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ERIC Number: ED552257
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 175
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-8656-9
A Description of Older Adults' Participation in a Technology-Based Piano Program and Their Musical Skill Development, Perceptions of Personal Fulfillment, and Attitudes toward Music Learning
Mitak, Kirsten Nora
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Florida State University
The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of Piano Wizard(TM) as a viable technological and instructional tool for older adults. Piano Wizard's applicability for seniors was determined by participants' musical skill development, perceptions of personal fulfillment, attitudes toward music learning, and opinions about the software program Piano Wizard(TM). Secondary purposes of the study were: (1) to identify participants' motivation for enrolling in a music skills program and (2) to examine differences in participants' attitudes, perceptions, and skill development based on their: age, previous musical experience, socio-economic status, or participation in individual vs. partner lessons. Six 30-minute weekly sessions were offered to residents at two retirement communities of contrasting socio-economic status (SES). Thirty older adults volunteered to serve as participants, and twenty-five (N=25) completed the six weeks of instruction. Musical skill development was determined by participants' average accuracy scores, the number of pieces learned, and "song-level" achieved at the end of the six weeks. Results revealed that participants met two of the three pre-determined criteria indicating musical progress, and that there were no significant differences in musical skill development based on participants' previous musical experience, SES, or participation in individual vs. partner lessons; however, significant differences were found based on participants' age. Older participants achieved significantly lower accuracy scores, learned significantly fewer songs, and achieved significantly lower song levels than younger participants. Participants' perceptions of personal fulfillment were examined using a questionnaire, with "escape from routine" and "play and fun" ranked as the highest-rated benefits of the lessons. Ratings of social benefits were not significantly different between participants taking individual and partner lessons. Attitudes toward music learning were measured through participants' weekly journals. Analysis of journal entries revealed a ratio of approximately 7:1--positive to negative comments concerning the Piano Wizard(TM) program and the piano lessons. Almost three-fourths of the participants reported that they would continue lessons using Piano Wizard(TM) if given the opportunity, with indicated partiality towards the rich accompaniment, colored notation, and multi-sensory features of the program. The highest ranked reason for participating in lessons was "to expand my mind." Although further research is warranted, the findings of this study suggest that Piano Wizard(TM) is a viable technological and instructional tool for older adults wishing to study piano. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A