Exploring Cooperative Learning: Is it Possible to Learn in Pair-Based Classes?

Research paper


This study investigates the efficacy of peer tutoring in the development of music audiation among elementary-level violin and viola students. Music audiation is an integral skill in a musician’s training, and this research underscores their interrelatedness and contextual importance within instrumental practice.

The didactical proposal, designed to promote competency-based learning and capitalize on the cooperative nature of musical instruction, is grounded in peer tutoring. This pedagogical approach features pairs of learners with an asymmetrical relationship, guided by common objectives and a structured interaction framework established by the instructor.

The study’s focus lies on the qualitative aspects of the proposal. To explore its impact, a mixed sequential explanatory design was employed. This included a quasi-experimental study, a comparison group of similar skill level, and an analysis of interactions during the working sessions. Qualitative findings demonstrate the compelling impact of peer tutoring on students’ music audiation development. Through peer tutoring, students engage in collaborative learning experiences that scaffold their understanding of these musical competencies. The implicit actions within the peer tutoring structure, such as teaching and learning from one another, contribute significantly to skill improvement.

This study underscores the value of peer tutoring as a pedagogical approach, revealing its potential to nurture the interconnected skills of music audiation in elementary string students. The qualitative results emphasize the role of peer tutoring in fostering this competence, thereby offering a promising avenue for educators seeking innovative and effective approaches in music education.

About the speaker

Andrea Fernández-Barros, Viola

Dr Andrea Fernández-Barros holds a PhD in Music Education, a Masters degree in music performance, a Masters degree in teacher-training and a Degree in Music performance viola. She has been teaching in music schools and conservatoires for 10 years, as a viola teacher. She combines this educational practice with the training of pre-service teachers at Universitat de Lleida. Her main line of research is focused on peer learning and peer tutoring in music education. She also studies new methodologies of teaching and learning music audiation and intonation that promote the interdisciplinary and the development of social abilities.