re: Morodiene]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Registered: 02/21/11
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene

While these findings can be interesting and even helpful, I think it's really easy to forget that music is mainly a right-brained activity. Yes, you can use your left brain for certain things, but often I think the imagination gets shorted when doing things like practicing, and I believe all learning begins in the imagination.

I think if you strive to make your practice sessions as creative as possible, you will gain much more from that than a purely left-brained approach based on findings of a study done with possibly very narrow margins or a very specific phenomenon in mind.


I don't mean to be rude or anything like that, but the whole idea of a left brain vs. right brain dichotomy of function is very erroneous. Contrary to popular belief, scientists do not view the brain in this fashion, and there is really no evidence to suggest they should. It is true that their are various neurological functions that seem to fall more on one side of the brain than the other (and frequently this is only seen in right handed males), but the whole notion of one side of the brain being more artistic than the other side, which is more logical, simply has no merit.

Do not feel bad, a lot of people make this mistake, and they make it precisely because the media feeds us so many reports of scientific research that is 90% of the time misinterpreted and inflated to sound more relevant than it actually is. The most famous example of this is the Mozart effect.

You are correct in one respect though, the more engaging you make your practicing the faster you will improve (there is plenty of research to support this).

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#1729957 - 08/10/11 08:07 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
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Just out of curiosity what are you doing your PhD thesis on? Anyways, whatever it is, I'm sure it's interesting, have fun writing it smile
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#1729975 - 08/10/11 09:06 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
ShiroKuro Offline
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Painter55, what is your goal in practicing the piano? If it is to become a better pianist, then I respectfully suggest that you put more effort into learning and incorporating tried and proven practice methods. A good place to start would be Philip Johnston's Practiceopedia, which gives specific practice methods to deal with specific challenges. For a good introduction on how to concentrate better during practice and how to translate that into better performing, start with The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green.

The more academic readings you do may give you some ideas, but I doubt they will be sufficient. I am a PhD student myself, so I can imagine where you're coming from in this approach. But when you sit down at the piano, what matters is whether you are doing effective and efficient activities. Good luck and please keep us posted. Also, you might think my comments are all wrong, in which I'd love to hear about that too! smile
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#1729978 - 08/10/11 09:16 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11426
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

While these findings can be interesting and even helpful, I think it's really easy to forget that music is mainly a right-brained activity. Yes, you can use your left brain for certain things, but often I think the imagination gets shorted when doing things like practicing, and I believe all learning begins in the imagination.

I think if you strive to make your practice sessions as creative as possible, you will gain much more from that than a purely left-brained approach based on findings of a study done with possibly very narrow margins or a very specific phenomenon in mind.


I don't mean to be rude or anything like that, but the whole idea of a left brain vs. right brain dichotomy of function is very erroneous. Contrary to popular belief, scientists do not view the brain in this fashion, and there is really no evidence to suggest they should. It is true that their are various neurological functions that seem to fall more on one side of the brain than the other (and frequently this is only seen in right handed males), but the whole notion of one side of the brain being more artistic than the other side, which is more logical, simply has no merit.

Do not feel bad, a lot of people make this mistake, and they make it precisely because the media feeds us so many reports of scientific research that is 90% of the time misinterpreted and inflated to sound more relevant than it actually is. The most famous example of this is the Mozart effect.

You are correct in one respect though, the more engaging you make your practicing the faster you will improve (there is plenty of research to support this).


I don't feel bad, and my point still remains the same as there are certainly people who tend more toward one way of thinking than the other. I have experienced it enough in students to know this is the case. As children grow, hopefully they learn to expand their ways of thinking so that they can be both analytical when needed, and creative when needed. So if it pleases you, think of the terms "left-brained" and "right-brained" as colloquialisms like the words "sunrise" and "sunset" are (obviously the sun doesn't rise or set, but most people know this and still accept use of these words and their intended meanings).

Now that we've hopefully gotten over the issue of semantics, what do you think about the effect of creativity and imagination on practicing?
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#1730496 - 08/10/11 11:27 PM Re: Academic Research [Re: Morodiene]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Now that we've hopefully gotten over the issue of semantics, what do you think about the effect of creativity and imagination on practicing?


I am afraid we haven't gotten over the issue of semantics, because I suspect that my definition of creativity is different than yours. When I refer to creativity, what I mean is "the production of novel behaviour/thought." It is this sense of creativity that learning theory has a lot to say about. I may be wrong, but I think your definition of creativity is something more to the effect of "creative freedom." In other words, (and feel free to correct me on this) it is beneficial to a persons practising that they be allowed and encouraged to explore the music and the instrument. On the whole I would not disagree with a claim like this. Giving creative freedom frequently fosters a greater degree of enjoyment which which creates more engagement with the music. And mental engagement is key to effective practice. Of course though, this kind of freedom can be taken too far. Especially in the domain of classical music, a certain degree of discipline is necessary to acquire technical proficiency. As in all things, a healthy balance is required.

