Picking Up STEAM: Educational Implications for Teaching with an Augmented Reality Guitar Learning System


Incorporation of the arts into the current model of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM) may have a profound impact on the future of education. In light of this, we examined a novel technology at the intersection of these disciplines. Specifically, an experiment was conducted using augmented reality to learn a musical instrument, namely the guitar. The Fretlight® guitar system uses LED lights embedded in the fretboard to give direct information to the guitarist as to where to place their fingers. This was compared to a standard scale diagram. Results indicate that the Fretlight® system led to initial significant gains in performance over a control condition using diagrams, but these effects disappeared over the course of 30 trials. Potential benefits of the augmented reality technology are discussed, and future work is outlined to better understand how embodied cognition and augmented reality can increase learning outcomes for playing musical instruments.

Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality. Systems and Applications