The purpose of this study was to examine and empirically test the pedagogical claim that playing the piano while listening to choral singers impedes error detection ability. In a within-subjects design, participants (N = 55 preservice teachers) either listened to four excerpts of choral hymns or played a single part (soprano/bass) on the piano while listening. They were asked to locate the errors that occurred in these excerpts. Each excerpt contained a pitch and a rhythm error, in the soprano and bass voice parts. Results of an analysis of covariance (with years of piano study as the covariate) indicated significant main effects for condition and voicing. There were more errors detected in the soprano voicing than in the bass voicing, and more errors detected in the listen condition than in the playing condition. Implications for music teacher education are discussed, including adding practice in error detection activities to methods and conducting courses.
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