Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


music education

Document Type



Multiple researchers have explored the use of performance cues in memorization for music students, suggesting that it is an effective method for memorization (Chaffin & Imreh, 2002; Gerling & Dos Santos, 2017; Hallam et al., 2008). Based on the current literature about the use of memorization strategies, researchers have found a method of a secure, solid, and effective technique called Performance Cues (Chaffin & Imreh, 2002; Hallam et al, 2008). When working with students, the teacher can guide them with steps to understand how the music works and help them to find a secure memorization process where they will feel more in control of the performance and the music itself (Chaffin, Demos & Crawford 2009; Lisboa, Chaffin & Demos 2015; Noice, Jeffery, Noice & Chaffin, 2008). In addition, numerous studies about the differences between teacher-directed learning and student-directed learning exist in current literature in multiple fields, including music education (Toptas, 2016). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two learning approaches, teacher-directed and student-directed, using performance cues as a strategy for memorization among undergraduate music students.

To understand the outcomes of how performance cues work, a convenience sample of participants (N = 24) was recruited from a group piano class levels II and IV at a comprehensive NASM-accredited institution. The participants were students who had completed the previous levels of group piano classes or had placed into their sections due to their level of playing and understanding of musical concepts. The pieces chosen for the experiment were based on the technical level of each class. Results showed a positive trend for the memorization strategy used, however, there was not a statistically significant difference between the learning approaches which can indicate that students might need more guidance at the beginning of the learning process or more time to understand the new memorization strategy.



Committee Chair

Pike, Pamela