Marjaana Puurtinen

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Looking at Music: Eye Movements and the Development of Music-reading Skill


This project investigates the visual processing skills needed for the successful reading of music notation through eye-tracking methodology. So far, knowledge on the development of music-reading skill and the related teaching practices are mainly based on intuition and tradition, as research on the topic has been somewhat scarce. Therefore, a systematic study of the different stages of learning to read music notation is needed in order to refine the current teaching methods.

In the present project a series of empirical studies, all applying eye-tracking methodology, address several aspects related to sight-reading, rehearsed reading and silent reading of music notation. The ultimate goal for the project is to suggest a model on the course of eye movements in music reading. The findings of the project will not only serve the educational practices related to learning and teaching music, but the multifaceted topic also allows the findings to contribute to research on music education, educational psychology and cognitive musicology on a more general level.

The project will be conducted in close collaboration with the multidisciplinary research consortium between the University of Turku (Department of Teacher Education) and the University of Jyväskylä (Department of Music), titled "Reading Music: Eye Movements and the Development of Expertise in Music" (funded by the Academy of Finland, 2014-2018). The research team, consisting of researchers in the fields of educational psychology, musicology and statistics, is quickly establishing itself as one of the few research groups in the world with a somewhat broader output of publications in this field (see Personal Webpage).

Keywords: expertise; eye-tracking; graphics comprehension; music performance; music reading; sight-reading; skill development; text comprehension



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