Title page for ETD etd-04082010-205810

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Orlandi, Laetitia Annette
URN etd-04082010-205810
Document Title Basic piano instruction for vocal art students at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa
Degree Music
Department Music
Advisor Name Title
Prof E Fourie Supervisor
  • basic piano for students
  • basic piano for adults
  • basic piano instruction
  • adult piano instruction
  • secondary piano instruction
  • singers
  • vocal art
  • group piano instruction
  • adult beginners
  • piano minors
Date 2009-09-01
Availability unrestricted

At most universities internationally, secondary piano instruction is compulsory for all music students regardless of their field of specialisation. Vocal art students studying at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) are also expected to complete three years of basic piano tuition. Since the researcher teaches secondary piano at the Department of Performing Arts: Vocal Art (TUT), the aim of this study was to determine the objectives of the tuition, and appropriate methods through which they can be best achieved.

The research is based on an investigation of relevant literature on secondary piano instruction for music majors at universities in South Africa and abroad. Since the researcher was primarily trained to teach basic piano to very young beginners, it was thought necessary to firstly investigate the field of adult education and basic piano instruction for adults and college-age students. The results of the literature search confirmed that basic piano tuition for children differs greatly from that for older beginners. It became clear that the success of basic piano instruction for adults greatly depends on the teacherís understanding of these fundamental differences as well as knowledge of appropriate approaches and methods with which to accommodate adultsí unique characteristics.

Subsequently, the purpose of teaching piano playing skills to non-piano music majors was investigated. Results indicated that there is a broad spectrum of skills which can aid the musician in his future career. These include technique, sight-reading, accompanying, harmonisation, transposing, repertory study, vocal score-reading and reduction, instrumental score reduction, improvisation, playing by ear, playing of folk songs, developing musicianship skills, critical listening, performance skills, chord playing, ensemble playing, realisation of figured bass, modulation, memorisation, music analysis, playing two or more parts from multiple staves, playing warm-up exercises, singing a vocal part while playing other parts, and jazz piano playing.

The most important piano playing skills for non-piano music majors to acquire were identified as technique, sight-reading, accompanying, repertory study and improvisation. Controversies exist about the importance of each of these skills, but most teachers agree that they should all be present in the secondary piano curriculum. The most common method used to teach these skills to instrumentalists and singers was identified as group tuition. This method of teaching is not used merely because it is more economical but also for various musical and sociological reasons. Musical advantages include the acquisition of a broad spectrum of skills such as critical faculties, listening skills, ensemble activities, self-assessment skills, improved practice habits and progress, rhythmic stability, improved intonation, memory training and notational reading. Social advantages include interaction, peer-learning, motivation, encouragement, discovery-learning, enjoyment, involvement and the development of individuality and self-esteem.

At the end of each chapter, specific guidelines for teaching basic piano to vocal art students at TUT are given. The study culminates in conclusions and recommendations drawn from the results of the literature investigation

Copyright © 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Orlandi, LA 2009, Basic piano instruction for vocal art students at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa, MMus dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04082010-205810/ >

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