My original research aim was to investigate what musical skills children need to have in place to make learning an instrument a meaningful experience. First, however, I had to establish what the current state of affairs was for beginners and for this reason I set up a survey for piano teachers. This attracted such a good response that it quickly became the main focus on my doctorate.
The Piano Survey 2010 was an on-line survey available from April - November 2010.
The main sections were:
- Qualifications and employment
- Pupil information
- Piano teaching information
- Teaching the piano to young beginners
- Professional development
- Teaching practices and viewpoints
There were 30 questions in total with a range of responses required. For example, teachers were asked to state their academic and musical qualifications, give pupil numbers and level as well as identify what musical elements were used in lessons. Teachers were encouraged to describe their attitudes to professional development and report on how they ensured pupil progression.
Over the period of time that the Piano Survey 2010 was on-line 595 individuals completed the survey. This provided an incredible range and depth of information and it has taken me just over two years to analyse it and write it up!
Having written my PhD (although still with the formal 'exam' part to do) the next step is to have the research published in academic journals, however, I do want as much of this information as possible to be available to the piano teaching community.
There is so much information that this might take some time to achieve but in my next blog I will make a start by providing some of the demographic information.