Technical Exercise Practice: Can Piano Students be Motivated by Gamification?

Journal of Music, Technology, and Education Cover

By Heather J. S. Birch; Earl Woodruff
View profile for: Dr. Heather Birch

Gamification is a process whereby game design and game mechanics are applied in non-game contexts to influence behaviour. This research study explores the effects of gamification on young piano students’ practice of technical elements such as scales, chords and arpeggios in the context of independent practice between private lessons. A control and a treatment group of ten piano students each were formed across two different private piano studios. A game-like environment was introduced for the treatment group, in which the players experienced game elements such as avatars and rewards, including points, badges and level achievements. Gamification was found to have a positive effect on the number of technical elements students mastered and a modest effect on their attitude towards practicing technical elements. The educational implications for these findings are discussed.

Read or buy online


This is a peer reviewed Article

Article in Journal of Music, Technology, and Education
Volume #: 10
Issue #: 1
Pages: 31-50
Publisher: Intellect
Year: 2017


View all Faculty publications | View all Undergraduate Faculty publications