The effect of distance learning on acquisition of piano sight-reading skills | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1752-7066
  • E-ISSN: 1752-7074



The purpose of this research was to compare the acquisition of sight-reading skills between two groups of beginning piano students: the control group: students studying sight-reading through traditional face-to-face instruction (n=9); and, the experimental group: students studying sight-reading through live online video instruction (n=10). Online sessions employed digital pianos, Internet MIDI software, acoustic pianos and Skype video-conferencing technology. Analysis of the data revealed significant improvement in sight-reading scores as a result of the treatment, with no significant difference between the groups (t=1.17, df 10=1.81, p=0.05). The gain scores for the online group revealed less standard deviation and a higher mean increase (55.4 per cent) than the face-to-face group (33.7 per cent). Both groups benefited from improved rhythmic security and reported an increase in persistence, enthusiasm, motivation and confidence following treatments. Additional benefits of online delivery were identified suggesting that online sight-reading instruction may be a viable substitute for face-to-face sight-reading training or as a supplement to regular lessons.


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