Shifting the paradigm of music instruction: implications of embodiment stemming from an augmented reality guitar learning system
Keebler, Joseph R.
Wiltshire, Travis J.
Smith, Dustin C.
Fiore, Stephen M.
Bedwell, Jeffrey S.
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Keebler, Joseph; Wiltshire, Travis J.; Smith, Dustin C.; Fiore, Stephen M.; Bedwell, Jeffrey S. 2014. Shifting the paradigm of music instruction: implications of embodiment stemming from an augmented reality guitar learning system. Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 5:article no. 471
Musical instruction often includes materials that can act as a barrier to learning. New technologies using augmented reality may aid in reducing the initial difficulties involved in learning music by lowering these barriers characteristic of traditional instructional materials. Therefore, this set of studies examined a novel augmented reality guitar learning system (i.e., the Fretlight (R) guitar) in regards to current theories of embodied music cognition. Specifically, we examined the effects of using this system in comparison to a standard instructional material (i.e., diagrams). First, we review major theories related to musical embodiment and specify a niche within this research space we call embodied music technology for learning. Following, we explicate two parallel experiments that were conducted to address the learning effects of this system. Experiment 1 examined short-term learning effects within one experimental session, while Experiment 2 examined both short-term and long-term effects across two sessions spaced at a 2-week interval. Analyses demonstrated that, for many of our dependent variables, all participants increased in performance across time. Further, the Fretlight (R) condition consistently led to significantly better outcomes via interactive effects, including significantly better long term retention for the learned information across a 2 week time interval. These results are discussed in the context of embodied cognition theory as it relates to music. Potential limitations and avenues for future research are described.
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