Composing for Online Music Lessons: An Academic Study at Falmouth University

All students at Music Rooms Pontcanna are invited to become part of the academic study into the feasibility of delivering music lessons online as part of Frances' PhD at Falmouth University. Below is the current participant information sheet for students who wish to do so.

Participant Information Sheet for Offline Participants

20th September 2019 (Version 3)

How do we Effectively Deliver Musical Instrument Lessons in an Online Environment?


This is an invitation to current students of Frances Jenkins at Music Rooms Pontcanna in Cardiff to participate in an academic study that will hopefully enable a widening of participation in music lessons to students who are in inaccessible areas (island communities, care homes, hospices etc. Or simply far away) using the internet as a means of distribution. This is a cutting-edge project that is perhaps a world first, working in collaboration with the Academy of Music and Theatre Arts at Falmouth University.

Purpose of Research:

You will be contributing to a study that will hopefully create a manual of best practice for online piano lessons. Telematic and online music education technologies are allowing people to connect to each other across the globe and this has the potential to completely change the way we educate. What we are trying to establish with this study is how to effectively teach piano within online environments. Taking part in this study during your regular piano lesson means that you will be contributing to the knowledge that makes successful online teaching possible. You can help enable music lessons to people in remote places, or even in hospitals and care homes. You will be rewarded at the end of the study with a free 1 hour lesson from Frances.

Why have I been invited?

You have been invited because you are an active piano pupil of Frances Jenkins. We require all standards of musicians from complete beginner to Grade 8 and beyond and students who learn in all styles (i.e. by ear, with sheet music etc.)

What would taking part involve?

1) Participants will be asked to allow the filming of their regular piano lesson with Frances. This will allow Frances to analyse the footage of the film to generate new insights into successful methods of offline piano teaching. The knowledge generated by these films will then be used to create prototype online music tuition scenarios using the platforms like: Skype; Facebook Live; Youtube; Vimeo; Udemy; Yousician; Synthesia; Melodics; Online Orchestra; LoLa; Music Everywhere and many more.

2) At the end of each lesson Frances will ask you a small number of questions regarding your opinions of the lessons so that we can collect your insights and improve our syllabus. At the end of the study period you will be rewarded for this with a free 1 hour piano lesson.

3) Close to the end of the study (2020/2021) you will also be asked to take part in a filmed interview about how you feel you have progressed and what methods you think are the most successful. This interview will last no longer than half an hour and you will be rewarded with a £10 book token.

Please note that all of the films will only be used by the researcher and her academic supervisors to reflect upon teaching processes and will never be publicly published.

Do I have to take part?

No. It's completely your decision if you wish to take part. If you join the study and later change your mind, you are free to leave at any time, and we will delete any footage taken of you at your request.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

You will continue to learn the piano and hopefully you will enjoy it! You will be contributing to an innovative research project at a world class facility. The researcher is using the PhD as a way of continuously improving her teaching practice so your lessons will become more effective.

What are the disadvantages and risks of taking part?

You will need to allow the researcher to set up and dismantle the camera and the beginning and end of lessons, a process that should take less than ten minutes. This is a very low risk project but all health and safety measures have been carefully considered by the researcher. The researcher has a full clean DBS Enhanced Disclosure Certificate and 13 years' experience of working with children.

What happens when the research ends?

We may need to contact you if any of your answers to the surveys are unclear but once the research is finished your piano lessons will return to normal. The results of the study will be anonymised before publishing in a book or academic journal but no audio-visual footage will ever be published publicly. Any personal data we hold on you will fully comply with the Data Protection Act and will be stored on a hard drive in a locked filing cabinet.

Who do I contact if there is a problem?

Please contact either the researcher Frances Jenkins at or phone 07484 816 838 in the first instance.

If you need to speak to someone else please email:

Alternatively please call Falmouth University reception desk to raise any concerns.

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