Performing music at an advanced level is a uniquely challenging act requiring intense preparation and a multi-modal learning approach. The path from the practice room to the stage is a complex and distinctive path that differs from performer to performer. Frequently performers have an incomplete understanding of not only their own individual path of learning but about learning in general.
This study explored, tracked and documented the acquisitional shifts during the piano performance preparation process by using an inductive and autoethnographic study design, so that the potential coherence between shifts, levels of learning, and subjective responses at intervals during this process could be traced, with a view to a better understanding of the acquisition process. The study used a qualitative, autoethnographic methodology for data collection and analysis. A system of triangulation was used, interweaving the interpretation of data from various subjective and literature driven lenses. The Brahms Intermezzo Op. 119 No. 1 was used as the base line musical piece. The process from starting to learn the score to being ready to perform the piece was selected as the trajectory for data gathering for this study. The acquistional process was divided into six selected sessions in the trajectory and the description and analysis was undertaken in those six sessions.
Although no set conclusions were reached the study provides a comprehensive thick description presented through the triangulation process in the study design. This may present future researchers with further insight into investigating, describing and understanding the subjective experiences of the piano performer’s trajectory of the acquisition of a piano score.
Mini-Dissertation (M.Mus)--University of Pretoria, 2013.