Going back to my definition, it is interesting to note that a persons prior learning actually effects the kind of novel/creative behaviour they can produce. For instance, when composing a work for piano a persons technical mastery and knowledge of the piano actually gives him/her a creative advantage in that they are able to utilize and draw upon (assuming their creative impulse has not been extinguished because of their prior learning experiences) a larger repertoire of behaviours than a person who lacks this technical mastery and knowledge. i.e. They have more tools in the tool box, and therefore a greater range of options when it comes to deciding what it is they will build.

Anyway, I hope that answers your question.

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#1730847 - 08/11/11 09:49 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: polyphasicpianist]
painter55 Offline
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Registered: 01/17/11
Posts: 101
Loc: New Mexico
Polyphasicpianist:

Thanks for the book references.

I agree that understanding neurology may not be useful. However, understanding its byproduct of cognition certainly can be useful. I have isolated visual,tactile, and aurul stimuli so far in my practice routing. Removing the visual input has had an immediate impact on my tactile sensations at the keyboard. The benefits of the improvement are yet to be assessed: but I have my piano lesson tonight. Dr. B can tell me if I have made progress. Feedback. Very important part of learing!

Please expound further on the complexities of HT versus HS practice. We can take the discussion private if it proves lengthy and too pedantic for this forum.



Edited by painter55 (08/11/11 09:50 AM)
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Yamaha U3

Working on:
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*Haydn Hob XVI/1
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#1730856 - 08/11/11 10:01 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: ShiroKuro]
painter55 Offline
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Registered: 01/17/11
Posts: 101
Loc: New Mexico
ShiroKuro:

My goal in practicing the piano is to attain a level of proficiency sufficient to do justiice to a few of the Chopin Nocturnes.

Using tried and proven practice methods is a good idea. The problem I have with simply accepting a practice routine prima facie is that I am blind to the *reason* why it works. Acting without substantive reasons is mimickry, which leaves little room for sensible extrapolation.


Edited by painter55 (08/11/11 11:20 AM)
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Painter55 (Bobby in New Mexico)
Yamaha U3

Working on:
*Clementi 36/1
*Haydn Hob XVI/1
*Bach BWV 846

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#1730870 - 08/11/11 10:23 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
painter55 Offline
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Registered: 01/17/11
Posts: 101
Loc: New Mexico
Nannerl Mozart:

You asked me what my PhD dissertation. I have two possible research projects, but haven't done enough lit review to know which one my dissertation committee will approve. One topic is about organization design that supports self actualization (ala' Maslow). The other topic is on informal versus formal social networks in the workplace.

The PhD effort has shown me how to research questions using academic resources. I am applying this approach to learning the piano. I am trying to understand the cognitive features of piano practice.


Edited by painter55 (08/11/11 10:25 AM)
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Painter55 (Bobby in New Mexico)
Yamaha U3

Working on:
*Clementi 36/1
*Haydn Hob XVI/1
*Bach BWV 846

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#1730944 - 08/11/11 12:10 PM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: painter55
Please expound further on the complexities of HT versus HS practice. We can take the discussion private if it proves lengthy and too pedantic for this forum.


There is no need to PM, I have already explained this on two other threads. It took a while for people to grasp what I was trying to say but I think we got there in the end.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1710160/Indepence_of_hands.html

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#1731674 - 08/12/11 11:31 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
Stanza Offline
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Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Part of the process is how many components are in "the loop".

For example, lets take you basic C maj triad, middle C, E, and G.

For a total beginner: the thought process might go something like this: OK, I recognize and know middle C, now let me remember, the lines on the treble staff are E, G, B, D, F, so I the first two lines are E and G, OK, I need to look down and find the C, then the E and the G. Got em. Now I need to form my hand to properly play all three togther. Ok, now PRESS.

Show this chord to me and I will immediately play the chord in a couple hundred milliseconds. I've seen it and played it thousands of times. Most the above neural pathways have been totally bypassed.

It would be interesting to go right to a "flash card approach". See it and play it with out necessarily knowing note names or chord names, leaving the theory, etc. for later. We all learn to talk before we can spell...



Edited by Stanza (08/12/11 11:31 AM)
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#1731677 - 08/12/11 11:34 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
Scott Coletta Offline
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Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
I think this might be in line with what you're talking about, although the focus is improvisation... but maybe worthwhile.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/charles_limb_your_brain_on_improv.html

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#1732199 - 08/13/11 11:47 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: polyphasicpianist]
painter55 Offline
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Registered: 01/17/11
Posts: 101
Loc: New Mexico
Polyphasicpianist:

I found the thread you cited. I took special interest in the distinction between the neural processes involved in HT and HS. The literature is divided on whether HT or HS is more efficacious. My teacher stresses HS, and then HT. I tend to think that this is a good approach, but the balance of time spent on HS versus HT is the remaining issue.

