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Learning Music From Each Other: Synchronization, Turn-taking, or Imitation?

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  • Andrea Schiavio, University of Graz
  • ,
  • Jan Stupacher
  • Richard Parncutt, University of Graz
  • ,
  • Renee Timmers, University of Sheffield

IN AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY, WE INVESTIGATED how well novices can learn from each other in situations of technology-aided musical skill acquisition, comparing joint and solo learning, and learning through imitation, synchronization, and turn-taking. Fifty-four participants became familiar, either solo or in pairs, with three short musical melodies and then individually performed each from memory. Each melody was learned in a different way: Participants from the solo group were asked via an instructional video to: 1) play in synchrony with the video, 2) take turns with the video, or 3) imitate the video. Participants fromthe duo group engaged in the same learning trials, but with a partner. Novices in both groups performed more accurately in pitch and time when learning in synchrony and turn-taking than in imitation. No differences were found between solo and joint learning. These results suggest that musical learning benefits from a shared, in-the-moment, musical experience, where responsibilities and cognitive resources are distributed between biological (i.e., peers) and hybrid (i.e., participant( s) and computer) assemblies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMusic Perception
Pages (from-to)403-422
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • Embodied cognition, Interaction, Joint action, Music education, Synchronization

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