Emotional discomforts in the piano learning process: a narrative inquiry
Desconforto emocional no processo de aprendizagem do piano: uma investigação narrativa
Keywords:piano teaching, piano learning process, discomforts in piano learning, narrative inquiry
This paper presents narrative inquiry research carried out in São Paulo (Brazil) into the experiences of emotional discomfort generated during the piano learning process. This study addresses some of these discomforts and the narratives that shape them and give them meaning. Narrative Inquiry in Music Education (Barrett & Stauffer, 2009) offered the supporting basis to adopt narrative inquiry as the methodology (Clandinin, 2006, 2007, 2013; Clandinin & Connelly, 1990, 2000). We understand that lived experiences may cause memories, and that negative memories may hinder the experiences and performance of the student pianist (Osborne & Kenny, 2008). In order to undertake narrative inquiry, a group comprised of the researcher and 9 volunteer pianists met 23 times throughout 2018. Along the encounters, the participants told and retold their stories, discussed proposed subjects, and played the piano when, and how they wished. Methodologically, experiences of the participants were shared both orally and in written form. Each participant also wrote three individual narratives, following Irving Seidman's proposal (2006). The volunteers participated in the construction of the drafts and final text. As the researcher read and reread the narratives, she noted feelings of inadequacy, overload, frustration, and dissatisfaction due to constant comparison, loneliness, performance anxiety, injustice, and incomprehension on the part of teachers, colleagues, friends and relatives. Competitiveness emerged as a common denominator that caused these issues. The final discussion promoted a questioning of competitiveness in the piano teaching system in music schools.