Spatial Co-ordination in Music Tuition


Playing an instrument is a physical skill learned through observation, repetition and rehearsal. Students of orchestral instruments seek one-to-one tuition from expert musicians. However as they become more accomplished, the number of suitable tutors becomes more concentrated, especially for less common instruments. Often a tutor-student relationship develops over several years and temporary separation due to overseas performing, auditioning and teaching commitments is problematic. Some music education organisations use video conferencing as a solution to these problems, however it has long been recognised that interaction mediated by video conferencing is not analogous to a co-present experience. In this paper, ethnographic video analysis is used to study the interactions in co-present and separated instrumental music lessons. We find that the musical score represents more than a physical embodiment of the music - it plays an important role in coordinating activity and interaction. In video mediated lessons a single physical score can no longer be shared and interaction is changed as a result.

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