Masters Thesis

Using a behavior analytic approach to teach piano skills to adults

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of equivalence-based instruction to teach piano skills while including arpeggio probes, or the ability to play notes from a chord one at a time in the correct order. Two adults were exposed to conditions that included testing and training their ability to read and play music on a keyboard. Additionally, participants were tested on piano skills not directly taught during training conditions. Results showed that equivalence-based instruction was effective in teaching piano skills. Results also showed that participants did not acquire the skills to successfully play the arpeggio chords. Equivalence-based instruction should continue to be examined as a way to teach the skills on the keyboard. Specifically, for arpeggio probes, presenting them during the training conditions may offer more valuable information to examine other emergent relations not directly taught.

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