Good practice in violin pedagogy: psychological aspects related to the acquisition of motor skills.

Forcada-Delgado, Claudio (2014) Good practice in violin pedagogy: psychological aspects related to the acquisition of motor skills. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

2014_Forcada Delgado_680148.pdf

Download (4MB)


In this thesis I set out to examine current practices in violin pedagogy and to relate these to current theory in Motor Learning (hereafter, ML). This will involve particularly focusing on how teachers consider the acquisition of motor skills in terms of teaching strategies, memory and student’s motivation. The thesis sets out to answer the following research questions:

• To what extent are motor-learning and associated theories applied in major violin pedagogies such as Suzuki or Rolland, albeit without the teacher’s awareness or acknowledgement?

• Do teachers in fact apply the teaching pedagogies they claim?

• Can their success be attributed to the use of Motor Learning principles?

In Part one of the thesis various violin pedagogies and concepts associated with ML theory are laid out. A primary source for ML research is found in the sports psychology literature but my research exposes a widespread lack of awareness of ML principles in the actual practice of violin teaching in Spain, UK and the USA. Whilst many teachers of violin pedagogy follow formal teaching programmes and methods, for example Suzuki and Rolland, it is questionable to what extent these methods actually implement aspects of ML theory. I conclude that each, in its way, is drawing on certain ML principles even when the authors of the methods are evidently unaware of the link.

Part two of the thesis presents the findings of an extended programme of empirical study in which aspects of Motor Learning and their influence in teachers’ practice is explored. I analyse the practices of those teachers who have participated in a case study that I have developed as part of my doctoral thesis, exploring differences between their methods, pedagogies and approaches. I then describe some aspects of ML and their influence on teachers’ practice. Following this, data collected in the case study through lesson observation, interviews and the use of questionnaires is provided, outlining comparisons between the teaching habits of the teachers. I determine this study confirms the presence in violin teachers’ methods of procedures considered as efficient under ML principles and brings to light differences in teachers’ habits depending on their level of expertise. This is particularly related to the frequency and length of the instructions, control of pupils’ feedback and the variety of strategies used to generate learning. To conclude I compare pedagogies iii and teachers’ procedures, emphasising those aspects related to successful teaching and ML. These outcomes open new lines for further research, which might help teachers to improve their effectiveness.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
September 2014Completed
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-02 - music
CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Richard Birley
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 15:11
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 17:23

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...