The transfer of group practice strategy instruction to beginning instrumentalists/ individual practice

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2020

Publication Title

Psychology of Music




This quasi-experimental study investigated the transfer of learning for effective practice strategiesfrom large ensemble to individual rehearsal. Five middle school bands were randomly assigned toone of three conditions. Two treatment conditions had teachers use an iterative, explicit instructionprotocol to teach a targeted practice strategy during a sight-reading activity on a novel pieceof music over a series of six lessons. The control condition included non-specific sight-readingactivities. A sample of students from each band (N=66) participated in a cycle of pre-test/post-test/delay-test observations that involved a ten- minute practice session followed by a performance ona new piece of music similar to those used in the treatment sessions. Student practice sessions wereanalyzed for frequency of usage of the targeted strategies, and performances were rated for pitchand rhythmic accuracy. A 3x2x3 ANOVA identified a significant effect for strategy used withingroups (F(1,63)=122.388, p<.001, η2=.660), but no significant effect or interactions were foundbetween groups. The results of a 3x3 ANOVA identified a moderate-sized main effect for test cycleon performance scores (F(2,63)=2.192, p<.001, η2=.414), leading to a series of repeated measurest-tests that demonstrated significant changes in performance scores from pre- to post-test in bothtreatment conditions