Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #209
CE Offered: BACB
If B. F. Skinner Taught Piano: Applying Behavior Principles During Piano Lessons
Sunday, May 29, 2022
10:00 AM–10:25 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 204A/B
Area: TBA
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Todd Haydon (PENDING)
CE Instructor: Todd Haydon, Ph.D.

If B. F. Skinner Taught Piano: Applying Behavior Principles During Piano Lessons

Domain: Service Delivery
TODD HAYDON (University of Cincinnati)

A few researchers have demonstrated the effects of using behavioral principles during music therapy on client’s pain management and work tasks (Kenny & Faunce, 2004; Madsen & Madsen, 1968). Very few researchers have discussed or conducted research on the application of behavior principles for piano teachers. The purpose of this presentation is to articulate the application of behavior principles during a two-hour workshop demonstration at a regional piano conference for piano teachers. The following basic behavioral principles were discussed and demonstrated for a group of 33 piano teachers. The principles of behavior are; creating a task analysis, the use of chaining, reinforcement, learning trials, providing opportunities to respond, behavior specific praise, stimulus prompting, motivating operations, as well as behavioral momentum. The presentation will also include a discussion of how the behavior principle of generalization and maintenance (i.e., general case analysis, multiple exemplars etc.) can help with the preparation of a piano recital. After the completion of the workshop, the attendees were asked to complete a social validity survey to obtain information about their perception of the acceptability and usefulness of the behavioral strategies. Results will be provided for nine out of the 33 conference attendees.

Target Audience:

The audience should have a solid foundational knowledge of the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Attendees should be fluent in concepts such as motivating operations, stimulus prompting, chaining procedures and behavioral momentum.

Learning Objectives: 1. Apply behavioral principles presented to piano pedagogy. 2. Generalize behavioral principles to other instruments such as guitar, flute, and cello. 3. Be able to apply the principles of generalization and maintenance to recital preparation, test preparation, and many performance situations.



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