Recently, the growing interest in piano pedagogy has been noticeable. New undergraduate and graduate programs are created almost every year in various North American universities. While most programs associate piano pedagogy closely with piano performance, few elect to incorporate a strong research dimension.
There may be several reasons explaining this trend. Firstly, piano pedagogy programs are often run by professional musicians as opposed to researchers. Secondly, scientific research in this field requires very sophisticated equipment and hence, a substantial budget. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, a scientific tradition in piano education has yet to be established, therefore, matters of scientific analysis may still be considered inconsequential.
With the creation of the Piano Pedagogy Research Laboratory, academic programs specializing in piano pedagogy offered at the University of Ottawa distinguish themselves from similar programs at other institutions. In addition to receiving training in piano teaching, students registered in the Baccalaureate of Music with a focus in piano pedagogy, undergraduate or graduate piano pedagogy certificate, or Master of Arts with a thesis in piano pedagogy, have the opportunity to develop their research skills. They can better situate themselves as educational practitioners within a research framework, and evaluate the implications of piano pedagogy research while devising their own educational practice. Students can develop the skills essential to conduct research and learn to work within multidisciplinary research teams.