As I suspected when I posed this thread topic, piano playing has an underlying physiological basis. I don't need to be medical doctor to at least know that different brain parts control different physical movements, but I need to be aware of that fact. So now, depending on exactly which physical motion I am trying to improve, I can devise a program of practice to efficiently accomplish it based on the science of neurology. I can now better predict the results of efforts and avoid some frustration about why some of practice does not yield results for a particular learning task.

I am weary of anecdotal pedagogical aphorisms. "Do this, don't ask why it works", Teacher said to her pet monkey sitting on the piano stool.

I want science and sound theory as a foundation for the *experiment* of practicing the piano. I look at the results of my practice as data from a longitudinal study of a person who could not play the piano at all to one who enchants his audience with a Chopin Nocturne!


Edited by painter55 (08/13/11 02:38 PM)
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Painter55 (Bobby in New Mexico)
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Working on:
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*Haydn Hob XVI/1
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#1732653 - 08/14/11 04:04 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: painter55
So now, depending on exactly which physical motion I am trying to improve, I can devise a program of practice to efficiently accomplish it based on the science of neurology.


Honestly, I really don't think there is enough information to devise any kind of program. The science just isn't there yet. Obviously there is information that can guide you to more efficient practice habits, but basing a program solely on what current psychology and neurology tells us is, I think, jumping the gun a bit. There simply is not enough data. You would be forced to make generalizations that, given the current level of evidence, you have no good reason to make, thus increasing your probability of being wrong. This is a decidedly un-scientific way to proceed.

However, if you want the benefits of science, then the best thing you can do for your practising is to incorporate elements of the scientific method into it. Find various methods and strategies of practising, be critical of them, and "put them to the test" as it were. See what works and what doesn't, set criteria, create controls, track data, ect.

And remember, this approach need not only apply to the technical aspects of playing but can also apply to the emotional as well. You can create Likert scales and see which modes of practice generate the highest levels of engagement, affectation, happiness, or whatever. See if there are different mental strategies (e.g. visualisation) that can manipulate these scales.

Remember, You are your own best laboratory.

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#1732659 - 08/14/11 05:53 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Exalted Wombat Offline
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Registered: 02/28/09
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Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
However, if you want the benefits of science, then the best thing you can do for your practising is to incorporate elements of the scientific method into it. Find various methods and strategies of practising, be critical of them, and "put them to the test" as it were. See what works and what doesn't, set criteria, create controls, track data, ect.

And remember, this approach need not only apply to the technical aspects of playing but can also apply to the emotional as well. You can create Likert scales and see which modes of practice generate the highest levels of engagement, affectation, happiness, or whatever. See if there are different mental strategies (e.g. visualisation) that can manipulate these scales.

Remember, You are your own best laboratory.


And by focussing on your practice in this way you will of course improve results enormously! Completely skewing any data from the different WAYS of practicing.

In England, not so long ago, students were given fish-oil to see if it improved their brain-power. Results were encouraging. Lots of fish-oil was subsequently sold.

Trouble is, ALL the students in the area were given the product. They were told why they were getting it. They received a lot of attention during the "trial".

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#1732664 - 08/14/11 06:24 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: Exalted Wombat]
polyphasicpianist Offline
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Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat

And by focussing on your practice in this way you will of course improve results enormously! Completely skewing any data from the different WAYS of practicing.

In England, not so long ago, students were given fish-oil to see if it improved their brain-power. Results were encouraging. Lots of fish-oil was subsequently sold.

Trouble is, ALL the students in the area were given the product. They were told why they were getting it. They received a lot of attention during the "trial".


Obviously he can't perform blind and double blind experiments, and can't create conditions that control for placebo effects on himself. But it is still better than the alternative, which is to do nothing at all. What would you have him do, not critically try and examine the effects of various methods and strategies and just pick them at random with no consideration of their efficacy?

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#1732681 - 08/14/11 08:02 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
Elissa Milne Offline
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#1732684 - 08/14/11 08:15 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Exalted Wombat Offline
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Registered: 02/28/09
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Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat

And by focussing on your practice in this way you will of course improve results enormously! Completely skewing any data from the different WAYS of practicing.

In England, not so long ago, students were given fish-oil to see if it improved their brain-power. Results were encouraging. Lots of fish-oil was subsequently sold.

Trouble is, ALL the students in the area were given the product. They were told why they were getting it. They received a lot of attention during the "trial".


Obviously he can't perform blind and double blind experiments, and can't create conditions that control for placebo effects on himself. But it is still better than the alternative, which is to do nothing at all. What would you have him do, not critically try and examine the effects of various methods and strategies and just pick them at random with no consideration of their efficacy?


