Advanced musicians and instrumental practice self-regulation

Music Education Research

Advanced musicians and instrumental practice self-regulation


Araujo (2015) explored the self-regulated practice behaviours of advanced musicians and in doing so, developed a new self-report questionnaire to assess instrumental practice self-regulation.

There is evidence to suggest that instrumentalists of varying levels of experience and expertise employ different metacognitive and self-regulation strategies in their practice regimes. Metacognition is characterised by knowledge of strategies and personal resources to achieve a desired goal. Self-Regulation in musicians is the ability to manage and plan their practising, performance, and evaluation. Self-regulated behaviours include setting goals, metacognitive thinking, planning and time management, environmental control, self-evaluation, help-seeking, and appropriate causal attributions.

Advanced musicians and instrumental practice self-regulation

Advanced musicians and practice self-regulation Image: Randen Pedersen – Flickr

The participants for this study were advanced musicians of more than 10 years experience. The survey results found three difference aspects of the self-regulation of music practice which are: (1) practice organisation, (2) personal resources, and (3) external resources. high scores were found for all three self-regulated practice behaviours for advanced musicians.

In contrast to other findings on the self-regulation of practice, in this survey older advanced musicians relied less on practice organisation, planning, and help seeking than younger advanced musicians. Theses results suggest older musicians have acquired the planning and organisational skills and need less reliance on them to achieve the desired goals. Older musicians also have very low scores for use of external resources and relied more heavily on personal resources. Again, these results suggest older musicians have become more autonomous with the acquisition of expertise, and have less reliance on outside structures and others to assist the self-regulation of their practice.

Furthermore, as expertise increased, practice time decreased, adding weight to the suggestion that experts have clearly defined practice goals and practice processes, therefore are more efficient in their practice time.

Araujo, M. V. (2015). Measuring self-regulated practice behaviours in highly skilled musicians. Psychology of Music, 44(2), 278-292.


Advanced musicians and instrumental practice self-regulation

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