This article explores how my identities were transformed from a piano learner and player to a piano teacher and researcher by employing motivation. My musical background, piano learning experience, understanding and knowledge have formed me as a piano learner and player. My musical identities provide motivation which influences the establishment of my new identities. To investigate my background, an autoethnographical method was employed. Through this qualitative study, I found that my identity, interests and choices of research methodologies in music education are influenced by my understandings and beliefs gained from my own learning experience.


Autoethnography, Motivation, Identity, Piano Learning, Music Education

Author Bio(s)

Zijia Cheng is a doctoral candidate in music education, Faculty of Education, Monash University. She has a Bachelor degree in music performance and a Master degree in education. She was an experienced piano learner and a piano player. Zijia will be a music education researcher and piano teacher in the future. Her doctoral research investigates the influence of motivation in students’ piano learning and identity, besides how to increase students’ motivation. Correspondence can be addressed directly to: zijia.cheng@monash.edu.


I would like to express many thanks to my doctoral supervisor A/Prof Jane Southcott and associate supervisor Dr. Hongzhi Zhang for their continued support, guidance, patience and advice in writing this paper.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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