Learning to Read Music by Differences in Perception of Information
Authors: Misato Akiba, Wonseok Yang
Abstract: The development of information technology and devices has made it easier for everyone to take and share videos and photos, and many number of information has become available in the world. For example, when learning how to play a musical instrument, a game, or a household appliance, they can effectively understand it from videos and images on YouTube or Instagram, instead of reading an instruction manual or a reference book. Whereas the piano is difficult to practice efficiently because repetition and reading music are said to be the two most important elements needed to acquire the skill. Therefore, continuous practice is essential, but many people give up halfway. Focusing on reading music, we have to process multiple pieces of information on the score simultaneously in a short period of time while playing the piano. However, for beginners, it’s difficult to keep reading the necessary information from a score where information is concentrated in many symbols at the tempo of the performance. This research examines how to make it easier for beginners to recognize and remember information about music notation and how to use the information obtained more naturally. To this end, we clarified the process by which beginners learn and recognize information about musical notation in piano learning activities and clarified the characteristics that are expressed when they perform using the recognized knowledge.Firstly, we investigated whether learners would get support in an application whose purpose was to support reading practice. We found that the support could be categorized into three types, and that learning about pitch, rhythm, and keyboard position was important for beginners. To clarify the differences in these learning procedures depending on the level of proficiency, we conducted behavioral observations of beginners and experienced pianists practicing reading music, summarized their behavioral procedures into ordinal data, and conducted a Dematel analysis. As a result, we’re able to classify the level of proficiency into three levels: beginners (subjects with no piano experience), experienced (subjects with less than one year of piano study), and proficient (subjects with more than seven years of piano study). Based on the results of the questionnaire and interviews, we’re able to discover common issues such as beginners (1) not being able to practice smoothly because they couldn’t establish a procedure, (2) taking a long time to read the pitch of notes from the score, and (3) finding it difficult to read the rhythm from the score. From the above research, we examined new information display methods and innovations for the three types of information in music notation: pitch, rhythm, and sequence. In the case of pitch, it’s thought that information can be recognized efficiently by using the properties of color. For rhythm, we extracted information from the score and organized it in a new way, which reduced the error rate and led to more efficient practice. Also, with the information organized, even beginners were able to efficiently find the regularities and similarities in the score, which led to smooth read music.
Keywords: read music, music beginner, solfege
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