Leon-Guerrero, Amanda

An Examination of the Self-Regulation Strategies Used by Adolescent Instrumental Musicians While Practicing
Individual music practice is a vital aspect of a student’s development as a musician. Research indicates that expert music performers utilize substantial planning and a systematic approach to practice sessions, including problem identification, strategy planning and evaluation (Hallam, 2001), all of which are components of self-regulated thinking. The purpose of this study was to discover what self-regulating strategies adolescent instrumental musicians used during music practice. Sixteen middle school instrumental musicians were videotaped as they practiced a new musical selection for 12 minutes. During the practice session they were asked to talk aloud explaining what strategies they were using as they practiced the piece. Immediately following the practice session, the student and researcher viewed the videotape, and an audiotape recording was made as the student explained the strategies used during the previous practice session. The concurrent verbal report from the practice session and retrospective verbal report were transcribed. Examination of these data revealed a variety of categories of strategies referred to by the student musicians. The music practice data were examined to determine what self-regulating strategies students used during the music practice session. Twenty-five types of strategies were referred to during the verbal reports. These types of strategies were found to fall into four categories of strategies: repetition, musical elements, non-specific task and non-playing . The concurrent verbal reports contained statements regarding repetition in 52.7% of the statements. The retrospective verbal reports contained statements regarding musical elements in 39.7% of the statements and repetition in 29.3% of the statement. The music practice data revealed 15 types of self-regulating strategies. Repetition was used in 86.7% of the instances during the music practice sessions. It is hoped that a better understanding of the self-regulation capabilities of student musicians will aid in more effective and successful music teaching and learning.

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