More and more adults are studying music. Because of this, the number of adult method books has been increasing; however, when writing an adult method book, it is important for the author to remember that adults are more capable of independent learning by using their own previous musical experiences to understand new material. They may not wish to be completely dependent on a teacher for every aspect of instruction.
Using questions derived from Malcolm Knowles’ book Self-Directed Learning and questions used by Hung-Ling Chen in the dissertation “An Investigation of Self-Directed Learning among Non-Music Major Adult Piano Learners in One-to-One Piano Instruction”, three adult piano method books were reviewed to examine whether the adult piano method books promoted self-directed learning or teacher-directed learning. The books reviewed are Adult Piano Adventures: A Comprehensive Piano Course, Book 1 by Nancy and Randall Faber; Piano for Adults: A Beginning Course, Book 1 by Jane Smisor Bastien, Lisa Bastien, and Lori Bastien; and Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course, Level 1 by Willard A. Palmer, Morton Manus, and Amanda Vick Lethco.
Overall, many of the concrete objectives and concepts presented in the method books were thorough enough for an adult to understand on his own; however, most of the information was stated to the student, and very few opportunities existed for the student to discover information on his own. No choice was given to the student regarding repertoire selection, and with two exceptions, no references to any outside sources were suggested for locating additional music in the same style. No information was provided for the student regarding additional source material for further reading and comprehension of new concepts. With some very rare exceptions, the adult was not called upon to use his own previous musical experiences to understand new material.
Several recommendations for further research were made. These include researching student-teacher interaction during a lesson, devising self-directed projects and activities related to the piano, and reviewing additional method books, including advanced levels of adult piano method books.
|School:||West Virginia University|
|School Location:||United States -- West Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Music, Adult education, Music education|
|Keywords:||Adult instruction, Adult piano method books, Piano, Self-directed learning|
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