Well, that's about all he CAN do! "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, and every single one of them is right!" ANY reasonable practice strategy, diligently followed with its results analysed will bear fruit. So, yes, work out a method and work hard at it. But realise you're proving nothing about the method!

A teacher who is prepared to try different techniques on different students over a period of time, might be able to reach a conclusion. Though I suspect a different teacher might reach a quite different one.

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#1732687 - 08/14/11 08:22 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: Exalted Wombat]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Well, that's about all he CAN do! "There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, and every single one of them is right!" ANY reasonable practice strategy, diligently followed with its results analysed will bear fruit. So, yes, work out a method and work hard at it. But realise you're proving nothing about the method!

A teacher who is prepared to try different techniques on different students over a period of time, might be able to reach a conclusion. Though I suspect a different teacher might reach a quite different one.


So did you think I was implying that, on the basis of my suggestions, his findings would be generalizable to the point of publication? If so, what lead you to think this? I was just advocating that he apply principles of critical thinking to his practising, that was all.

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#1732700 - 08/14/11 09:06 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: polyphasicpianist]
painter55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/11
Posts: 101
Loc: New Mexico
Originally Posted By: polyphasicpianist

However, if you want the benefits of science, then the best thing you can do for your practising is to incorporate elements of the scientific method into it. Find various methods and strategies of practising, be critical of them, and "put them to the test" as it were. See what works and what doesn't, set criteria, create controls, track data, ect.

And remember, this approach need not only apply to the technical aspects of playing but can also apply to the emotional as well. You can create Likert scales and see which modes of practice generate the highest levels of engagement, affectation, happiness, or whatever. See if there are different mental strategies (e.g. visualisation) that can manipulate these scales.

Remember, You are your own best laboratory.



The scientific method is precisely what I had in mind! I have started keeping logbook tracking (1) minutes of practice and (2)number of errors. Of course, I have more design information about the project than I can type here such as HS and HT information, tempo, and source material (scales, and selected passages from repertoire).

Generalization is dangerous. Inductive logic is full of holes.

What I meant by designing a program of study might have led you to believe I was grounding a long-term (years) method based on scant research. Not quite. However, the presently known information about the cognitive aspects of piano playing, in particular the aspect of acquiring skills, can and should be put to the test in science projects. My project suffers from the immediate problem of researcher bias because I am the researcher and the test subject. Nevertheless, I will try to stay honest with my recordkeeping.



Edited by painter55 (08/14/11 09:42 AM)
_________________________
Painter55 (Bobby in New Mexico)
Yamaha U3

Working on:
*Clementi 36/1
*Haydn Hob XVI/1
*Bach BWV 846

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#1732714 - 08/14/11 09:54 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: painter55]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3415
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Ok, so when you sit down at the piano, beyond HS and HT, what kind of prctice techniques are you going to apply? I haven't seen much, or anything beyond HS/HT, that specifically describes practice techniques that you hope will take advantage of, or directly target, what is known about how the brain learns.

If you want to take a scientific approach to practicing and try to document what works better for you and what doesn't, I think that's great. But I still think you're shooting yourself in the foot if you don't make use of, or perhaps experiment and try out, some of the practice techniques that have been described by various teachers and/methods.

This is always the big question. What are you going to do when you sit down to practice? That is what interests me, and that is what makes the difference between someone who progresses well and someone who does not.

Painter55, are you working with a teacher? If not,again I recommend something like Practiceopedia. I think you would find much there that is in line with what we already know about how the brain learns. And it would give you methods to try out against your cognitive approach.

I might be missing something here, but it seems like without some direction (either from a teacher or something like the Practiceopedia book) all you've got is a dialogue about the brain, and nothing about what you actually will do when you sit down in front of the piano. With all due respect, it sounds like you're overthinking this without actually considering what you need to put into practice.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1732715 - 08/14/11 09:54 AM Re: Academic Research [Re: Exalted Wombat]
painter55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/11
Posts: 101
Loc: New Mexico
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
A teacher who is prepared to try different techniques on different students over a period of time, might be able to reach a conclusion. Though I suspect a different teacher might reach a quite different one.


A time-wasting trial and error approach is what I am trying to avoid. "Try this. Humph, it didn't work, so now try this" has some value because one never knows what will work for certain. My quest is find out that some trials are not based on cognitive science and should be avoided. Results are what counts as an objective in any trial. An experienced teacher probably has reached conclusions in general about what works, and this is what they teach. I cannot deny the value of my teacher's experience, so I do what she asks.



Edited by painter55 (08/14/11 09:55 AM)
_________________________
Painter55 (Bobby in New Mexico)
Yamaha U3

Working on:
*Clementi 36/1
*Haydn Hob XVI/1
*Bach BWV 846

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