Oral presentation - 65th TeaP @ Trier

I am going to present my PhD projects at TeaP 2023 Trier between the 26th and the 29th of March in Trier, Germany 🌵

Accepted abstract: “How do pianists convey teaching intentions?” (Symposium: Perceiving and understanding cues in others’ actions)

Social learning plays an important role in skill transmission. When learning highly complex skills such as musical expressive techniques, experts and novices need to work closely and interact with each other for successful skill acquisition. This talk will share the findings from my doctoral research, which investigates how expert pianists modulate their performance for teaching and how such pedagogical modulations are perceived by listeners. Exaggeration of movement is often used to signal a communicative intent to others during real-time interactions (Pezzulo et al., 2019), including teaching contexts (Brand, Baldwin & Ashburn, 2002; Saint-Georges et al., 2013; Uther, Knoll & Burnham, 2007; McEllin, Knoblich & Sebanz, 2017). We examined whether and how exaggeration for the purpose of teaching operates for actions that are expressive even when performed outside of a teaching context. We focused on how pianists modulated their performance to teach musical expressive techniques such as articulation (smoothness of sound) and dynamics (loudness of sound). We found that expert pianists exaggerated relevant aspects of the performance to teach a specific technique. Such exaggeration was also perceived by listeners and used to infer teaching intentions. These results extend the research on infant-directed speech and action and contribute to understanding the learning process of highly complex skills, where subtle action (sound) modulations are needed to implement artistic expression.

Keywords: teaching, learning, skill transmission, sensorimotor communication, music, artistic expression