Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Music Honours

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Advisor

Dr Stuart James

Abstract

From the first stage of learning new repertoire, string pedagogy aims to present violinists with effective strategies to achieve accurate intonation in performance. The search for new teaching and learning strategies, whilst running the risk of being seen as unconventional compared to more tried and tested methods (i.e. Suzuki), can on the other hand provide the tutor with new tools for enhancing their teaching practice. Western Australian violinist Fleur Challen has developed a method titled Finger Frames; a learning strategy that uses a colour coding system to prepare a violinist for changes in left hand position, reducing the cognitive load during the process of sight-reading new repertoire. In the field of psychology, research has been undertaken on artificial synaesthesia to indicate that when two particular senses are linked together, it eliminates a stage of processing between them, therefore reducing cognitive load. This research paper aims to document Challen’s Finger Frames method, and to argue how related research on artificial synaesthesia and Cognitive Load Theory can help to explain why such a system may work. This research involves a qualitative discussion of the Finger Frames method with respect to string pedagogy, motor learning and muscle memory, and psychology, and includes an interview with Challen.

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