Natsumi Takai

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Sara Ernst


Educational resources are a reflection of the field. The content of articles and presentations articulate the recent landscape of the field. The investigation of such resources often appear in the field of piano pedagogy in the United States, to observe the trends and developments of the field. With a similar purpose, the current study explores the tendency of content of ten piano-related resources in Japan including journals, seminars and conferences and the background of authors and presenters for 2009-2018. By categorizing topics into five tiers and their subcategories, the research investigates an overview of Japanese piano pedagogy .

This study consists of five chapters. Chapter One introduces a brief history of Japan’s adaptation of Western music and piano education, the justification of the study, the purposes of the study, the limitations of the study, a literature review, and an outline of the study. Chapter Two discusses the categorization of topic analysis. Chapter Three displays the quantitative data of the study per resource. Chapter Four describes the tendency of topics and authors over resource in detail. Chapter Five contains a summary of the study and recommendations for future research.

This investigation of the trends clarified the repertoire-focused attitude and solfège-focused instruction of Japanese piano pedagogy. Several journals only introduced repertoire in the advanced level while the major publications cover compositions in a wider range of levels.

The second popular areas centered on philosophical articles by concert pianists and piano teachers, and articles on studio management. Less-introduced areas were group piano, evaluation/assessment, psychological and neuroscientific descriptions (those related to student learning processes), and historical descriptions on piano pedagogy. The investigation of specific curricula was conducted; however, the data did not show a heavy emphasis on each methodology with the exceptions of PTNA seminars and Kawai membership journal Ensemble. Regarding background of non-pianist authors, the majority of authors and presenters were from music fields, and a few were from outside the music fields. Authors outside of the music fields contain a surprising variety and diversity of fields. It is plausible to view educational resources as a reflection of different teaching perspectives from teachers and pianists, yet the tendencies in resources are an overview of the field and do not reflect personal differences. However, this study has identified several areas of focus that can be developed further to strengthen the future of Japanese piano teaching.