Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Music, PhD


School of Arts and Humanities

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Robert Zappulla

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Shamini Dias

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jenny Soonjin Kim

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2023 Rebecca H Williams


Cognitive Apprenticeship, Dialogic Pedagogy, Musicology, Pedagogy, Social Constructivism, Transdisciplinary

Subject Categories

History | Music | Music Pedagogy


Private piano instruction is a niche field within the broader spectrum of pedagogy with idiosyncrasies that separate it from the traditional classroom. The learning in a private lesson encompasses cognitive, affective, and motor skills, often all at the same time, in a relatively intimate setting. Historically, this teaching and learning environment has followed the master-apprentice model of instruction. However, with newer research in learning sciences supporting social constructivist frameworks for student learning, a blended pedagogical approach is suggested. Dialogic pedagogy and cognitive apprenticeship are used in tandem with traditional precision training methodologies to foster student learning outcomes of metacognition, agency, and self-efficacy in addition to mastery and artistry on the instrument. This study seeks to understand the historical contexts embedded in keyboard pedagogy and analyze the relationship between these contexts and the pedagogical artifacts that were produced. To this end, a textual analysis of historical primary sources will be conducted and analyzed through the lenses of a predetermined set of pedagogical frameworks. Secondarily, several studies will be conducted with students of varying ages, experience levels, and proficiencies from my own piano studio. The same set of pedagogical frameworks will be employed in the case studies to weave together historical artifacts with current pedagogical and research practices.